New and Used-Car Shoppers Show 3rd Party Website Loyalty

J.D. Power and Associates - April 29, 2013

The recent J.D. Pow­er and Asso­ciates 2013 Third-Par­ty Auto­mo­tive Web­site Eval­u­a­tion Study.SM indi­cates cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion makes poten­tial buy­ers return.

Find out which 3rd par­ty web­sites fared best in the study.

[J.D. Pow­er] We find a high cor­re­la­tion between over­all sat­is­fac­tion with a third-par­ty site and the like­li­hood of shop­pers rec­om­mend­ing and return­ing to that site in the inau­gur­al year of  mea­sur­ing the use­ful­ness of auto­mo­tive third-par­ty auto­mo­tive web­sites dur­ing the shop­ping process.

Specif­i­cal­ly, a more sat­is­fy­ing expe­ri­ence results in shop­pers who report that they “def­i­nite­ly will” return to the web­site when shop­ping for a vehi­cle and that they “def­i­nite­ly will” rec­om­mend the site to friends and fam­i­ly. These return vis­its and pos­i­tive word of mouth help increase expo­sure to the rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing adver­tis­ing on these sites.

There are a cou­ple of sites that per­form well in the study in pro­vid­ing a seam­less, con­sis­tent expe­ri­ence for both new- and used-vehi­cle shop­pers (and cross-shop­pers). They are:

Cars.com ranks high­est with a score of 782

Kel­ley Blue Book (777) and AOL Autos (753) fol­low Cars.com in the rank­ings

Over­all sat­is­fac­tion with third-par­ty auto­mo­tive web­sites aver­ages 725 points (on a 1,000-point scale). Our study find­ings also show that sat­is­fac­tion is sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er among new-vehi­cle shop­pers than among used-vehi­cle shop­pers (735 points vs. 715 points, respec­tive­ly). One of the fac­tors that results in low­er sat­is­fac­tion scores among used-vehi­cle shop­pers is that many third-par­ty sites are more dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate on the used vehi­cle side.

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