Auto Shoppers Prefer Sharing Photos and Video on Social Networks
By Jeff Youngs,
A growing number of car buyers are using mobile devices while researching and shopping for new vehicles, and the results of the J.D. Power 2014 Automotive Mobile Site StudySM demonstrate the importance of providing these vehicle shoppers with a satisfying mobile website experience.
"When vehicle shoppers have a positive experience on an OEM or third-party site, they are more likely to share the content they find useful or interesting with others," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "This provides auto brands a great opportunity to get their content out in front of consumers through social media."
Consumer sharing via social media has taken on greater importance in recent years, with Internet search engines interpreting such behavior as votes of confidence in the content or website, a concept also known as "social proof." The implication is that with social sharing comes greater brand visibility, not just within a person's network but also within search engine results.
The study was redesigned for 2014 to capture greater detail with regard to content effectiveness and tool usage when vehicle shoppers are accessing the information and tools via smartphone. This year, more than 11,450 website evaluations were completed by consumers who intend to buy or lease a new vehicle within the next two years. The study measures website usefulness across four key measures, listed in order of importance: information/content, navigation, appearance, and speed.
According to the study, 33% of shoppers say they "definitely will" share vehicle information via social media following an exceptional experience using a smartphone to access a website, compared with just 3% who have a poor experience. "The challenge is not only having great content to encourage sharing," said Walker, "but also ensuring that consumers have an outstanding experience no matter what site they are accessing on their smartphone."
When shoppers do share vehicle information, 48% share images of the exterior, 42% share images of the interior, and 40% share video. Furthermore, the study finds that video, exterior 360-degree views, and interior 360-degree views have a significant positive impact among shoppers whether they are using an OEM website or a third-party website on their smartphone.
Among vehicle shoppers using a smartphone, satisfaction with OEM websites is significantly higher than with third-party websites, which clearly suggests that third-party websites need to improve in terms of site design and appearance.
Overall, the study finds that among OEM websites, Acura's site is the most satisfying to vehicle shoppers using a smartphone, followed by Cadillac, Porsche, and Chrysler. Among third-party websites, U.S. News Best Cars ranks highest, followed by Cars.com, Kelley Blue Book, and Edmunds.
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