By: Scott Way
Canada's leading marine buy & sell platform BoatDealers.ca has released their 2020 annual figures and the data highlights a record year for the digital media company. The website, owned and operated by Digital Era Media out of Kingston, Ontario was launched in February of 2001, and has since become a staple for marine industry personnel and recreationalists alike.
All-told, the already established website experienced a surge in traffic in 2020 that also indicates continued growth into 2021. The company recorded a 57% increase in unique Canadian visitors in 2020, as well as a 51% increase in unique global traffic. Over 4.7 million visitors flocked to the site, of which 2.4 million were unique visitors. The total traffic accounted for over 23 million pageviews in Canada, and over 25 million pageviews total.
The company's 10 year trend also exhibits steady growth and their position as one of the boating industry's leading digital platforms. Between 2010 to 2020, the company underwent a 204% increase in unique Canadian visitors, coupled with a 165% increase in unique global traffic. This equates to a 115% increase in Canadian pageviews compared to 2010 (23.3 million versus 10.8 million), and a 111% increase in global pageviews compared to 2010 (25.2 million compared to 11.9 million).
The totality of the data showcases a significant increase in new boaters looking to purchase, as well as a notable jump in existing boaters looking to upgrade. According to BoatDealers.ca President & CEO Chris Perera, "While we have been experiencing year-over-year growth for sometime I could not have predicted this level of total visitors and engagement. 2020 was a year like no other. In mid-March I would have anticipated a decline in boat buyers with all the uncertainty that Covid-19 brought. I’m happy to report I was very wrong."
The data also serves as a positive long term indicator for the industry. Marine retailers had to act quickly during summer 2020 to satisfy the influx of boaters joining the community and the associated marketplace. According to Perera, "This record level of traffic has generated a record amount of leads for the dealers and brokers using BoatDealers.ca to sell their inventory. Other clients like marinas, manufacturers, insurance, and services all received over delivery on their advertising contracts."
The trend also does not appear to be slowing down. With 2020 seeing spikes across the board, pent up demand is expected to flow into 2021: "We fully anticipate further surge in our traffic for 2021. I know it’s only been less than two weeks into 2021, but we are already tracking 40% year to date over 2020 visitors and unique users. So we do feel 2021 will be a new record once again."
With a positive outlook for the future, boaters getting involved in the community will also find valuable resources at their fingertips. Not only does BoatDealers.ca serve as the central marketplace for buying and selling, it also hosts valuable tools for those researching a purchase. There is a large catalog of boat reviews and 360 virtual tours for new models, as well as a boat selection system to help users find their ideal craft. Combined with the recent launch of this site, BoatBlurb.com, boaters have access to the latest tips, products, news, and cultural content for a fully comprehensive experience.
"An opportunity we are strongly and actively pursuing is instilling confidence through news, information, and education for boaters of all kinds. With the 2020 launch of BoatBlurb.com we are providing resources from new to experienced boaters. Creating a complementary ecosystem for boat ownership and the boating lifestyle with BoatDealers.ca and BoatBlurb.com respectively," added Perera.
You can see the Canadian and global traffic figures for 2010 and 2020 from BoatDealers.ca in the PDFs below: