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Car-buyers face very fragmented journeys on OEM websites.

The findings from our Online Readiness Scorecard reveal a key trend – consumers face fragmented online shopping journeys on disjointed car manufacturer websites, leading to dead-ends and frustration.

A typical car manufacturer's website usually isn't a single website but a collection of many different platforms, each powering a separate website section. Powered by various technologies and implemented over time, these individual projects do not have enough focus on integrating multiple platforms into the overall customer journey across the entire website. As a result, the customers bounce between several standalone sections that are often developed and managed by different suppliers.

As a result, in one extreme example, nine website sections were powered by seven different platforms, which resulted in 31 individual customer interaction touchpoints. This leads to the customers filling in the exact details again and again, losing cars they painstakingly configured when they popped over to read about finance, losing live chat sessions just because they went to check the offer they've seen on the banner, talking with different agents during the same visit; or just arriving at a dead-end without any apparent means of getting out of.

It's the same story from the sales perspective because such fragmented journeys lead to poor conversion rates and don't allow meaningful shopper support and nurturing.

An obvious solution might be a digital automotive platform that does it all, but as that exists only in Powerpoint presentations, the more realistic and far less expensive answer is consolidation and integration.

Manufacturers should start by designing realistic user journeys that include multiple sections of the website, then support these technically by consolidating the forms, sharing user sessions (and information) across the sections and opening all links in the same window.

It wouldn't take long, and it's not technically difficult, but the outcome will significantly impact customer journeys; reduce the conversion drop-offs; enhance the brand image; and form the foundation for optimising the online to sell.

In summary, the majority of the low-scoring websites can be improved almost overnight by implementing a few simple fixes rather than requiring lengthy and costly projects. An initiative with such high impact and low costs should perfectly match today's economic climate.

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