Audi Web Revamp Aims to Drive Sales

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German-owned automaker Audi of America has concluded a major redesign of its sites at and

The new sites aim to convert browsers into buyers, the Auburn Hills, MI, company said. Enlighten, an Ann Arbor, MI, interactive design firm, handled the makeover.

"We've created the latest generation of to act more like an interactive showroom than a simple research library," Enlighten CEO Steve Glauberman said in a statement. "Making the product experience more emotional and immersive was a key strategy to proactively influence purchase intent."

Enlighten also conducts online work for clients like GMAC, Sony, Pulte Homes, Hunter Douglas, Colgate University and Amgen.

A J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper Study in September 2003 found that 83 percent of Audi buyers use the Internet as part of their shopping experience. The study also found 65 percent of those surveyed said the Web site experience had a big effect on their purchase decision.

The new sites incorporate extensive rich media and guided-selling techniques.

The home page has big rich media presentations and an interactive model selector with pricing all on the site's first page. The improved model pages are centered around 60-second overview movies with full-motion video and audio. There are 11 movies, each urging consumers to configure their own car and browse the image gallery.

Users interested in higher resolution images can check the gallery section. The new features and specs section has Flash-based movies and a cleaner design for side-by-side comparisons of car models.

Enlighten structured the site architecture around body style -- Audi A4, A4 Avant, A4 Cabriolet -- rather than model trim level, like A4 1.8T or A4 3.0. This is to help shoppers experience Audi vehicles more intuitively before drilling down to engine or powertrain choices.

New site enhancements are slated for mid-October. More movies will be introduced to highlight Audi's double-clutch system, control terminal, fuel injection and all-wheel-drive technologies.

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