Gen Y Shoppers Present Great Selling Opportunity


J.D. Power blog

Accord­ing to the J.D. Power and Asso­ciates 2013 New Autoshop­per Study, the major­ity of Gen Y car shop­pers are open to pur­chas­ing any vehi­cle brand.

Find out more about how and where they search before buying.

One-half of all new-vehicle buy­ers who use the Inter­net in their shop­ping process (AIUs) are open to con­sid­er­ing any vehi­cle brand at the begin­ning of their research expe­ri­ence. In addi­tion, that per­cent­age is even higher (54%) among Gen Y AIUs, accord­ing to our 2013 New Autoshop­per Study.

We see that close to one-half (47%) of Gen Y AIUs use smart­phones in their shop­ping process—the most of any age demo­graphic, which indi­cates how impor­tant it is for brands and web­sites to put these younger buy­ers into their mar­ket­ing equa­tions. The share of new-vehicle buy­ers in Gen Y is increas­ing at the great­est rate among all buy­ers and is pro­jected to com­prise 23% of all 2013 retail sales.

Automak­ers have a ter­rific oppor­tu­nity to influ­ence younger buy­ers dur­ing their shop­ping process, which aver­ages about four months, par­tic­u­larly since they are quite open to con­sid­er­ing dif­fer­ent brands as they begin their new-vehicle research. In addi­tion, the dig­i­tal pres­ence of the brand through mobile adver­tis­ing and by pro­vid­ing con­tent across mobile-accessible sites may be a great way to reach Gen Y buy­ers, since we see almost half that use a smart­phone dur­ing the shop­ping process.

Although AIUs con­tinue to use a desktop/laptop com­puter to gather infor­ma­tion while shop­ping, their use of tablets and smart­phones has increased dra­mat­i­cally from a year ago. Smart­phone usage has risen by 15% from last year and tablet usage is up 39% from the pre­vi­ous year. Shop­pers are even less tied to a desk, but can do their research from a couch at home while watch­ing TV or using a lap­top, or while sit­ting with friends in a café.

A few more study high­lights are summarized:

• The study finds that nearly all (98%) of AIUs visit man­u­fac­turer sites dur­ing their shop­ping process, fol­lowed by dealer sites (83%); third-party sites (80%); and social media sites (7%).

• AIUs more fre­quently indi­cate that third-party (54%) and man­u­fac­turer (52%) web­sites are very help­ful dur­ing the new-vehicle shop­ping process vs. dealer and social media sites or auto­mo­tive apps.

• The study finds that Con­sumer Reports, and Kel­ley Blue Book ( are among the most vis­ited third-party websites.

• AIUs visit the three men­tioned sites more often than the other 33 third-party web­sites mea­sured in the study.

• AIUs indi­cate that model pric­ing infor­ma­tion, vehi­cle rat­ings and reviews, and vehi­cle com­par­i­son infor­ma­tion is among the most use­ful third-party web­site content.

• On aver­age, AIUs access 10 auto­mo­tive web­sites before pur­chas­ing a vehi­cle (includ­ing third-party, dealer and man­u­fac­turer sites).

• Only 19% of AIUs access dealer ratings/reviews prior to purchase.