Contrary to the common misconception, Millennial consumers are very much interested in purchasing vehicles. In fact, they now account for a larger percentage of U.S. new-vehicle retail sales than Gen X (26% vs. 24%). But even though Millennials are a unique and growing audience for automotive marketers, they’re often overlooked and grouped alongside their older counterparts.
The Millennial approach to car shopping is centered on information – most can’t get enough. Because of this, nearly half of all Millennial car shoppers consult an independent research, while only 38 percent visit a dealership website. By having a consistent presence across all digital channels – by sharing a strong brand message and being forthright with information, regardless of device – dealerships can make sure they are always accessible to young shoppers.
In addition to the vehicle-specific content found on independent research sites, Millennial shoppers value the feedback others have shared about their own buying experience. According to a recent study conducted by C+R Research, 79 percent of Millennials view online reviews about dealerships as being “very important or extremely important,” compared to just 62 percent of individuals over the age of 35. Without a strong foundation of online reviews, your dealership may be removing itself from consideration within this age group.
Finally, Millennial shoppers use different methods of communication than older generations. Using only traditional tactics to communicate with the cohort is like putting up a roadblock to your dealership – it doesn’t make sense or help sell cars. Keeping the widespread adoption of mobile in mind, dealerships should put a renewed focus on brief, relevant messages, while also keeping different communication styles in mind. More than half of shoppers don’t contact the dealership before their first visit, and those that do may prefer to chat or email rather than pick up a phone. Don’t be afraid to ask how a potential customer would like to contacted, and stick to it once they’ve voiced their preference.
To learn more about Millennial car shoppers, read our 2015 Millennial Outlook today.