WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 29 January 2014 — Automotive manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly deploying websites with responsive design technology—more than 20 percent of auto manufacturer websites have implemented this technology—enabling new-vehicle shoppers to view the same website content across a variety of devices and screen sizes, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM (MWES)—Winter (formerly MWES-Wave 1) released today.
Shoppers viewing websites with responsive design using a desktop computer are similarly satisfied compared with those viewing traditional automotive OEM websites. The challenge remains, however, for auto manufacturers to provide a comparably satisfying experience among shoppers using mobile devices. OEMs who transition to responsive design must consider how their navigational framework and website content will affect mobile users as well.
The semiannual study, now in its 15th 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, navigation, appearance and speed.
"Developing robust and easy-to-use navigation and offering the right amount of content is critical for websites that are transitioning to a single responsive design site," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "Considering that the majority of new-vehicle shoppers gather digital information about a vehicle prior to visiting a dealer showroom, the manufacturer website is critical to helping them decide to head to the dealership. If the site does not function well or takes a long time to load the page content, some shoppers may turn to other sources, where they may discover other brands and models, or even lose confidence in the brand itself and cross the vehicle off their shopping list."
- Seven of the 33 automotive brands (21%) have implemented responsive design technology in their websites. Those manufacturers who transitioned to responsive design all completely redesigned their websites in the process.
- Those OEM sites in the 2014 MWES--Winter that have implemented responsive design since the last reporting period in July 2013 have maintained website satisfaction among new-vehicle shoppers viewing their website using desktop computers (821 vs. 827 on a 1000-point scale, respectively). Additionally, there is only a 3-point gap in satisfaction scores between new-vehicle shoppers viewing responsive design websites (820) and those using a traditional website (823) on desktop computers.
- Among automotive shoppers on desktop computers who are "delighted" with their experience on a manufacturer's website (satisfaction index score 901 and greater), 73 percent are more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting the manufacturer website, compared with only 16 percent of "disappointed" shoppers (satisfaction index score of 500 or less).
- When using a traditional website, satisfaction is 35 points higher among shoppers who maximize their browser, compared with shoppers who viewed the website in a windowed mode. When using a responsive design website, satisfaction is only 10 points higher among shoppers who maximize their browser, compared with shoppers who viewed in windowed mode, indicating a more consistent experience.
Acura ranks highest (859), for a second consecutive time, followed by Jeep (851) and Infiniti (850). Overall satisfaction with automotive brand websites averages 822.
The J.D. Power 2014 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study—Winter is based on responses from 9,469 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded November 7, 2013, through December 4, 2013.
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