NZME enters the car market with buy/sell platform, Trade Me and Bauer respond—UPDATED

NZME is entering the self-service online vehicle listing market, by allowing people to advertise their vehicles on driven.co.nz. Launched this week, the platform sits alongside listings for dealer-owned vehicles, which includes new and used cars across the country.

The Driven site launched last year to provide motoring enthusiasts with daily content, including the latest national and international motoring news, video and expert reviews. NZME director of e-commerce and new ventures Richard Harrison says the decision to launch ‘Driven Listings’ came from identifying an opportunity in the online classified space.

Driven is already a trusted name for news and reviews of automobiles, so it makes sense to incorporate user listing into this domain alongside the dealer listings,” he says. “This will streamline the buying process for users – they will be able to look at what’s currently on the market, conduct their research and receive impartial vehicle news and reviews all on one site. Armed with that knowledge, they are already in the right place to engage with the seller.”

As an incentive to list vehicles on driven.co.nz, NZME has waived the fee for its ‘standard’ (usually $20) and ‘premium’ (usually $40) listings for a limited time. A standard listing allows up to five photos to be included, while a premium listing allows for up to 25 photos to be included and the opportunity to be promoted in NZME print publications.

NZME is also pushing the platform by promoting it across its national and digital properties, which reach over two million people per month.

A number of NZME radio personalities are supporting the launch, including Mikey Havoc.

NZME ​group director digital Laura Maxwell says Driven.co.nz is already the destination for the best automotive information, reviews and comparisons.

“The Driven listings proposition completes the ecosystem, creating a richer and deeper environment for consumers, than an isolated listing site delivers.”

While it is a hub for all things automobile, it will be going head to head with the long established online trading giant Trade Me Motors, which has been performing well, with listings up five percent year on year, dealer subscriptions up eight percent year on year, an average of 167,450 daily unique browsers, and a 10 percent increase year on year in revenue for the six months to December 2015.

Trade Me’s head of motors Darren Wiltshire says it will be interesting to see how it goes compared to when they were displaying other sites’ listings.

He wishes it good luck, saying “we know starting and running a successful online motors business is hard work”.

Trade Me Motors has been up and running against all sorts of competitors since 2003, and it’s business as usual despite NZME joining the game. Wiltshire says it will be sticking to its focus on delivering “great online experiences” for the buyers and sellers of the 74,000+ vehicles currently listed.

This includes making it easier to list a vehicle via the Trade Me iOS app, the ‘help me chose’ lifestyle search and adding electric and hybrid vehicle categories. There is also a new dealer dashboard to help the sellers manage listing better.

This understanding of consumers needs is one of the reasons research company Ipsos found Trade Me to be one of New Zealand’s top movers and shakers.

The largest force behind its influence was found to be the trust people have in the brand.

Bauer-owned Autotrader also responded to NZME’s move, with general manager of the Bauer trader category Terry Williams-King wishing it good luck. He says historically automotive spend online has been in the top five and everyone wants to get into the market as they see it as an opportunity, but it’s not an easy place to go.

“You’ve got to keep updating what you do according to consumer behaviour,” he says.

Autotrader traffic has increased by 70 percent over the last five years and its leads (to the dealers) have increased by 111 percent over the same period. Williams-King credits that to being proactive with what is done on the site to enhance the buyer’s experience of buying a car.

“One of the things we are really proud of at Autotrader is that one in three people who make an enquiry to purchase a car [visit our site] so our engagement level is high. And [what’s more is that] they spend a high amount of time on the site,” he says.

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