How to Give Millennials the Best Dealership Experience

Who Are Millennials?

This generation grew up in a digital world and technology is engrained in their daily lives. Millennials are the most diverse, socially-conscious, and tech-savvy generation. They’re known to snapchat every moment of their lives and, sometimes, text only in emojis.

Surrounded by technology and social media, millennials are less concerned about privacy than other generations. In fact, they’re more than willing to have their personal information collected if it benefits them with personalized offers or services.1 Retailers have gained an enormous amount of information through loyalty cards, which collect buying information while benefiting shoppers with personalized coupons and offers related to past purchases.

Dealerships can also take advantage of this access to information through advanced DMS functionality. Ask your DMS provider if you can pull your customers’ social media contacts directly into your DMS. If so, you can instantly gain many more prospects.

How to Reach Millennials

Millennials have changed the scope of shopping. Many have stopped purchasing from brick-and-mortar stores and prefer online shopping instead. Last year, more than half of total purchases by millennials were made online.2

Dealerships have, so far, been spared from the online shopping trend. However, millennials do typically start shopping for their next vehicle by researching online, and 82% of them will use third-party sites as their top source.3 To stand out, share your customers’ positive experiences by posting photos on social media and asking your satisfied customers to add reviews on third-party sites like Yelp. Also, look for any negative online reviews and, if you find any, contact the customer to see if you can turn their negative review into a positive one.

According to Pew Research, 47% of millennials rely on word-of-mouth marketing when making purchases.4 Therefore, it’s important to make a lasting impression on each customer, so they’ll share their positive experiences with friends, family, and even on social media.

What Millennials Want in a Vehicle

A JD Power study has shown that the real secret to a millennial’s satisfaction is value.1 Technology, such as navigation and satellite radio, are must haves for the millennial generation. They’re also looking for customizable options, good fuel economy, and low monthly payments.

Millennials are not seeking status, image, or brand loyalty—they want value for their money. So, show them how your vehicles provide value, including convenience, safety, comfort, etcetera, in every product feature.

How to Give Millennials the Best Shopping Experience

When selling to millennials, consider using technology whenever possible. Engage them with mobile technology from the minute they step onto the lot. Utilize a tablet to search your DMS for vehicles. If you need to find additional information or work a deal, communicate with your co-workers and managers through mobile collaboration tools right inside your DMS, so you don’t ever have to leave your millennials alone on the lot.

Customer service is critical to millennials. They want their experience to run smoothly and quickly. The more delays and errors while at the dealership, the more likely they’ll leave and never return. However, if you give them quick and memorable experiences, they’re the generation most likely to post about it on social media and share with their friends.


Each generation has different vehicle preferences, shopping habits, and expectations for their experiences. If you’d like to learn more about baby boomers and Generation X, download this free whitepaper, “How to Give Each Generation the Best Dealership Experience.”

3. 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study
4. Source: Pew Research, 2013


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