Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, 01:59 AM UPDATED 2:53 AMBy Auto Remarketing Staff
Women-Drivers.com has released a list that will perhaps give dealers some insight into what the site’s primary audience is looking for in a vehicle, as well as which brands they tend to lean towards.
By releasing its annual report showing the top car brands as rated by women, the site aims to also highlight which dealerships and nameplates are best treating females — illustrated by the report results.
And with women now accounting for over half of all car purchases, the site contends dealers need to hone in on what female buyers are looking for. The site also noted that women even “influence and initiate up to 80 percent” of transactions at dealerships throughout the country.
After tracking thousands of consumer reviews with regards to womens' purchasing and browsing experiences at dealerships, the site found that one luxury nameplate took the highest score in both categories.
Mercedes-Benz scored a 4.89 for purchasing experience and a 4.59 for browsing at a dealership experience on the Women Satisfcation Index (WSI), which runs on a 1.0 to 5.0 scale.
The Purchasing Experience
And though Mercedes topped the list for purchasing experiences among women, they were followed closely behind by Dodge (4.86) and Lexus (4.83).
Interestingly, even those brands who scored the lowest (BMW and Hyundai), which tied for 15th, still received a score of 4.24. And the average WSI score for all brands in this category was 4.36.
“These top brands ranked consistently high with women customers who were very satisfied with the engagement and treatment by the sales person, their overall dealership experience, as well as the financing process,” site officials explained.
Commenting on the results, Women-Drivers.com president Anne Fleming noted, “It is a pretty straightforward equation — car manufacturers and dealerships that highly engage, respect and treat women well during the purchase process are placing themselves in an extraordinary position to get their future business.
“Clearly these dealerships are doing a great job with customer engagement at the point of sale,” she added.
Here are the top 15 brands for purchasing experiences for women at dealerships, according to Women-Drivers.com:
1. Mercedes: 4.89
2. Dodge: 4.86
3. Lexus: 4.83
4. Lincoln: 4.73
5. Chrysler: 4.63
6. Jeep: 4.61
7. Buick: 4.45
8. Chevrolet: 4.42
9. Cadillac: 4.39 and Toyota: 4.39
10. Mazda: 4.36
11. Acura: 4.32
12. Honda: 4.29
13. Nissan: 4.27
14. Ford: 4.26
15. BMW and Hyundai: 4.24
The Browsing Experience
And the score dealerships receive in the browsing category might be even more important than their purchasing score.
Why? The site contends that since the average female car buyer will visit three dealerships when in the market for a new vehicle, a higher browsing score can potentially result in a consumer returning to a dealership for purchase.
If disappointed, a potential buyer is bound to continue the search and discount a dealership if she was not given the proper treatment while walking the lot.
Again, Mercedes dealers scored the highest WSI ranking, pulling in a 4.59 score from browsers — female customers who went to a dealership but did not purchase that day.
Jeep followed behind with a 4.36, and Mazda came in at No. 3 with a 4.34.
The average WSI score for all brands in this category was slight lower, coming in at 3.87.
“These top brands ranked consistently high with women customers who were very satisfied with the engagement and treatment by the sales person and their overall dealership experience,” officials shared.
“The higher a dealership’s browsing score, the higher the probability that women will return there to purchase,” they surmised.
Here are the top 15 brands for browsing experiences for women at dealerships, according to Women-Drivers.com:
1. Mercedes: 4.59
2. Jeep: 4.36
3. Mazda: 4.34
4. Lexus: 4.17
5. Chrysler: 4.02
6. GMC: 3.99
7. Chevrolet: 3.92
8. Acura: 3.90
9. Dodge: 3.87
10. Honda: 3.81
11. Ford and Hyundai: 3.79
12. Volkswagen: 3.53
13. Nissan: 3.46
14. KIA: 3.42
15. Cadillac: 3.30
Some brands are not represented in this report because they were no longer being marketed in 2011, or, due to lack of statistically significant data, officials noted.
The company also noted that dealerships that score between a 3.8 – 5.0 are recognized and marketed as Certified Women‐Drivers Friendly — a reputation tool which the site contends dealers can use to distinguish and leverage their business.
And the site’s reviews are optimized for search engines, officials stressed.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the site, Jeffrey Mountain, Internet manager from Monroeville Chrysler Jeep, in Monroeville, Penn., noted, “Women‐Drivers.com has enabled us to not only build our business through testimonials, but also to educate us and our staff.
“They offer unbiased reviews backed by an accredited site — and, they provide facts that are helpful for everyone including the dealership and most importantly our sales professionals,” he continued.
In fact, just this past fall, the site released new offerings to dealers, as well as expanding on its already existing tools.
Now, participating dealers can view positive reviews which are automatically posted through an application into a dealership’s social channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
As a result, dealers can now more easily engage and interact with reviewers and acknowledge their comments.
Furthermore, all viewers can now not only read the reviews, but also the conversation thread between dealership and consumer.
This can prove helpful for dealers, since many consumers gauge a business on how they treat their customers. If a viewer is impressed by how a dealer interacts with their current customers, it might attract them to the dealer's rooftop in the future.
Another perk now available to dealerships through the site is access to the Womens Satisfaction Index report and analytics. The information in this report is pulled from the reviews written by women about their experience at a particular dealership.
“Our multi-section report allows for a clear understanding into the behaviors and experiences of your customers in three categories: buying, servicing and browsing, including WSI by salesperson,” officials noted.
The monthly report also provides a way for dealers to see who is browsing their inventory, and potentially turn them into buyers.
To read more about Women-Drivers.com’s tools for dealers, see the past Auto Remarketing story here.