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J.D. Power: Perception of Manufacturer Website Speed Impacts Shopper Satsifaction

February 10, 2016

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Released this week, J.D. Power’s 2016 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study found that navigation problems due to rich content on vehicle OEM website may be impacting whether customers test drive the OEMs vehicle or not.

Based on responses from more than 9,000 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next two years, the study measures usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining the information/content, appearance, navigation and speed of a website. And according to study’s finding, customers were most satisfied with Ram’s website (an 838 score on a 1,000-point scale), closely followed by Porsche (836). The study was fielded from Nov. 3 through Nov. 17, 2015.

“Automakers just spent many millions of dollars on advertising during the Super Bowl to drive a massive amount of traffic to their respective digital showrooms; it’s critical that those websites perform at level consistent with the manufacturer’s brand promise,” said Arianne Walker, senior director of marketing analytics at J.D. Power. “Auto manufacturers need to find the right balance between offering rich content and a robust Web experience that engages shoppers enough to get them to dealers to take that next step. If the site has difficult navigation and perceived speed issues, shoppers may opt for another brand of interest.”

One of the study’s key findings was the connection between a customer’s satisfaction with a manufacturer website and his or her desire to test drive a vehicle. Out of shoppers with a satisfaction score of 901 or higher, 59% said they would be more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting the site. On the other side of the spectrum, out of customers with satisfaction scores of 500 or below, only 18% said they would be more likely to test drive a vehicle after visiting a manufacturer website.

Additionally, the study found that navigation and information content were the least satisfying measures for shoppers. The content most shoppers experienced slow speed issues with was the build and price tool, videos and interior / exterior 360 degree images.

Speed satisfaction was higher among shoppers who did not experience a speed issue and the combination of navigation and speed issues was found to be extremely detrimental to the shopping experience. Shoppers who experienced no navigation issues scored over 200 points higher than those who experienced three or more navigation and speed issues.

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