ATLANTA - AutoTrader.com attracted 17.4 million unique monthly visitors in January, an all-time record for traffic to the site, beating the record of 16.8 million unique monthly visitors set in May of 2010. The 17.4 million unique monthly visitors in January marked a 9-percent lift from the site's traffic of 15.98 million unique visitors in January of last year.
AutoTrader.com executives credit the resurgent auto market and the company's high-profile marketing efforts leading up to and during January for the surge in traffic.
"Auto shoppers are coming back into the market in force," said AutoTrader.com President & CEO Chip Perry. "Our marketing efforts have let the public know that AutoTrader.com is the place to visit for their car shopping needs and they're responding to our messages in record numbers."
Many industry analysts have predicted that 2011 will be a recovery year for new- and used-car sales. AutoTrader.com's aggressive marketing during 2010 and during January of 2011 was a key element driving these shoppers to the site to research and compare vehicles, find dealer specials, read auto reviews and other auto-themed content and find inventory cars in their areas.
Recent branding studies and AutoTrader.com's record traffic during 2010 confirmed that AutoTrader.com's "Heart & Mind" campaign, launched in 2010, resonated exceptionally well with car shoppers. The campaign centerpiece, two 30-second spots, highlights with high-energy graphics, music and visual effects how AutoTrader.com helps consumers compare vehicles side by side and find the perfect new or used car. The spots have been seen frequently on a variety of top cable television networks and programs throughout 2010 and into January. The campaign messages have also been carried throughout the company's other marketing channels, including digital and social media and sports sponsorships.
AutoTrader.com's exposure to millions of car shoppers and enthusiasts at the country's biggest auto shows in November, December and January further exposed the brand to these key audiences, contributing to the record traffic. Between November and January, AutoTrader.com had major presences at auto shows in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Detroit, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. The company estimates that AutoTrader.com's appearances at these show exposed the brand to more than 6 million car shoppers and auto enthusiasts.
The record 17.4 million unique monthly visitors in January is made up of 16.2 million unique visitors to AutoTrader.com's site and 1.2 million unique visitors who accessed AutoTrader.com through the company's mobile platform. The numbers have been analyzed and scrubbed to remove visitors who accessed both the AutoTrader.com core site and the mobile platform for a true view of unique visitors.
"We're thrilled to be able to attract this record audience of car shoppers," said Perry, "creating real value for the auto dealers and manufacturers who advertise cars on our site. With this record site traffic of 17.4 million and the millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars listed for sale on our site, AutoTrader.com is truly the ultimate automotive marketplace."