For several years, a popular belief was that millennials were not interested in owning their own vehicles. With the rise of carpooling, carpooling and their growing interest in environmental concerns leading to more public transit solutions, a narrative was forming that the ‘me first’ generation was not interested in buying their own. own vehicle.
Perhaps because of the pandemic, it turns out that millennials are, in fact, interested in buying their own vehicles. Millennials bought more new cars than any other demographic in 2020, according to a recent JD Power study – a 32% share of new car sales. It was the first time they ranked higher than the Baby Boomers.
Plus, recent market research research indicates they want to avoid the long wait times, haggling, paperwork, high-pressure sales pitches, and hour-long processes that have shaped the traditional experience. dealership showroom transactions.
The purchasing power of millennials
The effect of the pandemic on sales of traditional vehicles, combined with the increased purchasing power of millennials, has led franchised and used dealers to recognize the need to change the way they sell cars and trucks to ensure they get their share of the company.
Today’s millennial consumers expect immediacy, transparency, consistency, selection, pricing, and payment accuracy. Likewise, dealers are adopting and implementing tools and solutions to help them deliver such an experience.
General Motors’ Shop.Click.Drive is an example of retail-oriented digital technology designed to attract millennials. It offers an easy way to buy or lease a Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle online.
Shop.Click.Drive allows consumers to model payments, customize their vehicles, request a test drive, apply for credit, get trade-in value, and get other services online. At the end of the simple online process, buyers can have their vehicle prepared and delivered to their homes through participating dealerships, if available.
Technology at the service of experience
It’s the technology behind the screen of modern retail solutions like GM’s Shop.Click.Drive, Dealer Inspire’s Online Shopper, and FRIKINtech’s SALESiQ that ultimately attracts millennials as car buying platforms. The technology that powers these and similar solutions continually tracks and updates every parameter, policy, factor and rule that can influence a car sales or rental transaction. This includes every lender program, every OEM rebate and incentive, all tax rates and methods of application, plus all registration fees and calculations.
The technology is available to give any business involved in the automotive trade access to the most comprehensive database and state of the art compute engine in the industry – within their own infrastructure and brand environment – making their products more powerful and attractive.
This allows them to offer the most competitive, fully compliant and all inclusive payments for every vehicle and every consumer in every market, every time.
It is this type of shopping experience that helps resellers come close to a model developed by Amazon.com, and which millennials have become accustomed to using. This level of convenience is exactly the difference millennials look for when they decide to research, shop and buy a vehicle today.
Traditional resellers are well positioned
Traditional dealers are well positioned to capture a larger segment of the Millennial buying pool, simply because they can get the best of both worlds in the overall experience. Dealers can take advantage of sophisticated data and technology-driven platforms, but they can also provide all the other services drivers need today, such as pickup and drop-off service and repair. , F&I options, road tests (if desired) and home delivery.
But technology is where it is for millennials, especially through mobile devices and apps. Again, dealers are well positioned to take advantage of this need. Advanced mobile technology and app offerings are deployed in dealerships, dramatically improving the seller-to-consumer dynamic.
Putting the power of digital tools in the hands of a dealership’s sales staff that facilitate a dynamic, streamlined and transparent dealership experience is both relevant and timely; it’s an extension of the mobile retail business that the millennial customer has become accustomed to.
The automotive world was already on a crash course with cutting edge technology even before COVID-19, but the pandemic has accelerated its evolution in the world of omnichannel commerce. Driven by today’s purchasing power-rich millennials, dealers would be wise to commit to taking full advantage of the power of complete data and retail solutions powered by cutting-edge technology.
Dealers who oppose it will miss out on this sub-segment of buyers, which will only become more demanding and demanding in the years to come.
Rusty west (photo, top left) is President and CEO of Market Scan Information Systems.