WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 27 July 2015 — Auto manufacturers (OEMs) have moved away from having an abundance of text and static pictures on their websites, and are instead telling an engaging story about their vehicles by using highly impactful visuals with descriptive text and more interactive content, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM—Summer, released today.
The semiannual study, now in its 16th 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, speed and navigation. Satisfaction is measured on a 1,000-point scale. Overall customer satisfaction with auto manufacturer websites is 798.
Rich imagery paired with concise, informative text and interactive content is becoming the new standard for showcasing and illustrating new-vehicle product features and benefits on OEM websites. Information/content and website appearance are the two most important measures contributing to overall customer satisfaction with the sites. When content and appearance are integrated in a complementary manner, they provide a far richer shopping experience, which is key to satisfaction.
“Buying a new vehicle is a big investment and shoppers want to be sure they are making an informed decision in selecting the right vehicle,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power. “Manufacturers can influence shoppers by creating an emotionally connected online shopping experience through compelling, visually appealing storytelling to engage, entice, and reassure shoppers that they are making the right decision.”
Walker noted that two of the most improved brand sites in this study, BMW and Volvo, have recently enhanced the visual imagery of their sites to connect shoppers to their vehicles through storytelling.
- Among new-vehicle shoppers who say they are “delighted” with their experience on a manufacturer brand website (overall satisfaction scores of 901 or higher), 57 percent indicate they are more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting the site, compared with only 13 percent of those who say they are “disappointed” (satisfaction scores of 500 or below).
- The study finds that large proportions of in-market shoppers view both exterior images (82%) and interior images (80%) on the site.
- Satisfaction is higher among the 49 percent of shoppers who watch at least one video on a manufacturer’s site than it is among those who do not watch a video (814 vs. 782, respectively).
- BMW and Porsche rank highest overall in a tie (830 each), followed by Mercedes-Benz (819), Jaguar (816) and Land Rover (813).
The 2015 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study—Summer is based on responses from more than 9,300 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 May 5 through May 21, 2015.
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