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For a little over a year now, according to J.D. Power, Millennials have been an ever-more-important segment of car buyers, overtaking their older Gen X counterparts by 2% in new car sales for the first time in July of 2014—a trend that has only continued.
While Baby Boomers—born between 1946 and 1964—remain responsible for more new vehicle purchases than any other age group, the percentage of sales attributed to this generation has been in a steady decline for several years. Gen X buyers—those born between 1965 and 1976—had been responsible for filling that gap, but it appears that Millennials/Gen Y buyers—whippersnappers born between 1977 and 1994, according to this study—have jumped the line and overtaken their mid-career counterparts.
The data was collected by J.D. Power's Power Information Network (PIN). Here's how PIN's vice president Thomas King summed up the findings:
"As Gen Y consumers enter new life stages, earn higher incomes and grow their families, their ability and desire to acquire new vehicles is increasing. As new-vehicle demand among Gen Y consumers increases, it will be important for automakers to respond to the needs of these consumers, not only in terms of the vehicle design, but also the marketing, sales and service experience."
Note how King makes sure to highlight the need for vehicle marketing to adapt to the younger consumer. We couldn't agree more.
There's a wide age range covered by this study's definition of a Millennial or a member of Gen Y, but the fact is that folks under 40 are the first people in history to have used computers for a substantial part of their education and/or careers. The youngest millennials grew up in a world where Amazon always existed (it was founded in 1994), and where the Internet is the obvious choice for entertainment, communication, and learning.
And yes, this means they do a lot of their car buying there, too. But having an effective web presence for your dealership doesn't just mean being accessible to younger car buyers on the web, and it doesn't mean you should stop at giving them just the information they need. It means providing the information they want over the Internet in a way that's as seamless as everything else they do online.
It means being the Netflix of auto dealerships.
Seriously. If you can offer a better, faster, and more intuitive experience online than your competitors, you'll reap the rewards as younger car buyers—and the majority of today's older car shoppers, who also tend to include online searches in their car shopping practices—flock to your site and your dealership.
Getting set up with great web content and seamless delivery is easier than you might think, too.