Millennials might not be shopping as much as their Baby Boomer counterparts, but the shopping that they are doing is largely done online. Retailers struggle to keep their brick-and-mortar stores open with experience-based shopping since more than half of Millennials’ total purchases in 2016 were made online. However, this number drops considerably when the item in question is a….(drum roll please)…..car.
According to an MSN poll, a full 62% of American Millennials plan to buy their next car in-person at a dealership. This is only slightly smaller than the general population, of which 65% will head to a dealership to buy a new car.
Why? Because people still want to “experience” a car before they buy.
Car shopping is a multi-sensory experience. Millennials, like most shoppers, want to be able to feel it, sit in it, drive it, and of course experience that new car smell. Seeing a car in the show room, as well as being able to test drive it, are the main things consumers would miss if they bought their car online instead of in-person, according to a recent report from Accenture.
Millennials still pump the breaks.
Unfortunately, most Millennials are not actively looking for a new car. More than half said that they expect to wait at least two years before purchasing a new car, according to the MSN poll.
Waiting to buy a car is just one more major life step Millennials seem to be putting off until later, including buying a home, getting married, having children, and settling into a career.
Some Millennials also simply don’t feel like they have enough money to buy a new car, and they tend to shy away from financing, since many of them already have massive student debt. According to the study, Millennials were less likely than Gen X to say they would finance their next vehicle, and would prefer to pay in cash.
There’s a generational divide in preferred features.
It comes as no surprise that Millennials would place importance on different things from their Baby Boomer counterparts. The survey found that while Boomers are most interested in how comfortable and safe a car would be, Millennials focus more on fuel economy and design. Millennials actually rank “comfort” as the least important feature of a car!
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