GM brands ranked mid-pack in the recent J.D. Power U.S. Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study, a semi-annual review that “measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites during the process of shopping for a new vehicle,” the research company says.
J.D. Power measures the effectiveness of an automaker’s website by evaluating it across four key measures: information/content, navigation, appearance and speed. Experts then give each website a score out of 1,000, with a higher score reflecting a superior user experience.
GMC lead the way in this study among mainstream GM brands, ranking sixth in the industry after achieving a score of 834 out of 1,000. Buick and Chevrolet, meanwhile, tied with a score of 826. This performance placed Buick and Chevy just outside of the industry average score of 827. Volkswagen was last among mainstream brands with a score of 798.
Luxury brand Cadillac was ranked separately from the other GM brands for this study. Cadillac ranked third among luxury brands with a score of 844. This placed it just behind Lexus in the study, which was ranked second with a score of 845. Land Rover led the way with a score of 846, while Volvo was last among luxury brands with a score of 806.
Having an easy-to-navigate website with clearly communicated production information and an attractive layout is more important than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many automotive dealerships have closed their showrooms or limited the capacity, forcing some consumers to turn to the internet to shop for a new vehicle. J.D. Power also found that only 35 percent of car shoppers are delaying a new vehicle purchase due to the pandemic, so there’s still plenty of potential sales for manufacturers to secure at the moment.
Additionally, J.D. Power found that 45 percent of car shoppers are willing to purchase their next vehicle online, a trend that may become even more popular going forward as confidence in online car purchasing increases.
GM has shown a desire to get out in front of this emerging trend by making revisions to its Shop. Click. Drive. program and expanding its Cadillac Live virtual showroom service. The automaker also announced a new service called Chevy MyWay this week, which will operate similar to Cadillac Live and expand on the service with virtual seminars and a virtual auto show feature.
“Websites are moving beyond the traditional research tools such as images and videos into a new world of allowing customers to go through the full purchase process online,” concluded J.D. Power’s senior manager of digital solutions, Jon Sundberg. “Continuous updating beyond the basic research capabilities to accommodating interconnected systems which allow shoppers to purchase vehicles fully online will prove to be beneficial to shoppers and manufacturers alike.”