Westlake Village, Calif. - Today's consumers are more mobile and expect all Web site content to be available on their mobile devices. Automakers and third-party Web sites are trying to meet that demand by offering rich content on mobile devices similar to that on desktop sites, according to the J.D. Power 2013 Automotive Mobile Site Study.

The study finds that some automakers are adopting responsive design technology that provides the same content across all devices, including desktop, tablet and mobile. Those automotive Web sites that are executing responsive design technology are setting themselves apart as embracing advanced website technology, but they need to ensure all content is displayed appropriately for each specific device.

Key Findings

  • A large majority (89%) of shoppers expect all Web site content to be available on all their devices. Two of the 33 OEMs included in the study have fully implemented responsive design on their Web sites, with several more OEMs experimenting on vehicle model pages.
  • OEM sites that have implemented responsive design have experienced a significant drop in either speed or appearance scores year-over-year.
  • High-performing OEM and third-party automotive mobile sites are effective at providing rich content and offering intuitive navigation, which helps shoppers get to key vehicle information.

"As automotive Web sites adopt responsive design technology, there are some usability drawbacks for shoppers, specifically in how all that rich content is displayed on a mobile device," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "Of the two sites that made the full transition to responsive design, one provided shoppers too much scrolling content and the other's structure and appearance made the site seem light on content. Showcasing the vehicle's key features, while providing consistent navigation into the content, may drastically improve the overall mobile shopping experience."

Among OEM websites, Infiniti ranks highest with a score of 800 (on a 1,000-point scale). Following Infiniti in the rankings are Acura (792), Kia (774) and Porsche (772). Among third-party sites, Cars.com ranks highest (743), followed by Kelley Blue Book (703) and Edmunds.com (698).

"Third-party Web sites have a unique challenge at providing that same rich content regardless of the brand, vehicle segment or cross-shopping needs to really help shoppers get to the key information no matter what they are shopping for," said Walker.

The 2013 Automotive Mobile Site Study examines the features and content of automotive manufacturer and third-party mobile websites and their usefulness in the vehicle-shopping process. The study includes 9,465 evaluations of automotive mobile websites from vehicle shoppers who intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years. The study was fielded in August 2013.