Generation Z : Digital Natives
Understanding Why the Youngest Car-Buying Generation is so Important
You’ve heard quite a bit about millennials, Gen Xers, and earlier generations. Now it’s time for Generation Z to get some time in the spotlight. Gen Z is generally made up of individuals born between the years of 1995-2012, and for automotive dealerships, that means this generation is just barely starting to scrape the surface of buying. However, they are a group to watch for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they’re known as “true digital natives” and adept researchers.
Although they’re the youngest to join the car-buying population, Generation Z is important for many of the emerging issues they bring to light in the marketplace. Topping out at approximately age 22, these consumers are the up-and-coming buyers, and they already have some serious economic say-so:
- Generation Z is the fastest growing consumer group in the world.
- They already have $44 billion in spending power, and this amount continues to grow and Gen Z grows up. From babysitting jobs to big-kid jobs, what they earn continues to increase.
- By 2020, Generation Z will make up 40% of the population in the world’s largest markets, including the U.S., Europe, and China.
- Gen Z car-buyers are more frugal than previous generations, paying close attention to things like fuel economy, overall price, and how they can get the most value for their money. With many younger buyers opting for smaller, more economical vehicles, a recent survey confirms their economic responsibility.
The A to Z on Generation Z
When it comes to getting to know consumers, smart dealerships are already looking toward the youngest generation of car-buyers. You can make great strides toward earning the trust and loyalty of Gen Z when you take the time to really get to know what makes them tick:
- Gen Z shoppers are impressive researchers and self-educators. Using their mobile devices, they do a hefty amount of product research before purchasing. Your dealership can win with this audience by providing quality educational content rather than overtly selling to them.
- More careful in the ways they spend their money, Generation Z has watched their parents struggle through recession and concerns about investments and saving money. With this knowledge, dealerships can work to ensure Gen Z shoppers of the value and longevity of their purchases, as well as the benefits of service packages and maintenance benefits.
- Generation Z is the most multicultural and diverse of any generation to date. For your dealership, this means expanding and stretching even more in the areas of multicultural marketing and ensuring your messaging reaches a broad audience.
- Known for being realists, this generation wants to see marketing that speaks more toward the reality of life, rather than The American Dream. Dealerships with messages that engage the independent spirit and entrepreneurialism of Gen Z shoppers will do well when sharing their brand.
- Gen Z is more comfortable than anyone in the online and virtual world. Keep in mind that for these consumers, the internet and online shopping has always existed, however they don’t use the internet in the same way as previous generations. If you want to reach Gen Z, your dealership should provide quick messages with plenty of visuals; and instead of telling all about yourself, be ready to start a conversation and interact with consumers.
- These shoppers almost always require convenience when making purchases. Everything from product features to shipping to ordering ease is expected, and they will seek these out in the marketplace. Dealerships looking for success with this generation, should focus on ways to offer up convenience, both in the buying process and in service and maintenance areas.
- Even more mobile-savvy than previous generations, Generation Z can be seen using multiple devices to shop, research, and share information. Keep this in mind as your dealership markets to these shoppers. They have grown up with these devices and expect convenience, so be sure to provide solutions that are mobile-friendly, easily accessible, and fast.
Generation Z has a lot to offer and quite a bit of buying power behind them. Simply by getting to know them and learning what they like and expect in the marketplace, your dealership will be positioning itself to win with the newest generation of automobile shoppers.