WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 12 May 2015 — Content is king, especially interactive content, when it comes to driving engagement and satisfaction among shoppers searching for a new vehicle on an auto manufacturer’s (OEM) website, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM (MWES) released today.
The study measures the usefulness of automotive websites and how each OEM compares/performs during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content (34%), appearance (26%), speed (21%) and navigation (20%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000 point scale. Overall satisfaction is 748.
For new-vehicle shoppers, the core of the website experience is centered around the information and content available on the site. OEMs that differentiate themselves with interactive content may have a competitive edge by satisfying new auto shoppers. In particular, such interactive content as 360° views of the interior and exterior, build and price tools, and videos have a significant impact on shopper engagement and satisfaction with an OEM’s website. In the past, OEMs provided a highlight and overview page listing model specifications, but today’s shoppers want to know more, see more and experience more about a vehicle. To fulfill this expectation, OEMs need to tell an in-depth story about their vehicles so that shoppers are completely familiar with the model they are researching.
“When searching for a vehicle on an OEM website, shoppers want to experience the vehicle as if they are walking around the vehicle or sitting in it in a dealer showroom. It’s virtual tire kicking,” said J.D. Ney, manager, automotive research and consulting at J.D. Power. “OEMs have an opportunity to engage shoppers and romance them with interactive content about the vehicle on the website. The more a shopper knows about the vehicle, the greater the likelihood they will want to make the transition between the online showroom to the physical one and show up at a dealership for a test drive. This is a win-win for the shopper and the dealer.”
- More than two-thirds (67%) of vehicle shoppers who are “delighted” with their experience on an OEM’s website (overall satisfaction scores of 901 or higher) indicate they are more likely to test drive a vehicle, compared with only 17 percent of those who are “disappointed” (satisfaction scores of 500 or below).
- The proportion of shoppers who say they are more likely to test drive a vehicle is higher among those who use a build and price tool than among those who do not (41% vs. 36%, respectively).
- Given a choice between interactive content (360° view) and static content (photos), shoppers prefer to have a 360° view available with fewer photos vs. not having a 360° view, but having more photos.
- Videos have a significant impact on overall satisfaction. Satisfaction is higher among shoppers who view a video while researching vehicle information on an OEM website (768) than among those who do not view a video (726).
- Shoppers who share vehicle information on social media are more likely to share imagery, such as videos (45%), exterior images (43%) and interior images (42%) than other less visual content, such as payment/lease calculator information (23%).
Infiniti ranks highest in the manufacturer rankings (779) and performs particularly well with the navigation, appearance, and speed factors. Following Infiniti in the rankings are Jeep (773) and Lincoln (771).
The J.D. Power 2015 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation StudySM (MWES) is based on responses from 3,304 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 February 10, 2015through March 4, 2015.
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