Industry Lags In Online Shopping
Michigan-based ForeSee Results has [s]set a new record for weirdest company name[/s] developed the first Automotive Website Satisfaction index, which shows that online car purchasing has plenty of room for improvement. The Detroit Free Press reports that Honda's website logged the best score among the six top brands in the 2,000 respondent survey, scoring an 80 compared to an industry-wide average of 78. The index uses methodology from the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index and measures how effective the sites are in giving consumers the information they want, getting them into dealer showrooms and driving sales. With the the Detroit three, Honda, Toyota and Nissan all rating between 80 and 76, there's not much to differentiate between them, but there's plenty of opportunity for all six to improve to the 88 scored by Amazon.com. "You walk away from these Web sites feeling like they were designed by a committee," says Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. "There's a lot of noise on them."
I helped a friend buy a car last fall, and made the mistake of requesting online quotes through Edmunds. Every single dealer immediately called me -- which earned them an extremely frosty response -- and only one in five were actually willing to provide an online quote. They were trying to maneuver us to come in and deal in person, which was a nightmare. If my friend had had the option to simply order the car she wanted on the internet and have it delivered, she would have taken it. Dealing with actual car salesman is still a nightmare, and the online systems still seem oriented towards steering people into dealerships, rather than doing business.
As a web developer, the marketing department (not the consumer) is my customer. I have no power to influence design. The designs are usually approved by marketing individuals who have no experience with IT. My primary job is to make those folks happy.
Hmmm, it seems as if you are reinforcing the 'design by committee' comment, lewissalem. Too bad, really.
Just imagine if the car companies had online customer feedback like Amazon... I'll stick with the used car market... Chris