Manufacturer Mobile Websites Outperform Desktop Websites, on Average, While OEM Performance Varies across Both Platforms

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Cadillac Ranks Highest in Overall Smartphone Website Satisfaction; Land Rover Ranks Highest in Overall Desktop Website Satisfaction

COSTA MESA, Calif.: 30 Jan. 2017 — Manufacturers offer a higher level of usability for researching a new vehicle via smartphone than ever before, according to the newly redesigned J.D. Power 2017 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study Cross DeviceSM—Winter, released today.

Overall satisfaction averages 825 for the smartphone platform, compared with 816 for desktop, based on a 1,000-point scale. Satisfaction is significantly higher among smartphone shoppers than among desktop shoppers, respectively, for appearance (847 vs. 834); navigation (821 vs. 814); and information/content (817 vs. 809).

“Manufacturers have put substantial effort into making the vehicle research experience rewarding on smaller screens and it is paying off,” said Thomas King, vice president of PIN OEM operations, media & marketing at J.D. Power. “With three-fourths of sites now designed to be responsive and/or adaptive, vehicle shoppers have increasing access to robust content that is appropriately tailored for the particular device or devices that they choose to use.”

Responsive site adoption by vehicle manufacturers continues to grow. Since 2014, the share of responsive and/or adaptive OEM sites has nearly tripled, from 27% in 2014 (9 of 33 sites) to 76% this year (25 of 33). Becoming more responsive, though, does not necessarily lead to higher satisfaction.

The study shows that for smartphone, sites designed to be responsive underperform, compared with traditional sites (823 overall satisfaction vs. 831, respectively). Satisfaction with navigation and information/content on responsive sites is significantly lower among smartphone shoppers than among desktop shoppers. However, among desktop shoppers, responsive sites generate higher satisfaction overall, compared with traditional sites (820 vs. 807), as well as higher satisfaction across all measures and factors included in the study.  

The cross device performance of responsive sites varies greatly, with many sites underperforming on one device versus the other. Historical study data has shown that of the sites that have recently been redesigned to be more responsive, speed and/or navigation measures usually experience the biggest drop after initial implementation. The responsive sites that have been live since 2014 are among the highest performers due to their improvements over time, particularly in satisfaction with speed of site. This trend indicates that while there is a learning curve when designing responsive sites, sites can increase shopper satisfaction by continuously improving their designs.

Following are additional key findings of the 2017—Winter study:

  • Among all measures in the study, information/content drives the highest overall satisfaction (32% on desktop, 29% on smartphone).
  • Shopping for price-related information is the least satisfying task among shoppers (784 for desktop, 797 for smartphone).
  • Among shoppers in all generational groups, those in Gen Y[1]  have the highest levels of website satisfaction across all devices (847 for desktop, 845 for smartphone, 858 for tablet).

Study Rankings

Land Rover (855) ranks highest in overall desktop website satisfaction, followed by Infiniti (842) and Porsche (842). Overall satisfaction with automotive desktop websites averages 816.

Cadillac (852) ranks highest in overall smartphone website satisfaction, followed by Hyundai (844) and Jaguar (844). Overall satisfaction with automotive smartphone websites averages 825.

About the Study

The 2017 Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study Cross Device (MWESxD) is a semiannual study. Now in its 18th year, the study measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures: information/content, appearance, navigation and speed. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

The 2017 Winter study is based on responses from more than 12,000 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 24 months. The study was fielded Nov. 1-21, 2016.

Media Relations Contact

Geno Effler; Costa Mesa, Calif.; 714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

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[1] J.D. Power defines Gen Y as those born from 1977-1994.

Media Contacts

Costa Mesa, California
(714) 621-6224

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