Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 11

11

* MAY 2018

Dealership atmosphere critical to millennials
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -
As millennials and the generation following them make up a
growing portion of the new-vehicle market, it is crucial that
automakers and dealers adjust
to meet their expectations.
That was a key takeaway
from the Automotive
Conference and Expo, hosted
by the Trillium Automobile
Dealers Association (TADA) in
April.
It was telling that the conference's first session was led
by Doug Stephens, a retail
futurist and consultant who
tells retailers that what people
expect during their experience
at a physical store is drastically changing.
"Previous generations were
measured by what we owned,"
Stephens said. "This is a generation that measures their
worth more on the basis of
where they are, who they're
with and what they're doing."

selves apart partly due to minimalist design.
The important factors are,
as always, great customer service and delivering a product
that people want, but Stephens
suggests that dealerships and
automakers go further by making the online-to-physical-store
shopping process seamless.
For example, make the dealerships photogenic enough for
selfies and host events
designed to draw people in.

BRAND OVER SALES

The idea is about boosting a

brand's image in the eyes of
consumers and making buyers
want to go to a dealership,
instead of the view that most
shoppers have of the car-buying process being a hassle.
"Make it a big brand experience, not just a sales thing,"
he said.
Every dealership and every
market is different, so what
that "brand experience" looks
like will be different from store
to store. But those auto dealers who can figure it out are
bound to reap the benefits in
the future. - ANC

Previous generations were
measured by what we owned.
This is a generation that measures
their worth more on the basis of
where they are, who they're with
and what they're doing.
DOUG STEPHENS

Retail futurist and consultant

FROM TORONTO

JOHN IRWIN

COMMENT
'MEMORABLE' COUNTS

As we reported in the April
edition, which you can find
online at www.automotivenews.ca, young people still
want to buy cars - they're
loading up on debt to do it -
but they are visiting far fewer
dealerships when shopping.
The Internet, or rather the
electronic access to new-vehicle information, has completely changed the process.
Consumers across all generations are better informed and
are far less likely to visit multiple dealerships before making
a purchase.
And young people are the
most likely to know exactly
what they want before they
arrive, because they generally
are the most comfortable with
online shopping and, perhaps
more importantly, have little
experience with the old
car-shopping process.
The big takeaway for dealers, according to Stephens, is
that when those buyers walk
into the dealership their experience be memorable.
How so? By doing things
no other dealership would
think to do, Stephens said.
"Surprise is the critical element," he said.
Those surprises can be
anything from, perhaps, a spot
designated in the store for
"selfie" photos, which can
help the brand stand out on
social media, to something
like an immersive virtual reality
experience. Or anything, really,
that is different and can help
your store stand out while
allowing customers to have
fun.
Stores in other sectors
could serve as templates.
Apple's physical stores, for
instance, initially set them-

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 28
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