Millennial Car Buyers Poised to Wield Buying Power in 2020: Part II

In part I of this series, we looked at how millennial car buyers are becoming increasingly important. Here’s what you need to know. 

How millennials shop for a new car  

As one would expect, millennials do much of their car shopping online. Approximately 98% said they use search engines to explore potential vehicles. Younger buyers conduct around 61% of their research online, compared to 12% at the dealership.

It’s also worth noting that, on average, millennials spend a staggering 17.6 hours shopping for cars online. By the time they reach the dealership, nearly 75% know what make and model vehicle they want – and they end up buying it.

But that doesn’t mean millennials avoid dealerships altogether. On the contrary: A pole from MSN, conducted in 2017, found that 62% of American millennials plan to buy their next car in-person at a dealership. They just do most of their homework before they set foot in a showroom.  

Why millennials are buying more cars 

Each year, more and more millennials become car buyers. In 2012, on the heels of the great recession, 16.6% of millennials were unemployed. But the economy has improved and the generation is growing up; they’re no longer living at home with mom and dad. Instead, they’re securing higher-paying jobs that allow them to afford luxuries, such as personal transportation.  

Also, older millennials are raising families. That often takes them to the suburbs where rideshare services, such as Lyft and Uber, aren’t as practical. Plus, vehicle ownership becomes mandatory when you’ve got children to whisk back and forth to soccer practice. 

In essence, millennials have grown up, which is why they’re buying more cars. There’s no need to worry that the generation will forever forgo vehicle ownership.

How to get more millennials into your showroom 

Now that you know many car buyers will be millennials in 2020, you’re probably wondering: How do you get more of this group to visit your dealership? 

Transparency is a big part of the equation. Millennials were 2.5 times more likely than baby boomers to have a negative view of the auto industry, according to CDK Global. Furthermore, 87% said the buying process should be more transparent. 

Millennials also want the car buying experience to be quick and easy. Starting the process online, through efforts such as digital financing, will reduce the amount of time spent at the dealership. No one – including members of generation Y – wants to spend more time in the F&I office than necessary. 

Of course, to reel in more millennials, you’ll also need to up your online marketing game. Because many millennials don’t have cable, television advertisements are of little importance. Shifting your marketing focus to websites, social media, apps and streaming sites, such as Hulu, will net you a greater number of younger buyers. 

But most of all, millennials value integrity. Like everyone else, they’re looking to purchase their next vehicle from an honest dealership with exceptional customer service. If you’ve got these fundamentals in place, you’ll attract more customers from every generation – including generation Y.