Caterpillar and Kubota
Both Caterpillar and Kubota feature their lawn and agricultural equipment in interactive ways for the customer on their websites. Caterpillar's website offers 3-D tours, photos, and videos of equipment, in addition to the ability to download brochures, view general videos, a payment calculator, and providing access to online educational courses about equipment maintenance. Active Caterpillar rental customers have access to a mobile portal to manage their rental equipment. Kubota's website has an interactive "Build My Kubota" feature, allowing the customer to select and build equipment to any specification, including warranties, a price calculator, and financing options. Kubota's website homepage utilizes interactive pop ups and photo changes from hovering over images. Kubota also includes product videos and a wide variety of photos and product implementation recommendations on the website. Both Caterpillar and Kubota have interactive dealer searches, however the dealer sites themselves yielded no additional interactive features specific to these two companies. Both companies have an extensive variety of informative and educational product videos on their YouTube channels, and they actively post photos and informational content on a number of other social media channels.
- At first glance the Caterpillar product website appears very basic, with very limited interactive tools, until the customer looks at specific new equipment. Here, the customer can view a 3-D tour of select machinery, with the ability to see all aspects, and turn the equipment 360 degrees, as well as zooming in and out. Other equipment has numerous photos and videos explaining the equipment.
- Customers can request product brochures and information by entering their information, or they can immediately download brochures.
- The website also has a convenient interactive payment calculator, where the customer can enter a number of parameters.
- The webpage regularly gives customers a link to their location finder with a map, in order to find a dealer and obtain more information.
- The website also indicates the availability of Caterpillar University Service Training Courses to learn how to maintain equipment.
- The Cat home page has engaging stories with videos and photos of individuals working for or inspired by Cat, yet they are not specifically related to lawn and garden or agricultural lines.
- A video in the rental equipment section encourages customers to check out their rental store. The rental store promotes their online customer portal, where customers can manage rental equipment remotely with any device. Features include accessing all rental related contracts and information, extending terms on existing contracts, transferring equipment between job sites, and requesting on-site service.
- The website includes links to interact with the company via social media through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. According to the website, these social media connections allow customers to view updates, trends, trade show and new product announcements, as well as free training webinars and videos, and customer testimonials.
- When the customer clicks on the YouTube link, it directs you to the company's YouTube page, and a small embedded video immediately starts playing to engage the customer. Caterpillar has 12 dealer channels specific to different aspects of the company. They also have a wide range of subscriptions, videos, and playlists. The videos range from general company information to specific how-to videos for individual machinery. The playlists appear to be organized by specific brands or equipment available for rent.
- The company's LinkedIn page features customer stories and company or industry updates with photos and videos.
- The company's Facebook page features stories, videos, and photos of individuals and business news and events. Similar photos are reposted on their Twitter and Instagram pages.
- The Kubota website immediately begins interacting with the customer. Hovering over product photos switches the image with a white backdrop to the product in a natural setting. Similarly, hovering over the different company divisions (construction, agriculture, commercial, and residential) causes a pop-up with more text to appear.
- The main page also has a very prominent link to finding a dealer, which links to an interactive search page. The dealer search page includes a map with icons differentiating the availability of various options at the locations.
- The top of the main page has a sideways scrollable large features section, to highlight exciting deals and options with large photos and brief descriptions.
- Another bold feature on the main page is a link to Build Your Kubota. This leads to a page which easily guides the customer through the process of configuring equipment to their own specifications and includes: choosing the model, choosing all available features, choosing warranty type, and then showing the final price breakdown. Throughout the process the customer can easily go back to another model or start over. The final price screen also shows links to have a dealer contact the customer, find a dealer, printing the quote, and a payment estimator. Additionally, a large box provides a link to apply for financing, or gives a link for financing information.
- The link to apply for financing appears to be a simple online process. The payment estimator also is a simple box that pops up to fill in and see different options.
- When the customer clicks on a specific product category, such as tractors, there is an icon to see the machinery in action. When this is clicked, a YouTube video pops up, which also has additional videos listed under the main video.
- When a specific product is clicked, the customer has the ability to download brochures, look at numerous photos of unique features, watch a product video, see product specifications, and look at a number of popular implementations of the equipment.
- Additional resources on the website include a media center with links to company articles, and a company blog covering a range of topics.
- The website also includes links to the company's social media, which include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIN.
- Similarly to Caterpillar, when a customer clicks on Kubota's YouTube link from their website, it goes to the YouTube page, and a small embedded video begins playing immediately. Kubota also has a number of channels, playlists, and videos showcasing product features and events.
- The company's Facebook page has a variety of videos, photos, and events. Similar photos appear on their Instagram and LinkedIn pages.