2013 The Year of the Woman Car Buyer: Capture This Powerful & Ever-Growing Segment
Posted: February 1, 2013 by Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate
PITTSBURGH, PA – Women-Drivers.com
Today’s women car buyers wield $300 billion in spending power on their cars. Their car buying behaviors are evolving dramatically, causing car dealers to seriously consider how they communicate with them. To understand, engage and, ultimately, capture this market, dealers first have to look at the key indicators of a woman car buyer’s mindset, behaviors and buying patterns. Otherwise, actions taken to attract them will not be optimized.
#1: The Woman Car Buyer’s Identity & Staying Power
Women are the fastest growing segment of car buyers. They account for over an estimated 50% of new car purchases and influence 80% of them. They are more confident, more educated and better prepared to make a car buying or car servicing decision than ever before. Career and motherhood are but two of the powerful additives to a woman’s identity today. Both roles have given them a high level of self-confidence, despite the incredible amount of time, pressure and responsibility they have taken on.
So, what are we saying? Make every effort to recognize and acknowledge the full identity of the women car buyers you are trying to attract. These women are career professionals, business executives, stay-at-home moms, wives, lovers, single parents and caregivers. Know who they are before you try to sell them something. There’s only one way to find out…ask, ask, ask!
#2: The Woman Car Buyer’s Tech Savvy State of Mind
Women are leading the way being sophisticated users of new technology solutions. She is internet savvy, having mastered the art of social networking. Not only does she shop for cars online, she shares her experiences at the dealership with her peers and other women car buyers through social media websites, especially Facebook, as well as review and rating sites. Her most prized possession is her smart phone and, with mobile usage now mainstream for her, she expects her favorite brands, including her car dealership, to be a tap away.
So, what are we saying? Develop an online and mobile presence and marketing strategy aimed at attracting this buyer. Create special offers online that will bring her into the dealership. If it’s already there, amp up the amount budgeted for electronic marketing initiatives. Offer women car buyers a seamless and problem-free purchasing and servicing experience.
#3: Images Speak Louder Than Words
Women car buyers are using images more than the written or spoken word to get information on the products, services and brands they buy. Provide visual content that captures her eye, lets her interact with it visually and you have yourself a prospective customer.
So, what are we saying? Create a video capturing the relaxed and friendly atmosphere in your newly redesigned showroom and service area. Show women watching flat-screen TVs and working on their laptop with coffee in hand and kids playing in the play area. Don’t tell her about cars on the lot that are practical and economical. Show her images of the latest models– how good they look, how comfortable and easy they are to drive, and their latest safety awards.
#4: A Woman Car Buyer’s Modern-Day Family
Families now come in more shapes and sizes than ever, with a growing population of single moms, working moms with stay-at-home dads, moms having babies later in life, same-gender parents, and multiple generations of moms under one roof. Marriages rates are dropping still. What’s on the rise, though, is single women heads of households and single parent households with children.
So, what are we saying? If you want to capture this ever-growing market, you can’t assume that one size fits all. Recognize the many faces of the modern-day American family and show you understand and appreciate the diversity among the women car-buying customers they are trying to engage. Hire sales ambassadors that relate and look like your customer.
#1: Have Your Every Brand, Make & Model Tell a Story
Every make and model of car has a story to tell. Take luxury cars, for example. Women like luxury cars because they can afford them. They are a statement as much as a means of transportation. Women no longer let traditional roles of wife and mother defines their purchases. As they graduate from baseball and ballerina mom, they are seizing their new-found freedom and buying sexy, indulgent “me-mobiles”. For them, a luxury car is the physical manifestation of all that hard work they’ve put in at the office, the smart investment they’ve made, or the realization of a dream come true.
So, what are we saying? Bring your marquis models to life with story-selling. Listen to what is important to her about the vehicle – regardless of the brand. Pay attention to what is important to that and don’t just talk about those features, but rather share about the “what’s in it for her”, or, the benefit. Build a story around her car of choice and let her be inspired.
#2: ‘Friend’ Women Car Buyers, But Be of Value
Women car buyers visit dealer websites on the recommendations of their peers. With an interactive website and fabulous content, like money saving and time-saving tips, women see your dealership as supportive – as money and time are her two most precious commodities. It’s all in the conversation and women communicate best in an honest and open dialogue. They also like to share information with their peers and other women car buyers about your salespeople, customer service, and the value you offer.
So, what are we saying? Abandon the traditional role, and strive to support and educate women car buyers instead. Engage them in conversation and talk openly and candidly with them. Provide value added content; tips and advice they actively seek at both pre- and post-purchase. Make sure your social community knows what your dealership stands for and is committed to. Create an online community of like-minded people through social networking, one that will resonate with women – and, ultimately drives sales.
#3: Make Every Woman Car Buyer’s Voice Be Heard
Women have shared stories for years about the car dealerships they frequent and the service they received. It used to be called ‘word of mouth’. A woman car buyer wants to talk to dealers directly and have them hear her. She wants a salesperson who will listen and ‘get’ her. The way a salesperson interacts with her determines, to a very high degree, whether she buys from them and remains loyal to them once the purchase is complete.
So, what are we saying? Don’t try so hard to sell your dealership and everything it has to offer. It’s not about the dealership. It’s about the individual salesperson or service manager. Each interaction is unique. Listen closely to what she has to say and make every effort to understand her and her specific wants and needs. Work to provide it for her and reinforce her trust in you and in your dealership. And, ask her for reviews of your dealership. Let her know what a difference she makes to your business.
Dwell and role play in these various actions to better understand how you can maximize your business.
About Women Drivers
Women-Drivers.com provides car dealers with distinct, web-based marketing solutions that build trust and transparency, resulting in greater sales and servicing from women. Women-Drivers connects women to Certified Women-Drivers Friendly™ Dealers and publishes a platform of services to qualifying dealerships to distinguish and market themselves. The innovative Facebook Integration of women+family content results in dealerships building larger social communities, longer time spent on the dealerships site, and more sales conversions.
Contact 412.327.2604 to schedule Anne Fleming for an interview. Learn more at Women-Drivers.com