SalesTech Star

Car Shoppers Reviewing More Manufacturer Website Content as Willingness to Purchase Vehicles Online Continues to Climb, J.D. Power Finds

Nearly half (49%) of all vehicle shoppers are willing to purchase a new vehicle online, which is an increase of 11 percentage points from 18 months ago and 4 percentage points from a year ago, according to the redesigned J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study,SM —Summer, released . The study also sees an increase in usage of nearly all manufacturer website content from a year ago, including 360° and static image viewing, consumer reviews and technical specifications.

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“This year’s study puts more emphasis on auto shopping tools that give consumers the information they need to make online purchase decisions, allowing us to stay on top of these emerging trends and communicate them to auto manufacturers.”

“As online vehicle shopping and purchase behaviors continue to shift, this study is adapting to accurately reflect these changes,” said Jon Sundberg, director of digital solutions at J.D. Power. “This year’s study puts more emphasis on auto shopping tools that give consumers the information they need to make online purchase decisions, allowing us to stay on top of these emerging trends and communicate them to auto manufacturers.”

The J.D. Power U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study—Summer is a semiannual study that measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the process of shopping for a new vehicle by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information/content; visual appeal; navigation; and speed.

This wave’s study finds that overall satisfaction averages 714 (on a 1,000-point scale) for the premium segment and 710 for the mass market segment.

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Study Rankings

Acura ranks highest among premium manufacturer websites with a score of 747. BMW (732) ranks second and Mercedes-Benz (730) ranks third.

Buick and Fiat are tied for the highest rank in the mass market manufacturer website segment with a score of 732. Jeep (723) ranks third.

The U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study, initially released in 1999, is based on responses from 11,443 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded in April-May 2021.

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