July 14, 2006

Kia Canada Web site rates highest with new-vehicle shoppers

2006 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study
2006 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study. Click image to enlarge

Toronto, Ontario – Kia Canada’s Web site ranks highest in satisfying Canadian consumers who are shopping for new vehicles, according J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Canadian Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study.

The inaugural study examines Canadian manufacturer Web sites from the viewpoint of new-vehicle shoppers, looking at information and content, ease of navigation, appearance, and speed of pages loading.

Kia received the highest overall rating of 848 points on a 1,000-point scale; it was followed by Hyundai at 845 and Mazda at 840 points. Kia also received the highest ratings in speed and navigation.

“Manufacturer Web sites have become potent tools in directing traffic to dealerships, and the design and overall functionality of sites play a key role in influencing new-vehicle shoppers,” says Rohan Lobo, manager of automotive syndicated research. “The initial showroom experience is evolving from traditional dealerships to computer screens in consumers’ homes, and a good Web site experience helps to close the deal by encouraging shoppers to test-drive a vehicle. We find that there is a clear link between Web site satisfaction and increased intentions to test-drive a vehicle.”

The study found that shoppers looking for luxury vehicles generally display lower levels of satisfaction with the sites they visit, and are least satisfied with the areas of speed and appearance. “Luxury sites tend to be more content-heavy, which can affect the speed aspect of overall satisfaction,” Lobo says. “The implication seems to be that content and functionality somewhat counterbalance each other. There is a fine line between the right amount of information and too much, which then imposes on ease of use, appearance and speed.”

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