Tess Karesky
| 09/08/2016

Think Like a Millennial: Apps Aren’t Food

Last week, we covered how prioritizing affordability can help you win over Millennials. (If you missed it, check out “Think Like a Millennial: Dollars & Sense.”) But money isn’t the only thing on their minds.

Millennials are digital natives. They spend significant time in the digital world, whether that’s on a laptop, tablet or mobile device. On average, this tech-savvy group spends more than 17.6 hours researching cars online before buying. It’s incredibly important to have a strong digital presence during every step of the shopping process. Here are some of the ways to use your digital presence to your advantage with Millennials:

Be On Social Media

Millennials’ second most trusted source in the car-buying process is word of mouth from friends and family, and these days that happens online. Encourage your customers to interact with you online. Link to your Facebook page in your post-purchase follow-up email so they can leave a review. Offer to take a picture of your Millennial buyer with their brand new car and remind them to tag your dealership in their Instagram posts. Millennials like interacting with brands and showing off their taste. Make it easy to get that powerful social media endorsement.

Optimize Your Website

More than half of Millennials say they use the dealer site as a source of information. It’s important to keep inventory and promotions up to date. Millennials like to engage visually, so be sure to have plenty of pictures and videos, particularly of the vehicles. Make it easy for them to reach out to you with e-leads and then be sure to follow up in the same channel. Our CDK research shows that dealers who provide thorough information in email responses tend to see greater success.

Manage Your Reputation

Seventy-eight percent of Millennials say that reviews influence their purchase decision — significantly higher than friends and family or ads. If they compare star ratings on Amazon or purchases and restaurants on Yelp, then they’re certainly going to be concerned about reviews surrounding a $20K purchase. Similar to social media, encourage happy customers to leave you a review on third-party sites. Reach out to customers who leave bad reviews to see if you can rectify the situation and bump that rating up. Promote your positive dealership reviews on your website front page and positive vehicle reviews on your inventory pages.

Make It Mobile

Nine out of ten Millennials own a smartphone and it’s a predominant tool for accessing the internet. A majority of Millennials said they wouldn’t wait more than five seconds for a page to load on a mobile device. In addition to slow load times, lack of mobile optimization, interactive features, and quality photos were the top complaints about mobile shopping. Millennials expect a high-quality digital experience no matter the device, so make sure your mobile experience is up to par.

Bringing your digital presence up-to-date will win over the hearts (and screens) of Millennial shoppers, which is one way you can focus on the customer experience. Join us next week as we dig into the customer experience in the last installment of our series, “Think Like a Millennial: Experience the Experience.”

Tess Karesky
Tess Karesky

Tess Karesky is a Marketing Research Specialist at CDK Global providing insights and thought leadership to drive the industry forward. She has researched the behaviors and habits of Millennial, luxury, Hispanic and female shoppers, in addition to other consumer groups. Her findings include insights into optimizing web content, reputation, advertising, sales and service experience, and customer retention. Her research has been presented to automotive executives at Lexus, Audi, Nissan, Infiniti and GM, as well as industry events including the Driving Sales Most Valuable Insight award. She feels strongly in the value of quality, engaging research that provides actionable insights. She can be reached at