J.D. Power To Third-Party Automotive Websites: Video Content Is King

Source: This article was written by Jeff Young of J.D. Power. The original article appeared here.

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According to the J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study,SM video content is increasingly king, with more than two-thirds (68%) of vehicle shoppers surveyed by J.D. Power reporting that video viewed on third-party websites is “important” in their online shopping process. The study measures the usefulness of third-party automotive websites during the new- and used-vehicle shopping process.

“As the Web continues to become more visual, in part as a result of increasing bandwidth and easily accessible Wi-Fi, consumers are expecting to access rich content through the use of videos,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “That said, it’s important for third-party websites to maintain the valuable content they provide through still shots and text that allow consumers to access detailed information, and then continue to engage them with video as they get deeper into the shopping process.”

While the majority of vehicle shoppers surveyed say video is “important,” more telling is that nearly half of all survey respondents (48%) indicate that video is “very important” in helping them to make a purchase decision. The study also finds that video is more important to vehicle shoppers the closer they are to making a decision about what to buy and that the most useful videos demonstrate specific features and how the vehicles perform during real-life use.

According to Walker, “It’s still important to provide images and text to help shoppers understand a vehicle; however, some vehicle features are more exciting to consumers and easier to illustrate with video, such as infotainment systems, vehicle handling and emerging technology.”

The 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study surveyed 3,300 new- and used-vehicle shoppers and rated websites based on the following criteria, listed in order of importance: information/content, navigation, appearance, and speed. Websites included in the study also needed to meet third-party criteria, had to provide the ability to shop for new and used vehicles, and had to be among the most frequently visited sites based on behavioral data.

Based on the study results, Edmunds.com ranks highest among the most useful third-party automotive websites, closely followed by Cars.com. U.S. News Best Cars ranked in third-place with a score significantly below the two leading websites, closely followed by Kelley Blue Book and MSN Autos. Rounding out the list of websites that ranked above the study average were Autobytel.com and NADAguides.com.

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