Friday, March 27, 2020: traffic and Advertising Investments

Dear Client,

We hope this message finds you in good health and morale. As you may be starting to get used to our updates, I would like to share information about dealership websites’ performance across Canada as well as other relevant data.

Decreased Traffic but Customers Are Still Online

    • Canada has seen a 32% drop in traffic in the past 3 days.
    • Western Canada crossed the psychological barrier of 50% yesterday, Thursday, March 26, keeping a slightly higher conversion rate into opportunities than usual. It seems that consumers in this region continue to browse our dealer websites in active search mode. It is therefore important to be on the lookout for every opportunity generated by your websites during this period of social distancing.
    • While Quebec seems to be stabilizing at around 60% of the usual traffic on our dealership websites, Ontario remains strong with more than 80% of its traffic remaining active.

Advertising Budgets and Investments

    • As expected, we are seeing a decline for several dealers in terms of their advertising investments. Our estimates show a decrease of about 50% in budgets for the month of April, ranging from a complete cancellation to a total maintenance of budgets. Each dealer reacts differently to this current situation. Some will opt to retreat or keep a minimal presence, while others will want to take advantage of this situation to increase their visibility and traffic.
    • The cost per click (CPC) has continued to decrease, but appears to be stabilizing at slightly less than 70% of its usual cost. In some regions, it is consistently below $0.90, which is a bargain.
    • The majority of dealers have kept medium and long term marketing initiatives in place, such as the creation of editorial and marketing content, in order to maintain a strong search engine presence. This is good news in itself, as dealers are confident that the crisis will end one day and want to make sure to capitalize on organic traffic (read SEO).

It is up to each dealer to find the right strategy for the coming weeks. If you are able to continue engaging your consumers remotely, or through telework vendors, it may be worthwhile to continue to be active. On the other hand, if your position is to completely shut down operations for the moment, it is better to keep your budget to make a strong comeback after the crisis.


In closing, I wish you all a good weekend. We will be back to work next week to keep you informed on the evolution of consumer behaviour in times of the COVID-19 crisis.



Louis-Yves Cloutier
CEO and President