For those of you that follow us closely, you probably know Cars.com invests heavily in optimizing the consumer experience on our site. Our mission is to make car shopping and selling a great experience, and we take that pretty seriously around here. One of the ways we do that is through the experience on our site, ensuring shoppers can easily find all of the information they need to support every stage of the shopping process. From our traditional site to our mobile platform and apps, we are constantly looking for new and better ways to deliver information that helps shoppers decide what to buy, and that connects them with you to make the sale.
We strive to be the very best destination for car shoppers, so when we heard from the team at Keynote that we were selected as the number one site for overall customer experience, we were naturally very excited.
The Keynote rankings of third party websites are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. Keynote observed and conducted online interviews with 2,000 prospective auto buyers (a mix of those considering purchasing a new vehicle, purchasing a used vehicle, or purchasing a new and/or used vehicle) as they interacted with the websites of a total of 10 leading Third-Party Auto sites (200 people per site): AOL Autos, Automotive.com, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, eBay Motors, Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, MSN Autos, Vehix.com and Yahoo! Autos.
Online panelists evaluated each website’s home page and then researched and compared different makes and models. Panelists then searched for and priced a specific new vehicle and a specific used vehicle of interest, selecting for features, options, and any other criteria important to them. Finally, they were asked to assume they wanted to sell their current vehicle online and start the process of creating a listing for their vehicle on each site, going as far as possible with the process without entering in a credit card number.
For the second year in a row, the study revealed that when tested by actual users Cars.com offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience, placing first in all three indices from which Keynote derives its Overall Customer Experience rankings — Brand Impact, Conversion Impact and Customer Satisfaction.
Other key findings include:
- Cars.com ranks 1st for Brand;
- Cars.com is perceived as “friendly”, “fun”, and “helpful” more than any other site
- Cars.com is also a top site for Conversion
- Two aspects of the online experience, Design and Organization and Find Used Vehicle Satisfaction, were the biggest drivers of business outcomes.
“Based on our analysts’ observations and interviews with our panel of real online users, our 2011 study of US Third-Party Auto websites revealed that a well-designed, well-organized site can have a major impact on potential car buyers and sellers overall customer experience, driving both brand perception and overall conversion outcomes,” said Christopher Musto, general manager of the Keynote Competitive Research group at Keynote. “With this knowledge in mind, it is clear that customers appreciate the clean design and functionality of the Cars.com website.”