Industry snapshot: poor technical performance
The automotive industry hit $5.3 trillion in 2017, and it’s projected to grow 38% to $8.9 trillion by 2030; but revenue streams are primed to change in the wake of 2020’s events. With a major consumer shift to online channels, the automotive landscape will need to prioritize a digital-first buying format, focusing on delivering seamless user experiences for easy online car shopping from anywhere.
Automotive’s biggest user frustrations
So just how much does online frustration impact your bottom line? 70% of customers abandon purchases because of bad user experiences, meaning any minor friction in the online car buying experience can derail sales. To maximize positive outcomes in the car-buying journey, you’ll need to combat areas of your site causing frustration-driven bottlenecks and abandonment.
With 6.1% of page views containing instances of user frustration, automotive generally performs well against the 6.5% average of other industries. It has a relatively low occurrence of bird’s nest behavior, which refers to when a user rapidly shakes their mouse in confusion, and repeated device rotation, the result of content not fitting the screen. However, it does have a high incidence of unresponsive multiclicks, which typically occur on broken links or buttons, as well as rapid scrolling, which signals user frustration in certain contexts.
3 ways to reduce frustration in automotive
Streamline online application
While browsing and researching cars online is commonplace, turning those users into customers requires well-made online car applications. Ensure form-filling has step-by-step processes, clear directions, and layouts that don’t overwhelm users.
Simplify site navigation
Keeping users in the online car-buying journey demands navigation that’s short and sweet. It’s best to make menu bars and dropdowns logical while minimizing the steps it takes to browse cars or use buying tools.
Design user-friendly product pages
With so many variables factoring into the car buying decision, car product pages need to be easy to use and functional with clear layouts, quick access to tools, and obvious call-to actions. It should feel like a digital showroom.
Automotive sites and apps are typically image and resource heavy, with experiences that replicate those of a digital showroom. While this can lead to user engagement, it can also lead to poor technical performance which is a big turn off for customers.
Automotive’s biggest user engagements
High quality digital experiences and user engagements go hand-in-hand. Knowing this, it’s no wonder that 38% of users stop engaging with a website solely because of poor design, content, and layout. To keep users moving through the online car-buying journey, it requires web or app experiences that keep them fully engaged.
With sessions having an average Engagement Score of 4.56/10, automotive generally performs in line with the 4.6 average of other industries. It has slightly higher incidences of reading behavior, which refers to users following content with their mouse; but fewer occurrences of both responsive multiclicks, with users clicking through image carousels being a typical use case, and select and copy behavior.
3 ways to drive more engagement in automotive
Create detailed search bars
Users often come to automotive websites with a particular feature list in mind, and your search bars should cater to these needs. Building search bars with a wide variety of options to narrow down car listings will keep users engaged with the right product pages.
Make mobile browsing easy
As digital car shopping continues to expand, more users look to browse and buy via mobile devices. This means you must ensure navigation, page layouts, and dynamic elements all load properly and operate intuitively for all those various mobile devices.
Produce dynamic web content
Since online car-buying removes physical shopping, users will want new ways to ‘interact’ with the various cars they’re considering for purchase. Making interactive car viewing and car building tools with detailed videos can make or break engagements.
Automotive’s user journey trends
While optimizing every user journey across your website matters, the highest traffic journeys require the most attention. Focusing on nailing these journeys is critical to driving customers: in fact, 90% of professionals believe a journey-based approach boosts customer satisfaction, retention, and more.
With an average Navigation Score of 9.78/10, automotive performs well against the 9.3 average of other industries. However, the on-page refresh rate per page view is significantly high at 48%, suggesting performance issues. In terms of the journey, the revisit rate of pages is just 27.8% against the 32.6% average of other industries – suggesting automotive customers are generally finding what they need on each page, without having to look twice or cover old ground.
EXPERIENCE & CONVERSION
Automotive’s correlation between digital experience and conversion
Nailing digital experiences appears to be the best path to driving more conversions. Given that every $1 invested in user experience brings $100 in return, this investment is ever-more worthwhile as the automotive industry shifts more towards digital experiences moving forward.
Generally, the goal conversion rate for automotive is lower than in other industries, but its correlation to DXS® is higher, which could mean tolerance for mediocre experiences is lower in automotive than elsewhere – rendering the quality of the overall experience vitally important.
3 automotive digital experience trends and tips to look out for in 2021
Big opportunity to improve technical performance
With resource-heavy online destinations being an issue across the automotive industry, those that can best reduce the load on user devices will have an advantage in 2021.
Rethinking customer journeys
Both in an offline and online sense, the automotive customer journey may look very different in the year ahead. Digitally, there is opportunity to streamline the navigational experience for customers to provide desired information as efficiently as possible.
Optimization will be crucial
With customer expectations irrevocably shifted, investing in digital experience optimization has never been more crucial for automotive companies looking to stay relevant.