Women Represent a Powerful Market Segment: Here Is How Dealerships Can Capture the Most of It.
By Samantha Millard
In 2019, Cars.com issued study findings that said 62% percent of new cars sold in The United States are bought by women and that 85% of all sales are influenced by women. According to Women-Drivers.com less than 30% of women report that they feel comfortable going into dealerships alone.
Manufacturers have already realized the powerful market segment that women control and have been developing means to capitalize on it. British manufacturer Aston Martin has a female advisory board that helps develop car models geared towards women, and German manufacturer Audi’s ownership stake is 40% female. In 2018, British manufacturer Jaguar realized only one in ten of its car buyers were women, despite the rise in female purchasers globally. Jaguar responded by creating a women-oriented advertising campaign.
So, the question is, what are dealerships doing to capitalize on the increasing trend of female buyers? The industry has already recognized the power of female consumers, why are only 30% of women reporting that they feel comfortable going into dealerships alone?
As a woman, I have been told my entire life not to go buy a car without a man. A thousand reasons have been listed as to why this is necessary: to be taken seriously, to not get pressured into buying things I do not need, and most importantly to ensure I get a fair deal. Whether or not these assertions are true, the stereotype and stigma around dealerships prevails and dealers need to change this mindset immediately. It is not in the public or dealership’s interest to have an entire segment of their market reliant on someone else to make purchases.
A few things that can be done to create a more welcoming environment for women:
Hire more female salespeople.
Train your staff on basic protocols.
Be transparent about your deals.
Female consumers want to interact with salespeople that represent them and make them feel comfortable. When someone walks into a dealership, they likely have an idea of what they are going to buy and why. A salesperson should be asking the customer about what they value and help them decide which car to buy based off their statements. It is a basic principle, but often women feel that when they walk into a dealership their wants will be outweighed by what the salesperson feels they should purchase. In addition, maintain professional distance. When looking for salespeople, women will prefer to do business with those who respect personal boundaries. These are common sense scenarios that are heightened with female buyers, especially if they want to feel comfortable purchasing a vehicle on their own. Most importantly, be transparent about the deals you are offering. Women, especially millennial women, are value oriented. It is not enough to highlight the features of a car and help pick out a color, women need to feel they are in a trustworthy environment each step of the way, from getting a transparent price to a reasonable financial agreement.