Toyota, Nissan, Honda: Analysis of Top Automotive Companies' Strategies seen from each websites

Toyota, Nissan, Honda: Analysis of Top Automotive Companies' Strategies seen from each websites

The automotive industry suffers from semiconductor shortage due to the pandemic and war in Ukraine. However, the industry is experiencing a major shift to EVs, globally. Japan, a major auto manufacturing market, is seeing changes in the industry’s digital. We explore websites of three major auto manufacturers.


Three automotive manufacturers account for a third of the number of sessions in the industry

The top ten automotive manufacturers in terms of sales by model for the first half of 2022 are as follows: Toyota Motor Corporation (hereinafter Toyota), Nissan Motor (hereinafter Nissan), and Honda Motor (hereinafter Honda) were the three companies ranked in the top ten in terms of number of sales.

Ranking of passenger car brands by car model and brand (January-June 2022)
Compiled by VALUES based on data from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.

Trends in the corporate websites of the top three companies will be analyzed using Dockpit, an online behavior analytics tool provided by VALUES, Inc.

In the past year (September 2021 - August 2022), Toyota (12.6%), Nissan (11.8%), and Honda (9.6%) were the top three companies in terms of number of sessions.

Industry share by automotive company (Number of sessions)
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone
*Industry categories are defined by VALUES

Looking at changes in industry share over time, although Nissan's share increased from July to August 2022, there was no significant change in the overall position of the major players.

Industry share trends (Number of sessions)
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

Honda's age structure is slightly "youth-oriented"

Are there any differences in the demographics of website visitors among the different companies?

First, let's look at gender. The male-female ratio for all three companies fell within the range of 60-70% male and 30-40% female. Perhaps due to the nature of the automotive business, more males visit the websites, with Honda in particular showing a slightly larger gender difference, with more than 70% of the visitors being male.

User attribute: Gender
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

Looking at the age demographics, many of the visitors for Toyota and Nissan websites were 40-60 years old, while for Honda, many were in their 30s-50s. While Toyota and Nissan show almost the same age structure, Honda’s website visitors seem to be relatively younger.

User attributes: Age
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

Most website visitors have an annual household income that is less than 4 million yen, but there were respondents with incomes higher than the average of "All Internet users," probably due to the fact that cars are known to be a luxury commodity. Toyota and Honda tended to have high-income website visitors, and their annual income composition overlapped exactly. This would suggest that Honda consumers are more likely to be "young businessmen with high incomes."

User attributes: Household income
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

[Toyota] Focusing on a "balance" between search and display ads; Pre-owned vehicles are its strength

Although there were no significant differences in the user attributes of the website visitors, the number of website visits (sessions) during the period from September 2021 to August 2022 showed that the number of website visitors for Honda remained consistent, while the number of visitors for Toyota and Nissan showed a sharp upward and downward change throughout the year.

Number of sessions
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

The cause of this upward and downward change can be attributed to the placement of display ads.

A comparison of the three companies' customer attraction shows that, all three companies have a high percentage of their website visitors coming from "organic searches," but Toyota and Nissan also saw a large inflow of visitors via "display ads."

Customer attraction (based on the number of sessions)
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

Let us now look at the time-series changes in the customer attraction for each of the three websites.

First, Toyota's corporate website receives a well-balanced inflow from both "organic search" and "display ads" throughout the year. The overall trend has a slightly higher ratio of organic search, but there were some months, including February 2022, when the ratio of display ads jumped dramatically.

Toyota (www.toyota.jp) customer attraction trends
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

So, which pages do people who click these display ads most often come to? To verify this, we looked at the ranking of the landing pages (LPs) that received the most inflow.

Toyota (www.toyota.jp) Landing pages and inflow from display ads
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

The landing pages with the largest inflow via display ads was a pre-owned vehicle search website for "Toyota-certified Pre-owned Vehicles," and it also indicates that the number of inflows is increasing. The company has developed several landing pages promoting the availability of pre-owned Toyota cars with claims such as "0 yen down payment, 0 yen bonus payment, and fixed monthly payment," indicating that while the company has established an industry-leading position in new car sales, it is also focusing on the pre-owned vehicle market.

