STUDY_AUTO

2013 Automotive Mobile Site Study Results

By: Jeff Youngs, 10/11/2013
Automakers and other automotive-oriented companies are being challenged to provide consumer information for mobile devices that's equivalent to what can be accessed on an ordinary computer. The just-published J.D. Power 2013 Automotive Mobile Site StudySM reports that the vast majority (89%) of consumers have come to expect that all website content provided by an automotive company be available on all their electronic communications devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

Responsive Design, Though Promising, Has its Drawbacks
The study includes 33 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Of these, two have fully implemented responsive design on their websites, and several more are experimenting on vehicle model pages. However, OEM sites that have implemented responsive design have experienced a significant drop in either speed or appearance scores year over year."As automotive websites adopt responsive design technology, there are some usability drawbacks for shoppers, specifically in how all that rich content is displayed on a mobile device," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "Of the two sites that made the full transition to responsive design, one provided shoppers too much scrolling content and the other's structure and appearance made the site seem light on content. Showcasing the vehicle's key features, while providing consistent navigation into the content, may drastically improve the overall mobile shopping experience."

High-performing OEM and third-party automotive mobile sites are effective at providing rich content and offering intuitive navigation, which helps shoppers get to key vehicle information.

"Third-party websites have a unique challenge at providing that same rich content regardless of the brand, vehicle segment or cross-shopping needs to really help shoppers get to the key information no matter what they are shopping for," said Walker.

Auto Mobile Site Rankings
Among OEM websites, Infiniti ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 800 (on a 1,000-point scale). Following Infiniti in the rankings are Acura (792), Kia (774) and Porsche (772). Among third-party sites, cars.com ranks highest (743), followed by Kelley Blue Book (703) and edmunds.com (698).

Consumer Tips
Based on the study, J.D. Power offers the following consumer tips:
  • While you will usually be able to access considerable automotive-related data on a mobile device, many OEMs and third parties are still wrestling with problems in delivering comprehensive data in a timely manner to all devices.
  • Mobile devices have become more information-heavy, making them more useful to consumers who may be visiting several auto dealers on a given day.
  • Old-fashioned pen and paper can work well with any electronic communications device. As you visit different automakers' websites, draw up a comparison chart on paper, including the features and characteristics you consider most important to your new vehicle. This will help you decide which showrooms to visit first.

About the Study
The 2013 Automotive Mobile Site Study examines the features and content of automotive manufacturer and third-party mobile websites and their usefulness in the vehicle-shopping process. The study includes 9,465 evaluations of automotive mobile websites from vehicle shoppers who intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years. The study was fielded in August 2013.

Additional Research:

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