LAS VEGAS – Women are less confident vehicle shoppers than men but compensate for that by doing more online research leading up to their purchase.
That’s a conclusion from a Kelley Blue Book study looking at car shopping and buying by gender.
“It’s striking that while there exist many similarities between how men and women shop for vehicles, there also are some very marked differences,” says Hwei-Lin Oetken, vice president-market intelligence for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.
Nearly 60% of men said they were confident car shoppers and buyers. Only 38% women said they were. Women spent on average 75 days car-shopping compared with 63 days for men.
“Women can feel intimidated, which is why they do more research,” including checking out prices, comparing products and reading reviews, Oetken says during a study presentation at the DrivingSales Executive Summit here.
Women, more than men, seek out the opinions of others, including family, friends, online reviews and comments on social-media sites, says the study.
Women are twice as likely not to know what vehicle they want off the bat, but are likely to know what features they want.
What makes a dealership transaction successful? Men cite getting a good deal quickly. Women say it’s because the store had what they wanted.
While men apparently are more confident at dealership price negotiations, the study doesn’t say they’re actually better at it.
Oetken doesn’t rule out the possibility (and irony) that women may in fact negotiate better because they’ve done more research and head to the dealership better armed with information.
“That’s not something we looked at,” Oetken tells WardsAuto during a Q&A after her study presentation. She then asks dealer people in the audience if women negotiate better than men. Several say “yes.”
“But men want deeper deals,” one attendee says.
Other study findings:
- While men are more likely to view their cars as tied to their image and accomplishments, women are more likely to see them as a way to get from point A to point B.
- Men are more image-conscious and want trucks, coupes and luxury sedans. Women tend to be more utilitarian. They prefer non-luxury SUVs and sedans.
- Men want domestic trucks and European luxury brands because of the image they portray. Women prefer non-luxury Asian brands, which they view to be more practical.
- Vehicle durability, reliability and safety are important to both genders.
Study results are from Kelley’s analysis of data from KBB.com traffic and from BrandWatch survey data. Total sample size from all sources was approximately 40,000 adults in the U.S.