[Nissan] Focusing on inflow from display ads; EVs are its strength

Nissan's corporate website also tends to have a high percentage of inflows from "organic search" and "display ads" throughout the year, but the percentage of organic search is lower than Toyota's. In 2022, the percentage of inflows from display ads increased dramatically, especially in July and August, which is consistent with the trend in the number of sessions. The trend is also in line with the number of sessions.

Nissan (www.nissan.co.jp) customer attraction trends
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

So which pages do users who click Nissan's display ads most often flow into. Like what we did with Toyota, let's take a look at the ranking of landing pages that received the most inflows from display ads.

Nissan (www.nissan.co.jp) inflow from landing pages and display ads
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

The top-ranking Nissan landing pages were special websites for popular electric vehicles (EVs). In particular, page views increased for landing pages for the popular LEAF and SAKURA models, which are also known for their tv commercials. In particular, the LEAF model, which was going to go on sale in the summer of 2022, with partially-improved specifications, seems to have had an impact on the results. In any case, this is a characteristic of Nissan, which is known as the "pioneer of EVs."

[Honda] Focusing on stable attract customers; Motorbikes are its strength

Honda's corporate website shows no significant changes throughout the year, and its customer attraction structure is stable. Compared to Toyota and Nissan, "organic search" accounts for a high percentage, around 50%, throughout the year, indicating that inflows from display ads are extremely small.

Honda (www.honda.co.jp) customer attraction trends
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

So, for Honda, whose strength lies in inflows from organic search, which pages do most of the visitors actually visit after they search? Let's take a look at the ranking of landing pages that received the most inflows from organic search within the specified period.

Honda (www.honda.co.jp) inflow from landing pages and organic search
Period: September 2021 - August 2022
Devices: PC and smartphone

In terms of landing pages that received inflows via organic search, pages for the various car models, popular car models as well as motorbikes ranked high. This is a result that can be attributed to the company's high market share not only in the automotive market, but also in the motorbike and motorbiked-related market.

Summary

Toyota, Nissan, and Honda were the top three companies in terms of industry share based on number of sessions during September 2021 - August 2022, accounting for a third of total number of sessions in the industry.

Analysis of the visitors to the three companies' websites revealed that "the male-to-female ratio is about 6-7:3-4," "the most visitors are in their 30s-60s," and many earn an "income higher than the average of all Internet users."

The three companies' websites attract a relatively large percentage of visitors from "organic search" and "display ads," but a comparison of the three companies reveals the following characteristics: "Toyota = well-balanced distribution of organic search and display ads," "Nissan = more focused on inflows from display ads than organic search," and "Honda = consistent throughout the year, with organic search accounting for the majority of inflows." In addition, we also saw a structure that leverages the strengths of each company's products to attract customers: pre-owned vehicles for Toyota, EVs for Nissan, and motorbikes for Honda.

About Dockpit

▼Data from Dockpit was used in this case study. Dockpit is an online behavior analytics tool provided by VALUES, Inc., and it allows you to access online behavioral data (updated monthly) via your browser so you can research competitor websites and investigate trends. There is a FREE version of Dockpit, so if you are interested in using it, please register below.

dockpit Get free version

※日本語での記事はこちらをご確認ください

トヨタ・日産・ホンダ。自動車業界のトップ企業サイトに見る動向分析

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/2056

新型コロナウイルス感染症やウクライナ侵攻を端緒とした半導体不足で、苦戦を強いられる自動車業界。一方で、世界で加速するEVシフトが象徴するように、業界は今大きな転換期を迎えています。自動車生産大国・日本でも、自動車産業のデジタルマーケティングに変化の兆しが見えているかもしれません。今回は、自動車メーカー3社の企業サイトから、各社動向を探りました。

この記事のライター

Born and raised in the Bay Area, U.S.A, I was fascinated by the different social and purchasing behaviors between Japanese and American consumers. I studied communication for undergrad and international marketing for my graduate studies. My professional background is in bilingual recruitment and Japanese-English translation.

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