💧Data Proves Used Car Shoppers Care More About Mileage Than Price

💧Data Proves Used Car Shoppers Care More About Mileage Than Price

When advertising your automotive inventory using a product catalog on Facebook, which information do you include about each vehicle in your ads?

Should you simply slap on the name of the model? What about the price? The number of days it’s been on the lot? (There are a lot of options with a dynamic inventory feed, after all!)

Time to Test: Mileage or Price on Used Vehicles?

Whenever there’s a good question regarding Facebook ad performance, there’s likely a good A/B test on the horizon.

At 9 Clouds, we regularly test our content to find the best results for our clients. (See more test results in past Data Drop blog posts!)

Our team recently got to work putting vehicle information to the test on Facebook ads for our auto clients with pre-owned inventory.

The Question

Which used vehicle ads would have more vehicle description page (VDP views): those showing the vehicle’s price, or those showing the vehicle’s mileage?

The Hypothesis

The ads with mileage listed will have more VDP views than the ads with price listed.

The Test

Over the course of two months, our team executed 10 A/B tests on five different auto dealerships’ used vehicle Facebook campaigns to find a data-backed answer to our question.

These dealerships — from Montana to Kentucky and in between — all advertise their pre-owned inventory with a product catalog using our Cumulus tool.

In each campaign, we created two ad sets, each targeted to the same audience with the same budget. The only difference was in the custom label used for the ad creative. For example:

Which ad would you click on?

The Results

Of our 10 Facebook A/B tests, all 10 pointed to the same winner with 100% statistical significance.

That’s staggering.

Based on the data, it’s no question that used car shoppers are more interested in a vehicle’s mileage than a vehicle’s price.

As you can see below, looking at the average numbers of all 10 tests, the ads showing the vehicle’s price reached more unique users than the ads showing the vehicle’s mileage.

Reach comparison

Despite reaching an average of more than 1,200 users, the ads featuring mileage resulted in an average of 450 more VDP views.

VDP views comparison

In addition to comparing the unique reach and VDP views — which we used to calculate statistical significance — we also noted the cost per click (CPC) and click-through rate (CTR) between the ad sets.

For all of the tests, the CPC was lower on the “mileage” ads.

CPC comparison

And for all of the tests, the CTR was higher on the “mileage” ads.

CTR comparison

Traffic Quality

While the “mileage” ads brought in more traffic to the dealerships’ websites, was it quality traffic? Or were these Facebook users just lookie-loos who wanted to see the price and then bail?

Fair question! That’s why we also looked at the difference in session duration between the two variables.

In six of the 10 tests, the “price” visitors spent a few more seconds (an average of six) on the site than their “mileage” counterparts.

Overall, one could argue that the “price” audience brought more quality traffic — but barely. The difference is so minimal that we remain confident in the staggering results the above data has shown.

Session duration chart

Let’s Hit the Road with Our Findings

We sure do love a good A/B test — especially when the results don’t leave us scratching our heads!

From this batch of digital marketing split tests, the next steps are obvious: we’ll choose to show a pre-owned vehicle’s mileage in a dynamic Facebook campaign rather than its price.

Because we make decisions with data, we know that this creative decision is likely to result in more VDP views, lower CPC, and higher CTR for our auto clients.

Come Along with Us!

Will you give it a try? What have you learned from testing your automotive ads? We’d love to hear about it!

If you’re not sure where to start with A/B testing for your dealership’s digital marketing, watch our free webinar, “Become a Marketing Scientist with A/B Testing,” or see our past Data Drop blog posts.

Of course, you can always learn more about digital advertising with 9 Clouds. We’re happy to help!