Is the "car camping" trend over? Investigating changes in demand and user persona based on search words

Is the "car camping" trend over? Investigating changes in demand and user persona based on search words

Car camping became popular in recent years for travel and as an outdoor activity done while social distancing. After the pandemic, its popularity is said to have subsided, but how has the demand changed? We look at changes in demand based on the searches and the user persona of people searching and their interests.


The number of users searching for "car camping" tends to increase in spring and decrease in winter

This research was conducted using VALUES' online behavioral analytics tool “Dockpit,” which uses online behavioral data that is updated monthly to analyze competitors’ websites and research trends.

First, let's look at how many people search for “car camping.”

Number of people who searched for “car camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024, March 2022 - February 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

In the one year period from March 2023 to February 2024, 1.15 million people searched for “car camping,” while 1.36 million people searched for the same period one year ago.

Due in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for hobbies such as car camping, general camping, and outdoor activities that don't require contact with other people, but this trend seems to have calmed down and is also reflected in the number of people searching.

Number of people who searched for “car camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

Looking at the trends in the number of people searching each month, the number of people searching increased in April and May, and decreased in December. In spring, when the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, the demand for car camping will likely increase. On the other hand, demand seems to decrease during the cold winter months.

What kind of people search for “car camping”?

Next, let's take a look at the persona of people searching for “car camping.”

The majority of people searching for “car camping” are men

First, let's look at the gender of people who search for “car camping,” comparing it “camping,” another outdoor activity-related word.

People searching “car camping” or “camping” by gender
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

68.2% of all people searching are men, making up the majority. Is it possible that men are showing more interest in these keywords because they are related to outdoor activities.

Although the majority of people searching for “camping” are men (57.3%), when comparing to “car camping,” the percentage of women searching for “camping” is relatively high.

Even when it comes to outdoor activities, men seem to search for “car camping” more than “camping.”

A high percentage of middle-aged people in their 40s and 50s

Next, let's look at the age groups of people who search for “car camping.”

Age group of people who searching “car camping” and “camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

The searches increase for people in their 30s, and it is especially high middle-aged people in their 40s and 50s. The percentage of searches for “camping” increases among people in their 30s and decreases among people in their 50s, so it seems that the demand for the both outdoor activities differs for each age group.

Middle-aged people, especially those in their 50s, may prefer sleeping in a car, which allows them to relax and sleep, over participating in camping which tends to be more active like having to set up a tent.

Whether there are children or not has little relationship to interest in “car camping”

We will look at whether people who search for “car camping" have children.

Whether people searching “car camping” have children
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

If you look at the graph above, the percentages of those without children and those with children are almost the same. Looking closely at the numbers, 49.4% have no children and 50.6% have children. The difference is only 0.6%, which is as little as the margin of error.

It seems that the demand for car camping is the same regardless of whether people have children or not.

People with annual household income of 6 million yen to 10 million yen have a high interest in “car camping”

Let's look at the annual household income of people searching “car camping.”

Annual household income of people searching “car camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

Interest is particularly high among people with annual household incomes of 6 million to 10 million yen, and there is less interest among those with annual household incomes of less than 4 million yen.
Generally, people tend to think that car camping is not that expensive if you own a car, but in order to enjoy sleeping comfortably in your car, you need car accessories like a mat and car shades, and possibly a winter sleeping bag and heating equipment.

Although when comparing to hotels or general camping, there is no need to pay any lodging fees, a certain amount of initial investment is required for a comfortable experience. Since it costs money to own a car to begin with, there may be more interest in households with an annual household income of 6 million yen to 10 million yen, who have a certain amount of disposable income.

People searching for “car camping” are interested in “light vehicles” and "mats"

Next, we will use a combination search to see what other keywords are of interest to people searching “car camping."

Word network for words searched in combination with “car camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

What's interesting is “light vehicle*” and “mat” that appear in the second tier. These two words seem to appear frequently, and they also appear in the third tier in searches such as “recommended mat for car camping” and “light vehicles for car camping.”

*A “light vehicle” refers to what is called a “kei” car in Japan which is category of the smallest cars in Japan.

“Mat” seems to be a word searched by people who already own a car and want to find a practical way to sleep in their car. If you look at “mat” in the third tier, you will find specific car models such as “N-Box,” "Fit," and “Prado.”

It can be assumed that the main purpose for searching “light vehicles” is to find out which car is best for sleeping overnight in the car. In the third tier in the word network, there are words such as “recommended,” “ranking,” and “used” to research light vehicles that they can sleep in.

It is more spacious and comfortable to go car camping in a large car, but the need for sleeping in a light vehicle seems to be increasing. Honda, in particular, is actively promoting its car models that are suitable for “car camping.”

The official website promotes it as a car that you can sleep in, and

Material from Honda translated by VALUES

dealers are promoting the idea of sleeping in the car on YouTube.

Many people searching for “car camping” were men and middle-aged people, but young influencers and women are used to film the YouTube videos so car camping may become more popular among younger generations and women in the future.

Visits pages with information on “recommended cars,” “goods,” and “roadside stations”

Next, let's take a look at what kind of pages are visited by people who search for “car camping.”

Pages visited by people searching “car camping”
Period: March 2023 - February 2024
Devices: PC, smartphone

Looking at the top 10 pages, it seems that the pages viewed can be roughly divided into the following three trends.

・Recommended cars
・Roadside stations where you can sleep in your car
・Goods necessary for sleeping in the car

Material from Motor-Fan translated by VALUES
A page introducing recommended cars for sleeping in the car

Material from Kae Life translated by VALUES
A page introducing "roadside stations" recommended for overnight stays in the car.

Material from Sotobira translated by VALUES
A page introducing "goods" recommended for car camping

The same can be said for the words of interest mentioned above, but there are multiple search needs for “car camping,” and it seems that people are looking for different answers.

Summary

We investigated changes in demands for “car camping” as well as the user persona and interests among people searching it.

As a result, we found that men, people in their 40s and 50s, and people living in the Chubu region showed a high level of interest, and it was found that there are various intentions and needs when it comes to “car camping.” Additionally, although search demand for car camping has decreased slightly from its peak, we found that manufacturers are trying to attract customers from a different demographic by introducing car camping.

It is said that the outdoor activity trend, including “car camping,” has calmed down, but this may not be the end of its popularity, but rather the market is in the midst of diversifying.

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

「車中泊」ブームは終わった?検索ワードから見る需要の変化や人物像を調査

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/3254

車の中で寝泊まりする車中泊は、キャンプやアウトドアと共に人と接触せずに楽しめる旅の手段として近年需要が高まっていたワードです。コロナ禍が明けて1年ほど経過し、ブームが落ち着いたと言われている中、車中泊の需要はどのように変化しているのでしょうか。 今回は「車中泊」の検索キーワードから需要の変化や、検索する人物像や関心を調査していきます。

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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