Who Are Millennial Car Buyers
Headlines these days take liberties with the “millennial”’ consumer. If we only listened to the news we would have the impression that Millennials care only about avocado toast and ridesharing programs. Don’t be fooled by the headlines.
Millennials make up a sizeable 27% of the Canadian population. Car ownership amongst the driving-age population has exploded to 87%. In an automotive report, Dennis DesRosiers reveals that new vehicle sales continue to hold steady. He also argues that dealers should increase their focus on used vehicle sales, which is projected to grow faster than any other segment of the automotive market with young millennial families entering the car buying market.  So how do you tap into the millennial market and turn them into lifelong customers?
Millennials spend more time researching their car purchases online than any other generation, so it’s crucial to have a polished digital presence. Your website, social media and YouTube videos need to make a strong first impression. Ensure the mobile experience of your website is the same quality as desktop, because 45% of millennials in the US report using their mobile device to do most of their research. Millennials value rich content—so what does that mean for you? Provide short and clear video content–such as reviews, demonstrations of features and options and vehicle walk-throughs to engage with them as they research their next car. Shorter clips will help draw their attention, while longer, more detailed videos will help satisfy their curiosity and establish your brand as a reliable source of information.
Provide Information Up Front
Millennials turn to marketplaces as the first step for research, followed closely by search engines to browse helpful content and reviews. According to a Google Consumer Report, marketing cars is a bit like playing a quiz show: It’s not just about who has the right answer, it’s also about who answers it the quickest. Make it easy for customers to find a car on your online lot, with transparent pricing and clear directions to your dealership.
An OEM doing a great job at targeting millennials is Subaru with their American MeetAnOwner.com campaign, which features over 100 loyal Subaru owners with a description of how their car fits their lifestyle, and personal walkthrough videos and who will answer a perspective buyer’s questions within a couple of days. .
Now, let’s talk money. Financing must be transparent because millennials respond to quick and efficient services. They don’t want to go through the entire process, only to find out that they can’t obtain favourable financing terms with your dealership. The best way to sell to millennials is to provide as many details upfront as possible, This will greatly increase the likelihood that they will visit the dealership for a test drive. Expect them to be armed with information—when they come into your dealership, don’t apply an pushy sales tactics or draw out the paperwork process.
Take advantage of products like Digital Retailing, which make it easy for dealerships to deliver a great online experience by capturing consumer information, so when they arrive at your dealership they’ll already have booked their test drive online and they’re ready to sign on the dotted line.
 DesRosiers, Dennis. “Millennial Ownership of Vehicles in Canada” Observations 32.5 (2018)