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Highly Satisfied Auto Website Shoppers 10 Times More Likely to Request Vehicle Info. from a Dealer

Highly Satisfied Auto Website Shoppers 10 Times More Likely to Request Vehicle Info. from a Dealer

By Philly Murtha, March 30, 2015

New- and used-vehicle shoppers who are highly satisfied with their online research experience on a third-party automotive website are 10 times more apt to request information about a vehicle from a dealer than are shoppers who have a poor shopping experience, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study.SM

The study, now in its third year, measures the usefulness of automotive third-party websites during the new- and used-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content; website appearance; navigation; and speed. In 2015, overall satisfaction for third-party automotive websites averages 746 on a 1,000-point scale. The study is based on evaluations by more than 5,000 shoppers who indicate they plan to purchase or lease a vehicle in the next 24 months.

In 2015, 52% of highly satisfied vehicle shoppers (satisfaction scores of 901-1,000) say they "definitely will" request more information from a dealership, compared with just 5% of those shoppers who have a less satisfying experience (scores of 0-500).

In addition, 27% of new-vehicle shoppers say they "definitely will" request more information from a dealer, while only 14% of used-vehicle shoppers say the same.

"When shopping online, a positive automotive third-party website experience can influence shoppers' inclination to reach out directly to a dealer to request information about the vehicle they are researching," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power.

Overall, 79% of vehicle shoppers search for vehicle pricing when looking at inventory. Used-vehicle shoppers are more interested in price than new-vehicle shoppers (84% vs. 75%, respectively). The majority (67%) of shoppers prefer email contact from the dealership, followed by phone contact (18%) and regular mail (5%).

Gen Y shoppers (born 1977-1994) are more willing to share personal information when requesting a quote from a dealership than are Boomers (born 1946-1964). The study also finds that all shoppers are least interested in sharing their credit score, household income, birth date, and cell phone number.

With a score of 768, NADAguides ranks highest in overall satisfaction among the automotive third-party websites evaluated.

Following NADAguides in the third-party auto website rankings are: Cars.com (763) and The Car Connection (760). Other third-party auto websites with satisfaction scores above industry average are (in rank order): CarGurus; AutoTrader.com; Autobytel; U.S. News Best Cars; and Carsdirect.com.

Additional Research:

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