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NZers search for best petrol prices online

New Zealanders search for best petrol prices online

New Zealand – 18 March 2003 – With petrol at record prices, and the cost of crude oil at it’s highest since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, New Zealand Internet users are using the Internet to find value for money at the pump – with traffic to primary industry/resources jumping sharply in recent weeks, according to Hitwise, New Zealand’s leading Internet competitive intelligence company.

Since the beginning of March, traffic to primary industry/resources category sites has increased by 30% – with visits to the sites of the big petroleum producers capturing significant attention. BP New Zealand is the most popular site with 37% of all visits, followed by Mobil New Zealand with 21.18%.

According to Tessa Court, SVP of Hitwise, “With the cost of crude up 60% on last year, and petrol prices breaking through the one dollar a litre barrier in February, New Zealanders are becoming savvy about how to save when filling up the family car. Visitors to the BP and Mobile sites are clearly searching for value and looking to take advantage of the many competitions and loyalty programs on offer.”

Hitwise statistics show that 16% of visitors to BP New Zealand click through to find out about the latest competition “Kachingo!” while visitors to the Mobil site research the benefits of the Mobile Rewards incentive program. With average session durations of 3 minutes and 20 seconds, most traffic to these sites is received during the week with visitors looking for ways to avoid the dreaded weekend price hike.

“The soaring price of petrol has also seen consumer watch sites such as The New Zealand Automobile Association introduce new fuel focused initiatives including “petrolwatch” – featuring petrol prices across the country, information on average increases each month, and advice on how to keep costs down,” said Ms Court, “Interestingly, bookmarking of the site is above average at 3%, down from a peak of 3.6% in early March, which means that many visitors leave the site intending to return.”

"The increase price of crude is effecting every nation, and the trends we are seeing in New Zealand in terms of consumers using the Internet to make informed decisions about purchasing petrol are being mirrored around the world,” said Ms Court, “Traffic to primary industry/resources sites in both Australia, the United Kingdom and United States is up, with the number one US site attracting more than 20% of category traffic since its launch last month."

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