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AutoTrader turns the last page on print magazine, goes fully digital

2017-04-21 12:17

BYE BYE Print: #HelloDigital. Autotrader has turned the last page on its magazine to go fully digital. Image: AutoTrader.

AutoTrader

Johanneburg - AutoTrader turns the last page on their print magazine, and turns fully digital. 

Check out their LIVE Facebook video below!

Started in 1992, the business enjoyed a printed magazine reach of 840 000 readers per week. The closure of the magazine in April this year marks the move by the now digital heavy weight, to an exclusive online service offering.

AutoTrader today boasts the biggest online automotive classified audience in South Africa and is the 10th most visited site in the country. (source: Effective Measure March 2017). 

Talking numbers

 • 1992 the first magazine hit shelves on April 16, title The Auto Trader.
 • 1998, AutoTrader.co.za launches on October 5, titled AutoTrader.co.za
 • April 2017 AutoTrader turns fully digital and publishes their last magazine.
 • 1,247 editions produced in South Africa over 25 years.
 • 50c was the cost of the first magazine that comprised of 24 pages.
 • R30 is the cost of the last magazine that comprises of 34 pages.
 • Over 840,000 weekly readers per week at its peak via the AutoTrader printed magazine.
 • 5 million visits (2.1m unique users) to AutoTrader.co.za today.

Talking dates

 • 16 April 1992 - AutoTrader circulated first publication
 • 5 October 1998 - AutoTrader.co.za launched
 • 30 March 2017 - the last edition of the AutoTrader printed magazine is on shelf

10 year process it took to change over to digital

George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, said: "We launched our magazine in 1992 and our website in 1998. It was in 2008 that we realised our magazine had a shelf-life. The internet was developing so fast, and the possibilities of what could be done online were so vast." 

"In 2008 it was 95% magazine,” said Mienie. "By 2013 we hit the midway point. At the beginning of 2016 we thought we had another six months. It was only in January 2017 that the magazine finally became cost prohibitive, and we were able to make the call.” 

Comment on ways in which the company tracked consumer behaviour patterns:

“We had to let our customers decide, after all, it’s their platform,” said Mienie. “We created two unique sets of telephone response numbers, one printed in the magazine and the other on our website. We then knew whether our users were responding via the magazine or the website, and through tracking it month-by-month we could see how quickly their preference was changing.”  

On the future for AutoTrader

“We want to offer our users total efficiency, empowering them as much as possible,” said a smiling Mienie. “That has to mean an ultimate goal of being able to conduct an entire sale, online, perfectly. We’re not there yet, but we are a big step closer. For us, it’s just a matter of time.” 

AutoTrader Evolution


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