Auto Shopper Satisfaction with Manufacturer Websites Is Impacted by Perceptions of Speed, J.D. Power Finds

Super Bowl Ads and Other Promotions Increase the Need for Sites to be Ready for Prime Time

Ram Ranks Highest in Satisfaction with Manufacturer Websites

Feb 09, 2016, 11:00 ET from J.D. Power

COSTA MESA, Calif., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Super Bowl may pose the first big test of the year for auto shopper satisfaction. According to the J.D. Power 2016 Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM—Winter, website navigation problems due to rich content, especially on the individual auto model pages, can negatively impact customer satisfaction and perceptions of site speed.

The semiannual study, now in its 17th year, measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content, appearance, navigation and speed. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale. Overall customer satisfaction with auto manufacturer websites is 808.

As the demand for interactive and illustrative information has increased, so has the number of navigation issues on automaker sites—especially on the model pages, where vehicle details, videos and build tools are available. There is a connection between navigation problems and the perception of site speed. The more steps needed to find information, view an image or play a video, the longer the process feels, which leads to a decline in satisfaction. More than four in 10 (42%) shoppers indicate experiencing a problem with speed in at least one area of the website.

Speed satisfaction is higher among shoppers who do not experience a speed issue than among those who do (838 vs. 765, respectively). The combination of navigation and speed issues can be extremely detrimental to the shopping experience. There is 232-point gap in satisfaction between shoppers who experience no speed or navigation issues (845) and those who experience three or more navigation issues and speed issues (613).

"Automakers just spent many millions of dollars on advertising during the Super Bowl to drive a massive amount of traffic to their respective digital showrooms; it's critical that those websites perform at a level consistent with the manufacturer's brand promise," said Arianne Walker, senior director of marketing analytics at J.D. Power. "Auto manufacturers need to find the right balance between offering rich content and a robust Web experience that engages shoppers enough to get them to the dealer to take that next step. If the site has difficult navigation and perceived speed issues, shoppers may opt for another brand of interest."

Following are some of the key findings of the 2016 winter study:

  • Manufacturer Website Becomes Conduit to Test Drive: Among new-vehicle shoppers who say they are "delighted" with their experience on a manufacturer brand website (overall satisfaction scores of 901 or higher), 59% indicate they are more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting the site, compared with only 18% of those who say they are "disappointed" (scores of 500 or below).
  • Build and Price Tools Weigh Down Site Performance: The content with which shoppers most often experience slow speed issues includes the build and price tool, videos and interior/exterior 360° images.  
  • Site Navigation Leaves Room for Improvement: Among the four study measures, navigation and information/content are the least satisfying for shoppers (800 each).

Manufacturer Website Study Rankings
Ram (838) ranks highest in overall manufacturer website satisfaction, followed by Porsche (836) and Mercedes-Benz (828).

The 2016 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study—Winter is based on responses from more than 9,500 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded from November 3 through November 17, 2015.

Media Relations Contacts
John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

For more information about the J.D. Power 2016 Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM—Winter visit:
http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-manufacturer-website-evaluation-study-mwes 

See the online press release at:
http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2016-manufacturer-website-evaluation-study-winter

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info 
About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com 

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SOURCE J.D. Power



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