WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 7 May 2014 — Overall satisfaction with automotive brand websites in Canada averages 777 on a 1,000-point scale, which is significantly lower than U.S. manufacturer websites (814). Canadian manufacturer websites also perform significantly lower than U.S. OEMs across all study measures, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM (CA MWES) released today.
The study measures the usefulness of automotive websites during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content, appearance, navigation and speed. While the content used by both Canadian and U.S. manufacturer websites tends to be similar, the differences in website execution impact appearance satisfaction by a significant 43 points.
“Compared with U.S. consumers in general, Canadians tend to be more critical and have higher expectations for big-ticket purchases, such as houses and vehicles,” said J.D. Ney, manager, automotive research and consulting at J.D. Power. “As consumers’ expectations of OEM websites continue to grow, automakers must keep pace by constantly improving their websites. With the greatest opportunity for improvement occurring in the appearance measure, Canadian OEMs should look to other automotive and non-automotive websites their shoppers are visiting as a baseline for current expectations and trends in the market. What’s more, since all four measures are so strongly correlated, an improvement in appearance can also lead to improvements in a shopper’s impressions of speed, navigation, and information/content.”
- Among automotive shoppers on desktop computers who are “delighted” with their experience on a manufacturer’s website (overall satisfaction scores of 901 and higher), 72 percent are more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting a manufacturer’s website, compared with only 20 percent of “disappointed” shoppers (scores of 550 and lower).
- Only 25 percent of Canadian automotive shoppers use videos when evaluating websites; however, vehicle images satisfaction is significantly higher among shoppers who view videos along with other website imagery than among those who do not view videos (822 vs. 768, respectively).
- While shoppers use videos less often (25%) than other tools, exterior images (89%), interior images (81%) and 360° vehicle viewer (46%), satisfaction with vehicle images is higher when shoppers use videos than when using any of the other imagery tools.
- While commercials can serve as video content, shoppers who view videos want to see more videos that showcase vehicle features (31%) and videos that demonstrate real-life use (31%).
- Within the information/content measure, the largest areas for improvement, compared with the U.S. market, are locate inventory (51-point gap) and vehicle images (44-point gap).
Toyota ranks highest in the manufacturer rankings (829), followed by Buick (816) and Volvo (801).
The J.D. Power 2014 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM is based on responses from 3,120 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded through February and March 2014.
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