A well-designed manufacturer Web site can play a big role in driving shoppers to dealership showrooms according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.
Forty-two percent of respondents who rate a manufacturer's Web site as “outstanding” say they're more likely to visit a showroom for a test drive.
The study indicates that a good Web site also increases a visitor's likeliness to request an online price quote — an indicator of buyer seriousness.
Nearly 90% of shoppers also feel that manufacturer Web sites — combining sight, sound and motion — are more useful than traditional brochures.
A Web site's usefulness is primarily a function of three factors: navigation, appearance/presentation, and relevance of the information provided.
The Mercedes-Benz Web site, which ranked sixth in 2001, ranks highest in the 2002 study. The site scored particularly well on its home page design, which the study finds critical to the success of any Web site.
“We've all heard the saying, ‘Don't judge a book by its cover,’ but it is clear that many shoppers do just that when visiting Web sites,” says Todd Wilson of J.D. Power.