With car shoppers doing an ever-increasing amount of research online before ever stepping foot in a dealer showroom, automaker websites have become more important than ever.
Subaru of America, Inc.’s website, Subaru.com is ranked highest among mass-market automotive manufacturers in the latest J.D. Power U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study.
Kia ranks second and Dodge ranks third.
Porsche ranks highest among premium manufacturer websites followed by Lincoln and Cadillac.
The study measured the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the process of shopping for a new vehicle, and ranked retailers on information/content, visual appeal, navigation and speed.
J.D. Power surveyed 11,150 vehicle shoppers who indicated they will shop for a vehicle within the next 24 months. They scored Subaru.com 733, the highest in its category, and 22 points higher than the average mass-market retailer website.
It is no secret that the U.S. auto industry is struggling with low inventory due to chip shortages and supply chain issues. Low inventory is not only affecting dealerships, but also manufacturer websites, according to the study.
Specifically, 53% of automaker websites saw a satisfaction decline in the feature that helps shoppers find a vehicle.
Despite elements that are out of an automaker’s digital control, like inventory issues, there are some best practices that can help mitigate these challenges, said Jon Sundberg, director of digital solutions at J.D. Power.
Optimizing the website speed and including things such as waitlists, order when available, or even simply stating issues upfront can make a big difference in website satisfaction, Sundberg says.