In April of 2017 AutoTrader took a leap forward, saying #ByeByePrint to the AutoTrader classifieds magazine that had been the staple of the South African auto industry for 25 years. The move was industry defining, a new chapter in the story of a company that has been at the forefront of dynamic change since its inception.
In the year between then and now the move has shown itself to be the right one, with a string of successes proving the point.
In March 2018, the company AutoTrader not only had an excellent month from an audience and leads perspective, their apps reported record figures placing it in number one position in the automotive category in the country, and third overall, with a total average visit duration of 10 minutes, and 32 page views generated per visit.
The #AutoCentral Show, an auto and infotainment collaboration between AutoTrader and CliffCentral has proved a huge success over the same time period, both revealing and satisfying a niche need in the digital radio and ‘motortainment’ industry with thousands of downloads recorded.
A host of added digital products were launched in the past 12 months, recording similar success.
In October 2017, AutoTrader’s Car Alerts hit the market. Offering the ability for buyers and sellers to pre-load alerts directly to their email, the service has made new and used car information available as it happens. Since launching, thousands of alerts have been generated. The tool is pure simplicity, backed by the largest inventory of vehicles to choose from in South Africa.
Having identified a need for new as well as used cars on their platforms, AutoTrader also launched New Car Specials in 2017. Focused specifically on debut deals, the platform allows buyers to instantly access the best new car specials across the country, and sellers the ability to reach buyers directly.
Underpinning these successes, and a key element to the exhaustive research that goes into AutoTrader’s consumer-centered approach, ASK AutoTrader was launched in 2016. This platform has given buyers and sellers the chance to ask car-related questions, which are replied to in person by the company’s in-house experts. Previous answers are stored and catalogued, creating a growing source of on-point information, literally providing the right answers.
To close out the year, perhaps the company’s biggest news hit the market. The Naspers owned OLX, bid for and bought AutoTrader, creating a digital merger of giant proportions and greater opportunity for consumer-focused innovations.
“The process of converting from paper to digital was intensely considered, and steered across multiple years,” said George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO. “Now that we have fully entered the digital marketplace for AutoTrader the speed of our expansion is incredible, and gratifying. 2017 was a bumper year for AutoTrader, making us even more excited for the offerings we have planned for 2018.”