They Want to See Transparency

Generation Y Car Shopping

Ad copy has included the words ‘no smoke, no mirrors’ for years because in the old days there was a mystery instead of clarity regarding the automotive buying process.

With the surge of available information for today’s shopper, mystery has been reduced to minuscule.  I hear from salespeople all the time about working with customers who often know more about a specific vehicle – equipment and pricing – than they do.

Chances are very good those customers are Gen Y, now the largest generation in the U.S.  I read with interest an analysis of the Gen Y profile delivered during the Dealer Socket User Summit. 

Two highlights:

  • Before a dealership visit, they spend 14 hours researching online.
  • They visit an average of 1.3 dealerships.

That research-to-shopping ratio would indicate ‘they know’ and that is why they can see right through smoke and mirrors.

The processes of your dealership from meet and greet to e-mail response must be genuine across the board.  Unmistakable clarity and candid simplicity are appreciated and demanded by today’s shopper.  Anything less is perceived as enough to justify moving on to the next dealership, and in a world of change, competition is still a constant.


About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.


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