June 6, 2002

Positive user experience on auto sites increases likelihood of purchase – study

San Mateo, California — A study of automotive manufacturer’s websites reveals that visitors who have a positive experience are 64% more likely to be converted into stronger sales prospects than visitors who have a poor online experience.

The study was conducted by Vividence, a leading provider of Customer Experience Management products for four of the six largest U.S. automotive manufacturers and major corporations such as CitiBank, Dell, and Microsoft.

The Vividence report reveals that a poor online experience can actually decrease purchase likelihood, with 31% of people becoming less likely to purchase from an auto manufacturer after having a low quality of experience with their website.

Vividence conducted an independent study of five leading automakers U.S. websites by sending 400 online consumers, whom had expressed intent to buy a vehicle, to interact with these sites. Tracking every click and comment, Vividence was able to reveal which features are most likely to improve the customer experience – and in turn make a real impact on automobile sales.

Out of the key tasks that consumers perform on automaker websites, the study reveals that the process of requesting a dealer quote and the capabilities around vehicle customization have the strongest impact on consumers’ likelihood to purchase. Furthermore, despite the fact that requesting a quote from a dealer online is a significant purchase driver, the study reveals that consumers find it very difficult to successfully request online quotes, with nearly 40% of people failing to complete the process and 68% of people expressing frustration with the process.

“Auto manufacturers stand to make a serious impact on vehicle sales if they can effectively capture consumers on the web and offer them a fantastic customer experience,” said Jeff Greenberg, president and CEO of Vividence. “The findings from our study are consistent with what we see as we help our automotive clients make their websites more effective. For one large automotive client, Vividence uncovered a significant opportunity to increase leads generated by their website. Vividence revealed that almost half of consumers were prematurely abandoning the dealer quote process due to poor site design and recommended site improvements that are expected to increase sales leads from the site by up to 40%.”

To obtain a copy of the Vividence Research Report: Driving Quality of Experience on Automotive Websites, visit www.vividence.com.

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