The Arrival of Generation Z: Four Insights into Their Buying Habits

Gen Z

In the last ten years, the story has been about Millennials. Their wants, buying habits, and beliefs have inspired numerous studies and news reports. Crafting a formula to gain their brand loyalty and business has been the mission of marketing departments all across the country (if not the world). They are America’s largest generation at 75 million strong. However, their majority hold can only last but so long, because Generation Z is right behind them. Much is still being understood about the generation born after 1998. However, the most crucial thing dealers and car companies need to know is that the oldest members of Generation Z are old enough to drive and potentially purchase a car. What are some of the buying habits dealers should pay attention to when seeking to attract and interact with this group?

Thought Millennials Loved Technology? These Guys Take It to Another Level

Many older Millennials remember a time of dial-up internet, phones attached to cars, and a lack of options for watching television shows in an instant. Younger Generation Z members would be hard-pressed to remember a time without Wi-Fi, Netflix, iPhones, and social media. Studies have shown that this generation is even more comfortable multi-tasking with multiple forms of technology than their millennial counterparts. Therefore, auto dealers need to recognize the importance this group of individuals places on technology. Emphasizing in-car smartphone syncing, enhanced safety features, and other technology options that bring convenience will be to their benefit.

Connect with Them on Mobile

According to a recent stat, nearly 46 percent of Generation Z consumers living in the U.S. shop online using their mobile phones. During that time, they are researching products and looking at alternatives. This requires dealers to have an optimized mobile website that is responsive and includes adequate details about inventory. Generation Z researches goods online 12 to 27 percent more than any other generation. Therefore, it is essential for dealers to have a user-friendly website that answers many of the questions members of this generation have. Marketers also need to work with their web designers to make sure that websites load correctly. Sixty percent of Generation Z shoppers will abandon an app or website if the site does not load in a reasonable amount of time.

Appeal to Their Admiration for Individuality

92 percent of Generation Z have a digital footprint. They are committed to individuality and customization. From clothes to social media profiles, this group is keen on expressing themselves. As a result, they align with brands that allow them to do this efficiently. Auto dealers would do well to promote ways that Generation Z consumers can customize and personalize their vehicles. For example, MINI allows customers to alter colors in the Union Jack flag, and the style of driving lamps, exhaust tips, vehicle colors, and roof graphics. While these individuals might not be interested in mechanical customizations, they might be more apt to purchase cars that allow for aesthetic customizations.

Recognize Their Attachment to Social Causes

While social media and technology is the way to reach them, bringing attention to social good is the way to keep them. A report revealed that 80 percent of Generation Z consumers purchase products or good that have a social or environmental impact. Dealers would do well to discuss any charitable effect they have on the local communities in which they operate. Also, the promotion of electric vehicles and their favorable impact on the environment would be a wise and practical move. Like Millennials, Generation Z wants to be involved with brands who move beyond the bottom line and in turn make them feel they are bringing sustainable change by being involved with them.

Many factors determine the buying habits of a generation. The economic and social events they experienced as they were growing up, and their beliefs about their place in the world around them are two influential factors. If dealers maintain a robust mobile presence, create a streamlined and straightforward car buying experience, and highlight car brands that value individuality, they can begin to establish a connection with this new generation that appeals to their beliefs and culture.