4 Min ReadJuly 7, 2022

Gen Z Shoppers Should Not Be Stereotyped

Gen Z Shoppers Should Not Be Stereotyped

Gen Z Buyers Approach Car Buying Differently Than Expected

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the latest generation of Americans to enter the workforce. And they will need to look to the new and used car market to get to work. Even today, 76% of commuters use their own vehicle to get to work.

Despite the stereotypes of impulsive decision making and constant scrolling, Gen Z refuses to be pigeonholed when it comes to car buying.

In our Friction Point survey, we asked more than 1,100 people of all ages, including Gen Z shoppers, about their car buying experience. While there were many universal truths found, we uncovered some unique traits of the Gen Z shopper and decided to dig deeper into the data with a new report.

Thoughtful and Careful

These new results show that Gen Z adults are more thoughtful and spend more time weighing decisions before diving into a major purchase such as a vehicle compared to previous generations.

Unlike buying a smartphone that has only a few choices for options, a new car purchase consists of multiple decisions. It's not just the make and model either. Everything from the powertrain, trim level and standalone options can send a buyer into mental overload.

Even deciding the right amount for a down payment can be overwhelming. The myriad of choices available to the new buyer points to why 81% of Gen Zers said they wanted to take their time to understand all their options before signing on the dotted line.

81% want to take their time

The relationship between customer and dealer becomes even more important to this group.

 

Dealers who are deeply knowledgeable about the vehicles on their lot will prove to be invaluable to the Gen Z buyer. Dealership websites focusing on consumer education with comparison options and different selections will cultivate younger buyers as part of their customer base.

Gathering Info From Everywhere

More than any other generation, Gen Zers prefer an omnichannel shopping experience.

Unlike their predecessors, Gen Zers explore shopping websites (51%), social media (47%), friends and relatives (45%), and physical stores (44%) when looking for purchasing inspiration, according to a study by Survey Monkey.

To make an impact on Gen Z, dealers and OEMs should provide information through multiple touchpoints – such as social media, website and personal contact — along their journey.

Frustration Mounts

More than any other age group, this generation finds the car-buying process more difficult. Regardless of the channel, online or in-store, Gen Z shoppers are challenged by it all.

While they may be digital natives, they had far more issues buying online than their older connected cohorts: millennials and Gen Xers. 45% of them listed waiting on a salesperson as the most frustrating part of buying a car. Additional fees came in at a close second.

45% said waiting on salesperson most frustrating

For these new shoppers, 56% of whom are buying their very first car, education is key. This is where a trusted and reliable salesperson, ready to educate and inform, becomes vital.

 

While Gen Z will spend time researching early in the buying process to understand all of their options, they’re much more frustrated by being bounced around and having to complete redundant tasks than boomers. Sales process enhancements using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that auto-populate information throughout all departments will ease this sort of unnecessary frustration.

There’s Difficulty in Building Loyalty With Gen Z

Even with all of that hard work in building trust and retention, Gen Zers are least likely to recommend their dealership experience. Dealers will have to up their game if they’re going to earn the word-of-mouth seal of approval from this group.

Gen Z least likely to recommend their experience

Given that Gen Z can be more critical of their on-site experience, representatives must pack their patience and be ready for these shoppers to ask more questions than other customers. Thoroughly explaining the car-buying experience and employing consumer-focused, efficient technology will help strengthen that opportunity to build loyalty.

 

Gen Z tends to be more skeptical of the dealership experience and may need more time to understand their options. By addressing this group’s need for a knowledgeable expert, we can better respond and further reduce friction points such as numerous options and additional fees.

Guiding Towards a Great Experience

As our study shows, Gen Z may be brand-educated, but they’re not car purchasing experts — yet. By connecting them with knowledgeable representatives, providing detailed vehicle information through multichannel marketing, and minimizing inefficiencies, you can turn these young buyers into long-term customers.

Share This

CDK Global
By CDK Global
Staff

Recent Insights

Ease of Purchase Hits New High in February

Ease of Purchase Hits New High in February

Despite hurdles when it comes to affordability, more car buyers said it was easy to complete their purchase in February...
2 Min ReadFeb 27David Thomas
That’s a Wrap. Takeaways From N A D A 2024.

That’s a Wrap: Takeaways From NADA 2024

The camaraderie and partnership that comes with being at NADA were in full effect at this year’s show in Las...
3 Min ReadFeb 19CDK Global
Buyers Take the Wheel for Car Sales in 2024.

Buyers Take the Wheel for Car Sales in 2024

After three years of dramatic post-pandemic market swings, buyers in 2024 are poised to take back the wheel with plenty...
3 Min ReadFeb 13CDK Global
What’s the Key to Win the Automotive Service Wars.

What’s the Key to Win the Automotive Service Wars?

Although 2024 is shaping up to be a buyer’s market, new and used vehicles continue to be painfully expensive for...
3 Min ReadFeb 9David Thomas
Friction Points 2024

CDK Releases the Friction Points 2024 Study

The automotive industry has returned to somewhat of a pre-pandemic state at the end of 2023, but car buyers are...
1 Min ReadFeb 1CDK Global
The Game Changing Value of an Automotive C R M.

The Game-Changing Value of an Automotive CRM

The automotive industry is known for its love of acronyms and buzzwords. Most of the time we see dealers change...
4 Min ReadFeb 1Amber Good
Busting the Top Five Myths About the American Car Dealer.

Busting the Top Five Myths About the American Car Dealer

When you live and breathe the industry you work in, you tend to get a little protective of your colleagues...
5 Min ReadJan 29Barb Edson
Service Shopper 3 point 0 white paper.

What’s Changed in Service Shopper 3.0

Winning over a shopper is difficult for any type of retailer. Securing someone’s business looking to service their car however,...
1 Min ReadJan 12CDK Global
F and I Manager Tips. Hidden Opportunities in the Service Department.

F&I Manager Tips: Hidden Opportunities in the Service Dept

At first glance, the F&I and Service departments may seem worlds apart. Yet, both departments are critical linchpins in connecting...
4 Min ReadJan 12Saundi Crandall
New Cars Easier to Find, Bolstering Buyer Attitudes.

New Cars Easier to Find, Bolstering Buyer Attitudes

Car buyers raced against the clock to secure deals before the end of the year while inventories and incentives were...
2 Min ReadJan 3David Thomas