The millennials are different. They have proved it once again as a study conducted by Edmunds.com, the well known car information and shopping network reveals that they bust all myths about gender-based shopping when it comes to cars. The study reveals that women no longer consider themselves to be “damsels in distress” when buying cars and men no longer are the confident decision-makers they are believed to be.
The study, which was commissioned by Edmunds and conducted by research firm Hypothesis covered 3,000 U.S. adults aged 18-65 and found that over 70 per cent of the group felt highly confident during the purchase and negotiation process. When analyzed on a generation basis, it found that there was less disparity between men and women when it came to millennials than in the case Gen Xers and the older Baby Boomers. While 64 percent of millennial women and 54 percent of millennial men felt that women are equal or better than men at car shopping, in the case of baby boomers, 67 percent of women agreed while only 48 percent of men did, revealing an opinion gap that was twice as big.
Speaking about the results of the study, Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analytics at Edmunds said that the millennials grew up in a world that was very different when compared to the one in which older generations grew up. In their case, fewer had stay-at-home mums and both parents had an equal role in financial decisions and this reflected in their attitudes about gender roles in car shopping. With millennials poised to become the predominate consumption group in the automotive industry, it is important that automakers, dealers and marketers take their perceptions into consideration when planning their marketing strategies.
Other key differences between millennials and older generations include:
The study also pointed to the need for personalized car shopping experiences. Post purchase, more women feel that they made the right purchase than men (80 percent of women vs. 75 percent of men) while 30 percent of female respondents had no clue how to begin the car shopping process, while this was the case for only 18 percent of men. The survey also showed that within each gender, there were differences based on individual needs. For example, the needs of a millennial female shopping for a luxury car are different from those of a Gen X non-luxury buyer.
According to Michelle Shotts, senior director of customer insights at Edmunds, marketers should use the amount of consumer data that is available to reduce their dependence on over-generalized stereotypes. Automakers, dealers and marketers will need to engage with car shoppers on a highly personalized, individual level.
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