Toyota.com outperforms Chevrolet.com as a Tool for Fuel Efficient Vehicle Comparison

Key Lime Interactive (KLI) conducted a short study that revealed 10+ opportunities for improvement on the websites of the Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt and Others.
We’re witnessing constant media coverage about the rising gas prices as we move into the warmer months.  Therefore, now is an excellent time for automobile retailers to leverage their websites to highlight their fuel economy as they present their products to prospective consumers.
KLI compared and contrasted the websites of two compact vehicles that were reported to be top of mind when considering a fuel efficient choice.  By observing and analyzing user interaction with the Toyota.com (Prius) and Chevrolet.com (Volt), researchers were able to identify ways that these auto retailers, and others, can improve their layout, messaging and calls to action to increase conversion.
Participants were asked: “Do today’s shoppers find it easy to compare a fuel efficient vehicle to the competitors in the same class?”, “Which variables are critical for a quick comparison of various vehicle options? “, “Do we have a list of recommendations from the mouths of our consumers to enhance these websites?”
Eye tracking scan paths were recorded using TechSmith’s Morae with an Eye Tracking Plug-In by Visual Interaction.  Morae’s Observer component allowed these paths to be observed remotely, allowing researchers to evaluate gaze patterns, providing additional insight not otherwise revealed with traditional self-report.
Ultimately, KLI developed and reported a clear understanding of success and pain-points on the given websites and provided a list of elements that retailers should consider when creating or improving their eCommerce properties.
In summary, the Toyota website effectively provides users with quick ways to discover the fuel efficiency and overall advantages for the Prius line, whereas most participants were unsuccessful on the Chevrolet site and experienced a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction.
Users Want access to tools that help move them move closer to making a purchase.
Specifically, researcher found the mega drop down on Toyota.com to be effective in quickly providing MPG information for vehicles while the Chevrolet website lacks clarity around MPG for the Volt. Chevrolet’s website requires too many active steps to find answers to common questions and the reported satisfaction level is low.
Finally, only 20% of the participants discovered and utilized the “compare vehicles” on the Chevy website, others resorted to searching through the text rather than using the side-by-side comparison chart hidden in the website.  This lead to some strong recommendations by the researchers for improvement including the integration of comparison charts/tabular format, etc. as these are proven easy to consume visually and from an information processing perspective.   However, they must be placed in obvious locations with clear messaging to direct attention to their availability.
KLI noted this and 5 other suggestions for optimization in a detailed list of findings that can be found in this case study or by contacting sales@keylimeinteractive.com