Visuals are great for a consumer-facing automotive site, and brands like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW already have that going on in spades. But none of that stacks up if you don’t provide a one-click, intuitive, function-driven shopping experience of the kind consumers demand. Their experiences are informed, after all, by the kinds of digital commerce they now are doing every day on channels like Amazon, and a hundred other places where they order products. Jeep understands that what consumers want most from the manufacturer’s website is the ability to price and build a vehicle to the specifications they demand. And they want to do it without having to multi-click down rabbit holes.
Jeep.com has a clear pricing and options journey that is far smoother than its famed off-road test track, the Rubicon Trail. Drop-down menus show base MSRP right up front. No searching around for pricing. Pricing tools are dynamic, with slide-bar type controls that automatically expand or contract the number of choices a shopper has available based on price range and desired towing-capacity. A tracking bar at the top of the page gives you a sense of where you are in the process, and when you click on various options you aren’t clicking away to a new page, forcing you to find your way back to the trunk of the fulfillment tree.
But Jeep doesn’t ignore the passion points, which for obvious reasons are critical, given Jeep enjoys the clearest sense of self in the business. While every single SUV brand gives some degree of lip service to the idea that, yes, you can go off the road, if you must (but watch the ruts), Jeep expects you to go off-road. Jeep owners go to Jeep camp. They go to Jeep gatherings. They go off-roading even if it’s only in their minds.
And the brand adheres to a non-negotiable: every 4x4 Jeep has to be able to navigate the Rubicon Trail in California. Okay, nowadays it’s “Trail Rated” which may or may not get you over that famed wrangle. So, besides a great practical side, the site has a strong emotional vector. The “Capability” page loads with a photo from the Rubicon and features several icons arranged like apps that take you to specifics on traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation and ground clearance. There’s also one that takes you to an exploration of the Rubicon Trail, and one that gets into what Trail Rated actually means. If a great brand site is one that appeals both to people who are shopping for its products and want to do it painlessly, and those who are just browsing and want a taste of the brand experience, Jeep.com delivers power to every wheel.