March18, 2020 – COVID-19 update statistics

Dear clients,

In the past two days, our daily lives have changed and we have had to adapt to our new reality. For some it’s working from home, for others it’s taking the car to work and that’s about it. Our systems measuring the level of engagement and traffic on the sites managed by SM360 indicate that consumers are still present online, especially in the West of the country.

Here is an overview of traffic statistics* for the start of this week:

    •  Canada has seen its traffic drop by about 12% in the last 48 hours, on sites that are part of our network of new car dealers.


    • Quebec has a combined drop of 14% for Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th, compared to the same period the previous week.


    • The situation is similar in Ontario with a drop of 13% for the same period.


    • Western Canada held steady with a slight drop of less than 5%. We anticipate a decline that will follow Quebec and Ontario as isolation measures become apparent.


Like most of us, consumers are getting organized and adjusting to their new reality. We are pleasantly surprised that the drop is not drastic. We can predict that consumers, who have been practicing social distancing for several days, will feel the need to be entertained and to dream of their next vehicle for the coming spring.

Opportunities are emerging...

Some dealers or major players in the industry have panicked and massively cut their advertising budget. This opens the door to falling advertising costs and increased visibility for those who remain opportunistic.

For example, the cost per click of 360.Agency customers on Google decreased by 10% Monday, March 16th and 15% Tuesday, March 17th, compared to the same period the week before the COVID-19 crisis. Impression share on Google’s search network doubled for the same period, which means more visibility for the same budget. Some dealers have seen a marked increase in traffic in the past 48 hours, possibly due to this drop in price.


We advise our dealership customers to adapt their strategy by slightly reducing the focus on bottom of the funnel conversions in order to shift part of the budget to medium-term strategies such as retargeting and social media. The message should take into account the particular situation in which we find ourselves, both on your banner impressions and in the content of your website.

 *The results are compiled from our DASH360 data aggregator. They are the representation of car dealers hosted on our servers only and do not represent the entire Canadian automotive market. 360.Agency hosts just over 800 dealers in Canada.

We will keep in touch with you regularly to inform you of the market data.



Louis-Yves Cloutier
CEO & President