Foot Traffic To Dealers Reveals Trends

Every marketer wishes they had a crystal ball to help them predict the future, or even to make sense of the present. 

Foursquare thinks they might have the answers via foot traffic data. Before your one eyebrow shoots up in skepticism, keep in mind that Foursquare has used proprietary foot traffic data to accurately predict Chipotle's earning's drop in Q1 and detect the decline in visits to Trump-branded properties. 

Foursquare analyzed visit data from Foursquare city guide and Swarm check-in apps to uncover consumer insights around people who visit auto dealerships. The company looked at both active check-ins as well as passive visits (for users who enable background location). Data is always aggregated and anonymous and it is normalized against the U.S. Census to ensure that it is representative.

Foot traffic to luxury dealers makes up 16% of total auto dealership visits, mass market dealers make up 64% and third-party resellers make up 19%, according to the company, which is presenting at the J.D. Power summit next week. 

The data is broken down by automaker. It reads a little like the copy on dating profiles, where users list their likes and preferences and qualities— or at least the ones they pretend to have. Unlike those consumers, Foursquare has no hidden agenda.

Nissan has an even 50/50 male-to-female ratio and ranks the highest market visit share for ages 35-44 (19%) but their biggest market is 55+ (37%). The brand’s customers are more likely than the average Foursquare and Swarm users to visit dry cleaners (40%), smoothie shops (32%) and pet stores (14%). They over-index on tastes like fried seafood (102%) and hibachi (100%)  Shoppers who visit a Nissan dealership also visit Toyota, Ford and Jeep.

Moving on to Toyota, visitors to that dealership love trails (89%), outdoor seating, and Vietnamese food. People who visit Toyota are also more likely to visit soccer fields (14%) & gymnastics gyms (24%), Bank of America (24%) compared to Chase which is only (10%) and USPS (10%). People who go to Toyota also visit Lexus (parent company), Nissan and Mazda. No shocker there. 

As for Subaru, demographic of users tend to skew male (highest out of the 5 mass market dealerships). People who go to Subaru are 60% more likely than the average Foursquare and Swarm user to visit an acupuncturist and also over-index at climbing gyms and ski areas. People who got Subaru also visit Volkswagen, Mazda and Kia.

Hyundai visitors tend to index high for fishing spots (90%), wings joints (12%), recording studios (62%), summer camps (39%), casinos (130%). The brand’s shoppers also visit Mazda, Kia, Cadillac and Nissan.

On to General Motors, a few of its brands reveal the customers’ unique habits which seem like you’d expect from a U.S.-based brand.  Chevrolet, has one of the highest 55+ demographic compared to other mass market companies (similar to Toyota). They over-index in a very big way at Tim Hortons (198%). Compared to other mass market dealership — they don’t really shop at Whole Foods (not even in the top 30 visited chains). They over-index at Meijer (119%) and Home Depot (20%). Chevrolet visitors are more likely to visit forests (93%), hunting supply shops (76%), motorcycle shops (75%) and fishing spots (74%). Consumers who shop at Chevrolet also visit GMC, Cadillac and Ford.

Across the hall at the automaker’s luxury division, Cadillac categories indicate that this group is heavy shoppers in the construction industry with construction and landscaping index high (88%), warehouses (63%) and shipping stores (55%). This group index high for “rustic” (80%) and items like corned beef and beer cheese (the image of a person in a giant Cadillac Escalade eating a corned beef sandwich quickly comes to mind.) People who visit Cadillac also go to Chevrolet, GMC, Lexus, Kia and Jeep — a pretty wide variety of brands. 

Of all the luxury car brands that Foursquare analyzed, Land Rover/Jaguar skews the highest for visitors between the ages of 45-54 with 16% of their total visitors in that age range. People who visit Land Rover or Jaguar index high for tuna tartare (124%), cigars (111%) and strip steak (129%) and Michelin stars (121%). They over-index at Pilates gyms (81%), golf courses (58%), baggage claims and travel lounges (93%). They are more likely than average Foursquare and Swarm users to visit leather good stores (111%) and club houses (147%). People who go to Land Rover/Jaguar also visit Porsche, Mini and Mercedes-Benz Audi.

Mercedes-Benz is similar to Land Rover/Jaguar in that they also have a higher end taste for food such as Michelin stars (138%), spas (21%) and prix fixe menus (87%). They are more likely to visit real estate offices (73%), tailor shops (70%) and nightlife spots 68%.They love tennis (61% more likely to visit a court) and surf spots (20%) and travel often (42% more likely to visit travel lounges). They are over-index at embassies/consulates (46%). People who visit Mercedes-Benz dealership also visit Porsche, Audi, BMW, Lexus and Volkswagen.

Infiniti, on the other hand, is going to get some jealous looks since it skews towards younger visitors. 39% of their total visits are ages 25-34. The brand’s customers prefer thin crust pizza, tea lemonade, pedicures and concerts. They visit Cuban restaurants, daycares, private schools and spiritual centers. People who visit Infiniti also go to Lexus, Acura, BMW, Audi and Nissan.

It’s hard to say how Infiniti knowing that its customers prefer thin-cut pizza with an Arnold Palmer will help it sell more vehicles. But since marketers are unlikely to turn down gift data, I’m sure they’ll come up with some use for it. 

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