Hitwise: Car Finance, Insurance Sites Draw Women
Auction sites that attract high numbers of males include Manheim Online (76 percent male visitors), Insurance Auto Auctions (74 percent), and Copart Salvage Auto Auctions (70 percent). eBay's auto-auction site drew a somewhat smaller majority--63 percent--of male visitors.
Women, on the other hand, went to the service-oriented sites, such as AmeriCredit (61 percent female visitors) and AAA (57 percent women).
Men also seem to be using the Internet to visit their idealized cars--with Ferrariworld.com drawing a 73 percent male audience, Us.porsche.com drawing a 67 percent male audience, and Jaguarusa.com drawing a 61 percent male audience.
But women also flock to sites of manufacturers of more down-to-earth brands, such as Hyundai-Motor.com (53 percent women) and Saturn.com (53 percent female)--long marketed for its no-hassle negotiation policies, which are supposed to appeal to women. One notable exception appeared to be the site for the BMW Mini (mini.com), which drew an audience of 57 percent women.
"Men are using the Internet in terms of the auto category primarily to fantasize about their dream car," said Bill Tancer, Hitwise's vice president-research. "Women are much more practical--they are using the Internet to find out information on financing and registration and insurance."
The research suggests that it's a mistake for marketers to "get rid of that preconceived notion that if it's auto-related, it applies to men," Tancer said. Instead, he said, car manufacturers should investigate new ways of getting women visitors, such as by exploring partnerships with sites that cater more to females.