For the second year in a row, What Van? has declared Citroen’s light commercial vehicle website as the best in the business.
Every year, we assess the websites of the biggest players in the UK market across a broad range of criteria, to see which is best-serving its customers and prospective customers from a digital perspective.
Citroen retained its top spot by a single point from Volkswagen, with Mercedes-Benz another point further back in the tightest of finishes, with Fiat Professional also within four points.
The strongest element of the site is it’s industry-leading configuration tool, which can filter the Citroen’s range of vehicles by a wealth of criteria, including price, model, body style, CO2, fuel type, load length, volume and payload to help users select the right model and bodystyle. Choices can be downloaded as a pdf, printed or saved, and the tool also lets the user know why selected options are incompatible, which is really useful with the range of additions that can be made to light commercials.
Of the 10 categories we use to assess each of the top LCV manufacturer’s websites, this was the only one that Citroen actually topped, though it was ranked second in a further three – brochure download facility, response to email request and the quality of its mobile site – while it made top four in another three categories.
The brochure download facility drew praise for the fact that it takes only three clicks to get a comprehensive document downloaded, and that document is both visually appealing and gives all the necessary information.
Citroen also responded well to our email question, coming back with an answer within 100 minutes, and it’s easy to click through to emailing the customer care department in the first place, with no need for filling in a load of details, as is the case with some rivals. We even had a follow-up email six minutes after the first one, clarifying a detail of the answer to our question about whether air conditioning is fitted to the Berlingo van.
The other area where Citroen’s site scored a nine out of 10 was the quality of it mobile site. Resarch on the go is an increasingly important area of modern life, and a website needs to be optimized for mobile and tablet use as well as the traditional desktop screen. Citroen’s is clean, usable and with plenty of depth to it in terms of vehicle information, as well as offering links to the more in-depth elements, should they be required.
Citroen also scored more than credibly in the areas of ease of use, phone help and the dealer finder tool, ranking third, fourth and fourth respectively of the sites operated by the 10 biggest LCV manufacturers in the UK.
The weakest points of our champion website were the social media channels, which linked to the general car-dominated Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts rather than anything with a van presence, and the fact that the website didn’t have the depth of extra content some rivals do. If those two elements are addressed in the next 12 months, the site’s many existing strengths will make it tough to beat, and a hat-trick of website wins could be on the cards.
Did you know...
Citroen's market leading van configuration toolallows users to filter the range by nine separate parameters to see which models meet users' specific requirements
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Previously a winner of this award, VW recovered from a fifth place last year to grab the runner-up spot in the 2016 What Van? Awards.
Credit in particular goes to the most helpful and efficient customer care phone line of any we assessed, while we also judged the dealer finder tool to be best in the business, and the site design, social media presence, mobile site and site extras scored strongly.
The lack of a van configuration tool – the strongest element of winner Citroen’s site – and the difficulty in finding the brochure download click-through proved costly as VW narrowly missed out on the top spot.