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New Study Ranks Consumer Satisfaction with Third-Party Automotive Websites

New Study Ranks Consumer Satisfaction with Third-Party Automotive Websites

By Jeff Youngs, March 28, 2013
J.D. Power and Associates has announced key findings of its inaugural Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study, which measures the usefulness of third-party automotive websites during the new- and used-vehicle shopping process by examining the following four key measures (in order of importance): information/content, navigation, appearance, and speed. According to the study, satisfaction with third-party automotive websites averages 725 (on a 1,000-point scale), and there is a high correlation between overall satisfaction with a third-party automotive website and a likelihood to recommend and return to the site.

"The websites with the highest overall satisfaction also have the highest advocacy and loyalty rates in the study. A more satisfying experience will keep shoppers coming back, positively impacting site analytics," said Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates.

The study also shows that both new- and used-vehicle shoppers expect third-party websites to have information and images for all makes and models, and that new-vehicle shoppers are more satisfied with third-party automotive websites than are used-vehicle shoppers. Shoppers looking for used vehicles are typically required to make very specific decisions before viewing content, which J.D. Power cites as a key reason that satisfaction among used-vehicle shoppers is not as high as among new-vehicle shoppers.

"Websites that perform particularly well in the study provide a consistent shopping experience, including much of the same content, for both groups of shoppers," Walker said. ranks highest in the 2013 Third-Party Automotive Website Study with a score of 782. Following in the rankings is Kelley Blue Book (777) and AOL Autos (753). The study did not include J.D. Power and Associates websites.

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