When it comes to automotive Web sites, who’s the fairest of them all? According to J.D. Power’s semiannual study: Honda.

The company’s “Manufacturer Web Site Evaluation Study” measures automakers’ sites to determine how useful they are to people who are either shopping for vehicles or about to begin. Scores are based on appearance, speed, navigation and the information/content of an automaker’s site.

After Honda came Porsche, Mitsubishi, Kia and Acura, which is Honda’s up-market sibling.

While lately we’ve been telling you about how Web business is declining, J.D. Power had a different downer: Consumers say the functionality of car manufacturers Web sites is getting worse. 16 carmaker sites dropped in their J.D. Power scores this year – the largest decrease in 10 years, the company said. The largest declines were in sections for determining monthly payment and comparing vehicle attributes within the information/content measure of the study.

It would seem to us that now would be the time to increase site functionality, but automakers are actually reducing the number of vehicle images and videos on their sites, J.D. Power reports.

“There is no comparison between Hummer’s gallery today versus two years ago, when they were the number one Web site for product images,” said J.P.’s Scott Kane.” But it is across all automakers. Nobody is selling as many vehicles today so everyone is getting squeezed.

Honda won the top spot in part because of its easy to use navigation. Kane pointed out that on the model page, “they show you a quick video and a link to watch more of that video if you want to, and the ability to move on if you don’t.”

Mitsubishi showed the greatest improvement by speeding up the site. The Scion and Jaguar sites had the opposite experience and bogged down users. Too much streaming video on Scion, Kane said.

“Video should help you with the shopping process; branding is important, but don’t let it take over,” Kane added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email