WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 17 September 2014 — Appliance shoppers find retailer websites highly useful, with product reviews—a feature not often included on appliance brand websites—becoming increasingly important, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Appliance Shopper Website Evaluation StudySM released today.
Now in its second year, the study evaluates the usability of appliance brand and retailer websites based on four factors that comprise the overall service experience (in order of importance): information/content; navigation; appearance; speed. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
Retailer websites are highly useful to consumers, especially when they include consumer product reviews, while brand websites are highly influential in the pre-selection of appliance models and features.
“Often, brand websites are considered a trusted place for consumers to begin their research process when shopping for an appliance; however, the sites don’t always emphasize the importance of product reviews,” said Dan Lawlor, director of research operations at J.D. Power. “Retailer websites focus less on features and add-ons but highlight product reviews. Brands are missing a great opportunity to satisfy customers by highlighting the relevant product reviews in addition to product, model and feature information.
Overall satisfaction with appliance brand websites is higher when shoppers access a website using a desktop/laptop (809) vs. a smartphone (796) or tablet (799). In contrast, satisfaction with retailer websites is higher when accessed using a tablet (831), compared with a desktop/laptop (827) or smartphone (810).
- The incidence of using a smartphone or tablet to research information online has increased to 26 percent, up from 20 percent in 2013.
- More than three-fourths (76%) of shoppers indicate retailer websites are highly useful when shopping for appliances.
- Among smartphone/tablet owners, 57 percent access online content while at a physical store location.
- Seven in eight retailer websites employ a dedicated mobile website for smartphone users, while tablet users are directed primarily to the desktop/laptop website. Only one retailer, The Home Depot, directs tablet users to a tablet-specific site.
h.h. gregg ranks highest among appliance retailer websites, with a score of 865, up by a significant 41 points from 2013. h.h. gregg’s improvement is attributed to an increase in the speed of the website, up 63 points to 875 and a redesign of the website review section to include the highest and lowest customer appliance ratings at the top of the site. Following h.h. gregg in the rankings are The Home Depot (842) and Best Buy and Lowe’s in a tie (839).
Among appliance brand websites, GE Appliances ranks highest (835), followed by Frigidaire (824) and Bosch (821). Frigidaire is the only brand to improve significantly year over year (up 24 points from 2013; moving to second place from eighth). Frigidaire’s improvement is attributed to an increase in information/content satisfaction, up by a significant 32 points to 818. The site now includes a tab for special offers and additional product images.
The J.D. Power 2014 Appliance Shopper Website Evaluation Studyis based on responses from more than 3,000 major appliance purchase intenders who evaluated both brand and retailer websites. The study was fielded from June 24, 2014, through July 9, 2014.
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