Zoopla, buoyed by its latest financial figures reported to the City yesterday, now claims that OnTheMarket lost 43 per cent of its traffic in November compared to October.
Using data from what it describes as the “independent web-monitoring firm Hitwise” Zoopla claims that OnTheMarket visits in November totalled 2,139,301.
This compares to 3,759,022 visits to OTM in October and 3,633,915 in September.
Zoopla claims traffic to OTM has been averaging about 10 per cent of the levels visiting Zoopla and PrimeLocation over recent months “highlighting the difficulty it is facing in finding a loyal audience” according to a statement from ZPG.
It claims that OTM had just six per cent of ZPG’s visits in November according to Hitwise.
“Our results ... highlight that building a loyal audience of engaged users is about far more than just marketing spend. In a competitive market the quality of the product is what ultimately wins the day with both users and advertisers and that is what we are focused on” says ZPG spokesman Lawrence Hall.
“Having delivered over 25m leads to our members last year, including over 300,000 appraisal leads (up 65 per cent), we remain by far one of the most effective marketing channels for property professionals in the UK and unsurprisingly we continue to see a solid flow of agents returning to us from OTM” says Hall.
Estate Agent Today has asked OnTheMarket for its comments.
Meanwhile City analysts have responded to ZPG’s figures to the City in characteristically varied style.
Jefferies - which advised Zoopla on its flotation - says ZPG “has done more with less and simultaneously stuck to its strategy (cutting marketing costs) and raised its game with more visitors despite fewer listings” and believes that with uSwitch, ZPG aims to be “for the homebuyer, the Amazon of UK residential, with services ranging across property to tradesmen to utilities.”
The firm describes OnTheMarket as being “on the shelf” and warns that “unless estate agents start to fill their Christmas stockings with OTM subscriptions, we doubt it will be the UK's number two property portal by January 2016. If this target is not met, we suspect the rate of customers returning to Zoopla will gain momentum.
Exane BNP Paribas - which until recently has been praising OTM - describes Zoopla’s figures as “a small positive” with an outlook that “as usual is confident.” However, he points to falls in traffic and leads and anticipates “Agents’ Mutual [OTM] to remain a significant drag (traffic, inventory, membership, etc.).”
However, Exane sees Rightmove as being the big winner from the rivalry.