The report is in, and it’s just what anyone with open eyes and a just a few days of dealership experience this past year could have told you: so-called “Millennials” are making up more and more of the car-buying public, and they aren’t kicking tires the way their parents did.
Here’s a bit more info on this generational car buying trend, including a few tips to help your dealership make the most of these developments.
The millennial generation—people born between the early 1980s and the mid 1990s—is now the largest in the nation, slightly outnumbering Baby Boomers and looming ever larger in every consumer and cultural niche there is. This trend will continue as the Baby Boomers age and, well, shuffle off this mortal coil, and right now Millennials are on the cusp over overtaking Baby Boomers in auto sales.
Dealerships should start preparing themselves for younger buyers, and should take proactive steps to woo Millennials while maintaining a strong service presence for older shoppers.
We now know that a substantial majority of car buyers are doing at least some of their pre-purchase car shopping online, from visiting manufacturer sites to looking at professional and consumer reviews to asking friends and relatives for input via social media. Millennials take this to another level, with most doing almost all of their shopping online.
Many might not even set foot in a dealership until they’ve already negotiated a deal, so make sure your dealership has a good way to capture online searchers and keep them engaged with your page.
It isn’t enough to simply be online—you need a mobile-responsive, mobile-media-friendly website so people can navigate your site and fall in love with your cars anywhere, any time. This isn’t just about Millennial buyers, either, though you might have noticed they’re more than usually attached to their phones when they’re on the showroom floor. Across all generations, more web traffic now comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets than it does from desktop and laptop computers.
Being mobile-ready will give you a leg up on the competition and help you capture more of today’s consumers, so get your site in line pronto.
Finally, the old sales pitch isn’t going to cut it with the new kings of car buying. Millennials have grown up with all the information they could ever want right at their fingertips, and that’s what they’re looking for from car dealerships, too—and dealership websites.
In person, on the phone, and online, gives Millennials easily digestible (and easily navigable) information, and they’ll all but talk themselves into the sale. There’s always room for some sales savvy, of course, but don’t come on too hard or lay it on too thick—not with the self-directed shopping experience Millennials are used to.