Facts are flying in about the millennial generation, who make up a large portion of current and future auto buyers…and influence even more. Millennials have serious purchase power: $170 billion/year, says a 2012 comScore report. Still, they aren’t following through on that promise. Yet.
The percentage of new vehicles registered by 18- to 34-year-olds dropped from 24% in 2001 to 13% in 2012 (J.D. Power and AARP study cited by USA Today). But you don’t want to ignore this market’s potential just because baby boomers are buying more now.
What can you do that won’t 1) exclude the boomers, or 2) ignore the millennials? Adapt for the mobile mindset.
Strategies for Appealing to Mobile Shoppers
Mobile is a great way to reach millennials and others who are hooked at the hip to their smartphones. If you really want to appeal to these shoppers though, you have to go beyond the technology and embrace their “right here, right now” mindset:
- They’re always searching for the latest & greatest – Being able to browse at any time makes mobile shoppers ravenous for new, relevant content. So optimize your content for mobile viewing (newsletters, emails, websites, apps, ads). According to a June 2012 Nielsen study, many millennials are avid auto enthusiasts and eat up the digital automotive content they can find. The more they soak in, the greater the purchase desire.
- They want to make the most of every second – Each new device is faster than the last, and mobile shoppers put a premium on speed and convenience. So offer live chat and mobile text calls to action in everything. These options allow shoppers to create an instant, real-time conversation with a dealership. That’s important because Google’s data shows that click-through rates improve 6-8% for mobile ads with click-to-call functionality. Click-to-chat (or text) options offer even more convenience, especially to shoppers who simply can’t call at that moment.
- They expect real-time answers – They may not want face-to-face interactions, but mobile shoppers want instant responses. So be available to talk at any time. Structure your dealership’s Internet sales team or BDC to ensure someone is always ready to answer shoppers via chat or text…even if they are searching at midnight. You have to answer in real time if you want to influence their auto purchase decision (dealership staff is still the most influential)!
You’ve probably already started to embrace this way of thinking. Just look at your phone. It likely has zero unread text messages but a stack of emails waiting. That sense of urgency toward texts is one example of the mobile mindset. And your future buyers are growing up with it.
So appeal to that desire for instant gratification, making it easier for all shoppers to have real-time access to your dealership personnel. Who knows…you might just reach those millennials at the moment of truth.