Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Automotive & Web Analytics in Europe - one year later

Update: Following comments & feedback received, the research results have been updated (25th of November). It mainly concerns Sophus3 eMetrics that managed to increase its share - as Peugeot and Citroen are actually using it as they core Web Analytics solution for their main markets. The chart and PDF document have been adapted accordingly.

Last year, I did my own little market research on the European automotive industry and Web Analytics usage, using the excellent tool, Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP). Being curious - I decided to do it again and see if there was any major change (revolution?) or specific trend in this industry. Last year 1st place was held by Sophus 3 eMetrics, a industry-specific solution. Is it still the case? Does the crisis made manufacturers to massively switch to the free Google Analytics (or Yahoo Web Analytics)? Are paid vendors left with just their eyes for crying? The answer is just below...

Research background
The context is (almost) the same as last year: the research covered the 5 major markets in Europe i.e. UK, Germany, France, Italy & Spain. It includes 32 brands (last year I forgot Skoda -shame on me!) present on the European soil including premium and luxury ones. That represents in total 135 websites. Note that some brands only have one global website (or local sites under same main .com domain name).

As said, I used WASP to detect "core" Web Analytics solution used on the websites - I didn't look at ad tracking, voice-of-customer nor behavioral targeting solutions. It may be possible that some manufacturers are using other tracking solutions, either own-made or tweaked ones that are not recognized by WASP.

Finally, I regrouped in the total counts solutions from same providers i.e. Omniture includes both Omniture SiteCatalyst and Omniture HBX, Google Analytics includes Google Analytis & Google Urchin...

The full results for 2009 research can be downloaded using the button below:

Download research detailed results
And the winner is...

Web Analytics usage by Automotive manufacturers in Europe 2009
  • Google Analytics took pole position, being present on almost half of the sites (45.9%). Its share progressed by more than +100%! But is it really a surprise? In many case, Google Analytics coexists with a major paid solutions. It is probably used to track specifically search engine traffic and paid search performances as it fully integrates with Google Adword. Yet, Google Analytics is also used main primary solution in 23% of all sites.
  • More surprising is the result for Sophus 3 eMetrics, the industry specific solution, that managed to strengthen its position & presence (30.7% of all sites, +10% vs. 2008). Not only it is resisting against traditional Web Analytics vendors and but it managed to get new customers (Peugeot & Citroen, all major markets) in spite of the crisis. (Updated on 25th of November)
  • Omniture (16.3% of all sites) took the last place on the podium away from WebTrends (14.1%), leading traditional paid vendors (Note: for more details about Omniture result vs. last year - see post comments). In most case it is used as a global Web Analytics solution (i.e. on all local sites) by big players like Audi, Volskwagen or Mercedes-Benz.
  • More and more manufacturers are using more than one solution on their site. The average is 1.25 solution per site vs. 1.1 last year.
  • Some paid vendors lost customers: WebTrends (Ferrari, BMW Germany(!?), Volvo (!?)) and Nedstat (Nissan replaced it by Omniture Site Catalyst).
  • The number of sites with no (known) Web Analytics solution found decreased - only 5 sites with no solution found (vs. 14 last year).
  • The paradox: luxury brands (Lotus, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche) seems to not want to spend money on Web Analytics as all adopted Google Analytics.
  • The missing ones: Yahoo Web Analytics, Coremetrics & Unica were not found - same situation as last year.
Google Analytics penetration is quite impressive but not really a surprise. Still, it is not yet really replacing paid vendors but for how long? Especially knowing that Google Analytics is closing the gap with paid vendors. Just look at the latest features that were announced last month. On top of that, traditional paid Web Analytics vendors are battling against an industry specific solution, Sophus3 eMetrics that is dominating the paid market and that even increase its presence. (Updated on 25th of November)

However, automotive manufacturers are still licking their wounds from the crisis and may reconsider paying for services that they may get for a much lower cost. Future will tell...

As said last year, this research does not tell anything about the expertise and usage of Web Analytics by the different manufacturers. After all, "a fool with a tool remains a fool" :-).

So what do you think? What comment would you add? Please share your thoughts with the rest of us.

Note: if you spot any error (yes, this can happen :-)), please let me know and I will update the figures accordingly.

Related posts & resources:
Note on Sophus3:
Sophus3 provides two types of online measurement products to automotive manufacturers. the first one, eMetrics is full Web Analytics solution used to measure & track websites activity like traditional Web Analytics solutions. The second one, eDataXchange is a collaborative benchmarking project for the automotive industry. A majority of manufacturers are participating to the eDataXchange project that uses the same tagging technology as eMetrics - both based on TouchClarity script (now Omniture Test & target). However for the benchmarking project, only a subset of key pages are tagged. for more information, see Sophus3 website.
Feedback Form