Gender: we all know it’s a hot topic in automotive. Whether it’s how to sell to the millennial woman or to the classic emotional male buyer, we’re constantly analyzing the difference between male and female shopping patterns. We’re dissecting how to market to them, negotiate with them, and then retain them as loyal customers.
As part of our quarterly market research, we also were interested in this topic. How does gender affect car buying behaviors on and offline? What kinds of models are women more likely to convert on? What about men? While compiling millions of data points and conversion sets from online footprint, we also asked our dealer clients what they think of the following questions to get some showroom insight:
1. Are millennial women buying differently than women historically? What about millennial men?
2. Do salespeople prefer to negotiate with women or men in the showroom?
3. Do women have a preference for the salesperson’s gender?
While some of the answers were slightly different, there were common themes in the answers.
Are millennial women buying differently than women historically? What about millennial men?
While men are simple and passive buyers, the number of millennial men buying cars is decreasing. So while there is not much change in the buying patterns, there is an effect on volume.
Women millennials are apparently completely different from women historically. Firstly, millennial women come more educated and shop only after research. And while they used to come to the showroom with their fathers, husbands, or boyfriends, now they are coming more often with their mothers. An interesting switch. One of our clients emphasized that millennial women are almost never coming in alone and are not confident enough in making the purchase alone. And, while millennial women may be more educated than the traditional woman buyer historically, they are not as confident in negotiating. Historically, women were more price savvy and were better negotiators than their counterparts.
Do salespeople prefer to negotiate with women or men in the showroom?
For the most part, salespeople don’t care who they negotiate with- they just want to sign a deal and sell the car. However, we did have some clients mention that salesmen would rather negotiate with other men since they don’t necessarily know the right approach with women. We’re certain this is more common than what was shared with us in this survey.
Do women have a preference for the salesperson’s gender?
Most women prefer to work directly with the women salesperson and would rather wait for the saleswoman to free up from working with a different client. This is particularly interesting considering that we had multiple clients mention that women will even wait up to two or three hours to work directly with other women.
While the anecdotal data is intriguing, it became the basis of a bigger report with statistical significance: Gender Distribution in the Auto Industry. Feel free to download the report here to get more information.
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