Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has now captured our Website award for three consecutive years, which is testament to the brand’s determination to not rest on its laurels.
Competition was tougher this time around, however, and a series of improvements have left narrower gaps between the best sites.
VW’s enhancements have kept its nose in front though, and it continues to provide the best all-round level of customer service, including the standout, van-specific dealer locator, which is accessible from the top of the homepage.
Functionality has always been a strength of VW’s virtual showroom and the site remains easy to use and more accessible than any other. The comprehensive homepage contains a bar on the left-hand side that can handily take you to where you want to go. You do not have to spend frustrating minutes digging around for key stats, and information about vehicles and services is available in a clear and simple format.
Much like their well-built vans, the VW site is not as flashy as those of some of its rivals but is clean, smart and businesslike with the cosmetics designed to help the user.
Customers’ individual requirements can be specific, and the van configurator tool works well and now includes a trim and spec comparison function, something that is far from a given on most LCV brand pages.
Brochures and price lists for every VW model are a click away from the homepage, but when additional advice is required email queries are answered precisely and a wealth of additional information is supplied. Likewise, follow-up phone help is delivered in an efficient and friendly manner.
Social media is becoming more prevalent on LCV sites, although adoption lags behind car portals, and the Volkswagen site offers useful information across most channels.
VW launched a live chat service in 2017, which got off to a good start, but has now been further improved. We received a near instant response with the operator answering our question comprehensively within four minutes, less than half the time it took a year ago, and also offering to put us in touch with a VW Van Centre.
The laptop website translates seamlessly to mobile and contains a drop-down box in the top right-hand corner that houses all the key functions and links.
Useful extras include a finance calculator, with one for used LCVs in the pipeline.
Overall, the VW site is easy to use, covers a wide range of relevant content for customers and is fully LCV-specific.
Fiat Professional has focused its attention on enhancing its digital presence during the past year by creating a new website and the impressive result sees it grab our Highly Commended prize.
The site is easy to use, from the homepage you’re a click away from the most essential information, and the new design is polished and stylish. A highlight is the van configuration tool that presents all the information in a well considered, digestible format. The website now possesses an excellent dealer finder function that directs you to LCV specialists and allows you to filter by the service you require, such as bodyshop, sales or aftersales.
Other strong features are the mobile version of the site, which is smart, tidy and user-friendly, while extras on the main site include a tax calculator, fleet comparison tool, Fiat Professional World with social media content, and a separate site for accessing conversion specialists. The live chat service provides useful LCV product information, but unfortunately is housed on the car site.