Internet’s role in the search for information about products to be purchased is becoming increasingly important. Studies by specialist research institutes reveal that info-commerce activities have been showing strong growth throughout the world for several years, so much so that in April 2011 comScore Media Metrix recorded more than 13.5 billion single users worldwide. In Europe alone there were 365.3 million with an average browsing time per head of 24.2 hours: Germany is top of the league with just under 49.9 million single users and an average of 21.7 hours spent on-line.

Mobile connections also show growth, thanks to the increasingly widespread success of the tablet. According to the Mobile Internet, Content & Apps Monitoring Centre at the Milan Polytechnic School of Management, in 2010 the Mobile Internet, Content & Apps market recorded growth of 7%.

In the meantime, whilst analysts throughout the world wonder about the most ingenious ways of involving and gaining the loyalty of a consumer who is becoming increasingly multimedia-focused, knowledgeable and demanding, it emerges that the use of search engines to find information about tyres is very much on the up.

An analysis of search activities in Germany over the last year (September 2010 – September 2011), connected with winter tyres (Winterreifen) shows that use of the Net is rising continually. More specifically, thanks to Google, confirmation is available that right at the beginning of autumn Germans are already preparing themselves on-line for the harsh winter temperatures. One figure in particular from all those available on-line regards the month of September 2011: in the first seven days there was an increase of 43% compared to the same period of 2010, this rising to +60% in the second week and dropping back to 37% in the third, thus still recording a healthy two-figure increase. The boom was witnessed in the fourth week with a significant leap of 185 percent over the same period of the previous year. And to paraphrase IAB Italy, the association that represents the digital advertising industry: “Internet seems likely to proceed at a relentless gallop”, in this case it is tyres in particular that are setting the pace.