Acura has taken the lead in best mobile Web experience for consumers researching and shopping for a new vehicle, moving up from the runner-up slot in 2013, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study released.
Acura received a score of 811 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 792 a year earlier. Cadillac followed in second place with a ranking of 803, a 45-point increase from 2013. Porsche trailed slightly with a score of 802, up 30 points from a year earlier, while fourth-ranked Chrysler landed a score of 801, 42 points more than 2013.
Infiniti, last year’s top-ranked automaker website for customers, fell to 795 from 800 a year earlier. It still exceeded this year’s average industry score of 779. The average score was 753 in 2013.
Almost one-third of new car shoppers use a smartphone when shopping, J.D. Power says. One-third use a tablet, and the majority, 96 percent of shoppers, use a desktop or laptop for automotive research, J.D. Power says.
The 2014 automotive mobile site study, which is in its third year, analyzes information from websites’ content and tool usage and measures what is most effective on a smartphone during the car shopping process.
It’s based on 11,451evaluations of automotive mobile websites from car shoppers who want to purchase or lease a vehicle in the next two years. The survey was conducted in July and August 2014.
J.D. Power said it studied website efficiency based on content, navigation, appearance and speed. Of shoppers who use an automaker’s or a third-party shopping site, 45 percent said they either “definitely will” or “probably will” share details of the vehicle they researched via social media regardless of satisfaction, the study said.
One-third of customers who used an automaker or third-party site said they “definitely will” publicize vehicle information through a personal social media account if they had a positive experience, while only 3 percent of shoppers who had a negative shopping experience said they would share.
“When vehicle shoppers have a positive experience on an OEM or third-party site, they are more likely to share the content they find useful or interesting with others,” Arianne Walker, senior director of automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “This provides auto brands a great opportunity to get their content out in front of consumers through social media. The challenge is not only having great content to encourage sharing, but also ensuring that consumers have an outstanding experience no matter what site they are accessing on their smartphone.”
Just over 40 percent of shoppers who browsed an automaker’s website on a smartphone utilized a build and price tool, but only 30 percent of shoppers on third party websites used the tool.
36 percent of shoppers viewing a third-party website are more likely to take advantage of the inventory search tool, compared with 32 percent of shoppers on an automaker’s website.
The most significant difference in satisfaction between manufacturer and third-party sites is determined by appearance, the study found. Automaker websites ranked 806, while third-party sites scored 716.