Millennials (Gen Y), who are ages 34 or younger, are making their way to dealerships, and the question is “How do you build a relationship with Millennial shoppers?”
According to Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence, Millennials are less likely than previous generations to purchase from a dealership. To quantify the previous statement, 31 percent of shoppers ages 35 and older will solely seek a vehicle from a dealership compared to 22 percent of those who are 34 or younger. So if fewer Millennials are not seeking their next car from a dealership, then where are they going? Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence found more Millennials are shopping private party and other sources more than both Gen X and Baby Boomers (people ages 35-65). As a reminder, the Millennial generation grew up with Craigslist and eBay, and is accustomed to the online private seller process.
It is crucial for dealerships to establish a connection with Millennials as more of these generation shoppers enter the market. Your potential customers who are ages 18-34 have verbalized they prefer to communicate online. These shoppers are more decisive on the types of vehicles they want, and are more likely to engage a dealer online than Gen X shoppers.
There are plenty of solutions to attract Millennials to your store, which you can easily apply today. For instance, instant messaging or live chat on a dealership website is becoming more popular. According to Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence research, 23 percent of shoppers 34 years or younger have used instant messaging or live chat with a dealer. Furthermore, 54 percent of Gen Y shoppers surveyed, who haven’t used the service before, said they would be open to using the service if it was offered on a dealership website. These research findings truly convey how important a simple live chat feature is on your site, and how it could be extremely influential in developing a relationship with shoppers 18-34. Gen Y shoppers prefer communicating online before face-to-face interactions, and it is absolutely no surprise this has translated to car buying in today’s market. Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence also found 32 percent of Millennials are open to using Skype to negotiate with a dealership, whereas only 18 percent of Gen X shoppers would consider this option. Gen Y shoppers are much more progressive when it comes to the car-shopping process, and dealers should leverage services like Skype and other online video chat programs to bond with consumers to make them feel more confident you are right dealership to make a purchase.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so start slowly to help you and your Millennial shoppers get excited about this new online relationship. By doing so, you will be well on your way to succeeding with the next level of customer service to keep you in touch and help drive new, repeat and referral business.