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A Superior Website Experience Helps Boost Test Drive and Purchase Intention

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FAW Toyota Ranks Highest in Brand Website Satisfaction

SHANGHAI: 17 September 2013 – Intention to take a test drive and to purchase a particular vehicle are higher when vehicle manufacturers provide a satisfying website experience for new-vehicle shoppers in China, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2013 China Brand Website Evaluation StudySM (BWES) released today.

The inaugural study measures the usefulness of automotive manufacturer websites at the brand level during the new-vehicle shopping process by examining four key measures (in order of importance): information and content; appearance; speed; and navigation.

Overall satisfaction with automotive brand websites averages 730 on a 1,000-point scale. Among all four measures examined in the study, speed achieves the highest satisfaction score at 746, while satisfaction is lowest for information and content at 720.

The study finds that providing a highly satisfying website experience for new-vehicle shoppers leads to high rates of intention to test drive and purchase a particular vehicle. Approximately 12 percent of new-vehicle shoppers in the high satisfaction tier indicate their test drive intention become “much higher” and 10 percent indicate their purchase intention become “much higher” after visiting the websites, compared with 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively, among shoppers in the low satisfaction tier.

Automaker websites are used by new-vehicle shoppers as an important information source, with 47 percent of shoppers using them to compare vehicles and 28 percent using them during the purchase decision process. Approximately one-half of new-vehicle shoppers use portal websites as their information source when considering purchasing a vehicle. Car verticals also play an important role during the comparison (61%) and decision-making (34%) stages.

“In a market with proliferating vehicle brands and media choices, effectively engaging shoppers before they actually make a purchase decision is important for both traffic to dealerships and purchase intentions,” said Dr. Mei Songlin, vice president and managing director, J.D. Power China, Shanghai. “The ability of new-vehicle shoppers to find information on a website easily and quickly has a direct impact on their decision to continue to shop that vehicle.”

The study identifies key attributes that impact overall satisfaction with the website experience. Those with the greatest impact are the speed of the page; visual effects; ability to locate a nearby dealer; and the ability to compare vehicles and prices.  Website speed is crucial, as opening a webpage within 5 seconds will significantly drive overall customer satisfaction.

“Focus on these attributes may help automakers deliver a more satisfying website experience,” said Mei.

There is a clear inclination to use online shopping during the purchase process, as 41 percent of new-vehicle shoppers indicate they intend to use the Internet when they make their final vehicle purchase choice, as well as when they select their vehicle pick-up option. Additionally, 37 percent of shoppers intend to use the Internet for price negotiation and 23 percent intend to use it to check auto financing services and to provide a down payment.

In contrast to the positive side of using the Internet to shop for a new vehicle, shoppers indicate having some concerns regarding online shopping, such as inconsistency among the advertisements on websites; a perceived lack of customer rights protection; and the security of making online payments. New-vehicle shoppers also indicate a strong need for sufficient information related to entertainment systems and fuel efficiency.

"Finding the right balance of content, ease of navigation and site speed is what ultimately drives new-vehicle shopper satisfaction with OEM websites," said Tony Zhou, director of automotive research at
J.D. Power China, Shanghai. “Comments from key opinion leaders and specific information related to loan services will likely help boost stickiness to websites.”

FAW Toyota’s website ranks highest in overall satisfaction with a score of 770, performing particularly well in all four measures. BMW ranks second with a score of 761, and Lexus ranks third with 758. 

The 2013 China Brand Website Evaluation Study is conducted via online from 4,564 new-vehicle shoppers who indicate they will be in the market for a new vehicle within the next 12 months and are invited to visit the website of one of the 30 intended brands. The study was fielded in June and July 2013 in 59 major cities in China.

The Brand Website Evaluation Study (BWES) is one of eight consumer-based benchmark studies conducted by J.D. Power Asia Pacific in China. Other 2013 automotive related studies conducted in China include:

  • The China Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which measures satisfaction with the new-vehicle sales process, was released in late June.
  • The China Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Study, which examines satisfaction with the after-sales service experience among vehicle owners between 12 and 24 months of ownership, was released in late July.
  • The China New-Vehicle Intender Study (NVIS), which examines customers’ pre-purchase perceptions and considerations, was released in late August.
  • The China Original Equipment Tire Satisfaction Index (OE-TSI) Study, which measures customer satisfaction with original equipment tires, will be released in late September.
  • The China Initial Quality Study (IQS), which measures problems experienced by new-vehicle owners during the first two to six months of ownership, will be released in October.
  • The China Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which measures what excites and delights owners about their new vehicle’s performance and design during the first two to six months of ownership, will be released in November.

The China Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), which evaluates overall vehicle dependability during the first 25-36 months of ownership, will be released in December.

About J.D. Power Asia Pacific

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at Media e-mail contact: Please follow J.D. Power at

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

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