Automakers know the car-buying experience starts before consumers come through the dealership doors. Ford Motor is tops in digital strategies, according to L2, a business intelligence service.
Auto brands are ramping up their online vehicle information pages as 95% of brands observed in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto 2018 now offer product videos on their brand sites, 49% provide interior photos and 47% give 360-degree views.
However, the number of brands that offer brand comparison tools dropped 16% between 2017 and 2018, indicating that Index brands may be wary of highlighting vulnerability.
The report benchmarks the digital performance of 43 auto brands operating in the U.S., with a specific focus on key digital strategies and best practices for auto manufacturers to follow consumers into a mobile-first world.
U. S. auto sales are expected to decrease by as much as 5% in the next year, and developments in big tech and international markets make the future uncertain.
Despite logistical barriers to ecommerce and strict market regulations, innovative brands are developing digital strategies that will weatherproof them against the lean times ahead, according to L2.
Leaders in this year's Index focused on improved data collection, mobile optimization, and aggressive SEM strategies.
The top 10 automakers according to L2 are Ford, Toyota, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan, Volvo, Porsche, Kia and Cadillac.
The Digital IQ Index methodology examines a brand’s strengths and weaknesses across the four digital dimensions of site, digital marketing, social and mobile.
In 2017, an average of 61% of traffic to Index brand sites came from mobile devices. The average visit to an Index brand mobile site was two and a half minutes shorter and spanned four fewer pages than visits to desktop sites.
This reinforces the need for brands to streamline and simplify their mobile touchpoints.
Index brands generated 2.33 times as many Instagram interactions in Q4 2017 as in Q1 2016. While auto brand engagement on Instagram is accelerating, interactions on Facebook have stalled.
In 2017, Auto Index brands generated almost four times as many interactions on Instagram as on Facebook.