The 2017 Canadian Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study uses overall site function and the importance of various site features to evaluate automaker’s Canadian websites. There are four key features that are ultimately measured while evaluating any given website and they are: information/content (31%); appearance (25%); navigation (23%); and speed (20%).
Throughout February and March 2017 the study was conducted based on 3,320 evaluations of all automotive manufacturer websites. The study examined which current site functions are most effective and more likely to lead potential clients to purchases and booking test drives.
According to J.D. Ney, senior manager, auto practice Canada, “manufacturers’ websites are designed to entice shoppers to learn more about specific vehicles and, hopefully, drive them to visit a showroom. Whereas consumers used to visit several dealerships before making a purchase, they’re now shopping from home and removing brands from their consideration list while sitting in their living room. The better the experience they have visiting a manufacturer website, the more likely they are to have a positive perception of that brand.”
Scoring based on a 1,000 point scale showed that Porsche had the best manufacturer website with a score of 796. In order, Land Rover, Jaguar, Cadillac, Kia, Jeep, Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Ram round out the top 10. In this study the industry standard was a score of 760 with 16 of 30 scoring 761 or higher.
At the same time, the study found that 63% of individuals in the market for cars more often than not refer to online reviews before making their final purchase.
“Deciding to make a large purchase is one that consumers don’t take lightly, so it’s a natural progression that online reviews have become part of that process,” Ney said. “We live much of our lives online, so automakers must recognize this and use it to turn shoppers into buyers.”