The MySpace/iPod/Text/Blackberry/YouTube generation gets information from a myriad of sources, all originating from the Internet.
“And it's all about what type of information they want, and when they want it,” says Brian Page, general manager of Dealer Data Services.
He recommends that dealers interested in selling to these young consumers maintain an Internet presence that draws their attention.
One way to do that is with rich content.
“The explosive growth of YouTube took even the most experienced of Internet pundits by surprise,” says Page. “The next generation now spends more time watching videos online than on TV.”
There is a name for this new phenomenon: The clip culture.
“In addition to vehicle specs and photos, vehicle videos are a great way to attract shoppers who would rather be engaged in the process and kick a virtual tire than a real one,” Page says.
It also helps if website content informs and provides a means for interactive communication. Page says it's a question of “pulling in” the consumer as opposed to “pushing out” a marketing message, such as “Come down to Joe Brown's Honda today!”
“Additionally, having actual photos of a vehicle, as opposed to stock photos, or at the very least, accurate colors on stock photos, increases the odds that a savvy consumer will click through to learn more about the vehicle,” he says.
To create a positive online experience for this new generation, dealers must realize what many young shoppers are like and how they gather car-shopping information.
“Impatience with outdated or inaccurate information; the ability to navigate the Internet swiftly and thoroughly to find exactly what they are seeking; and short attention spans are qualities of this growing user group,” Page says.
“To meet these shoppers' needs, it becomes critical for dealers to keep inventory accurate and up-to-date, to have inventory listed on as many web sites as possible, and to provide rich, informative content that will attract and hold attention.”