Good news for Acura and not-so-good news for Scion, Toyota and Lexus in the latest J.D. Power Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study, which looks at consumer ratings for, you guessed it, auto manufacturer websites.
Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power, said this week that getting off on the wrong foot online can take a brand out of consideration.
“If the site does not function well or takes a long time to load the page content, some shoppers may turn to other sources, where they may discover other brands and models, or even lose confidence in the brand itself and cross the vehicle off their shopping list,” she said in a written statement.
Acura was No. 1 in the study for the second time in a row, with a grade of 859 on a 1,000-point scale, according to the research and consulting firm. Scion was in last place out of 33 brands.
That’s probably not a good sign for Scion, considering Scion is aimed at younger buyers and younger buyers are thought to be the most eager online shoppers.
The Toyota brand, with a score of 810, was also below the industry average score of 822. So was Lexus, but not by much, at 816. Scion, Toyota and Lexus all belong to Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Torrance, Calif.
The survey results were announced Jan. 29. The study showed that making a good impression on online shoppers increases the likelihood of a test drive, which in turn greatly increases the chance of a purchase.
According to J.D. Power, Westlake Village, Calif., 73 percent of online shoppers who gave a score above 900 said they were more likely to take a test drive after visiting the manufacturer website, vs. only 16 percent who gave a score of 500 or less.
That was for desktop computer users. The survey breaks out results among different devices. About 20 percent of 33 brands have redesigned their web sites to accommodate mobile devices, J.D. Power said.
The semiannual study was based on responses from 9,469 new-vehicle shoppers who indicated they would be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded for four weeks, starting in November and ending in December 2013.