Articles and Research|August 17, 2017

Driving UX Analytics in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is continuously pushing the boundaries when it comes to user experience in their vehicles. With cars that literally drive themselves, automatically locking and unlocking doors, along with remote engine start, our motorways could soon start to look like a scene from iRobot.

Yet many automotive brands fall far behind when it comes to the user experience on their online sites. Most digital teams at automotive companies have no clue about how and why their customers are behaving in the way that they do. Yes, they may be able to tell you that on a given day last week there was a drop in visitors. They may even be able to tell you which areas of each landing page drive the most click-throughs. But if you ask them why this happened? More often than not, they’ll have no idea.

ContentSquare data shows that more than half of visitors to automotive sites online leave after viewing the first item of content. Users aren’t sticking around, which is a big issue.

To compound this, the experience their mobile website visitors face should also be a huge focus yet, for many automotive brands, it’s being chronically under explored. Mobile users only spend an average of 39 seconds before exiting so automotive brands have very little time to impress.

The complexity of automotive sites goes deeper in that users in this industry don’t all have the same intentions, some are looking to buy, some just want to browse and others are trying to figure out how to book a test drive.

The new breed of UX analytics

In order for automotive brands to drive an enhanced user experience you need the right tools. It’s not enough to just use traditional analytics such as Google Analytics or session replay tools. It’s not enough anymore to make decisions based on basic data like new vs returning visitors or clickthroughs in the purchase funnel – there needs to be insight on why visitors are behaving the way they do on the page itself.

Newer UX analytics metrics like click repetition (the number of clicks in a row on the same page element), activity rate (the time spent interacting with elements within a page), and time before first click (the time between landing on a page and clicking a page element) seem like obvious things to measure when you describe them to people, but very few automotive businesses actually are keeping track of these metrics. They’re vital indicators of the health of your overall online experience for your customers, and if you’re not tracking them effectively then you run the risk of making optimisation decisions in the dark.

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With forms being one of the trickiest elements of a site to get right, as well as being the primary form of conversion on automotive websites, UX analytics are the key. ContentSquare data shows that only 1% of visitors to car manufacturer websites actually complete contact forms.

One ContentSquare automotive client found that visitors were happy to provide details for certain fields such as ‘name’ and ‘title’ but they skipped those in particular that prompted them to give away personal contact information. This brand employed both click repetition and time before first click to optimise their form which resulted in them employing reassurance messaging to provide a rationale for sharing their contact details. As a result, the amount of ‘conversions’ in this case those booking a test drive, increased by 12%.

Automotive brands clearly have an excellent understanding of user need and expectation, it’s simply a case of channeling this knowledge towards their purchasing channels. To explore more on how to drive an enhanced user experience in the automotive industry, explore our industry-leading report.



Isabelle Lewis

Isabelle works in the UK marketing team at ContentSquare and is a recent graduate of French with Business Management at Queen Mary University of London. In her spare time she enjoys piano, skiiing and persuading her mother to take her out for lucrative shopping trips.

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