Shopping for a new car is still a hassle for many women. Women purchase more than 50 percent of all new cars or influence the purchasing of about 85 percent of all new cars sold in the U.S. and 48 percent in Canada.
Topping the list of gripes: Time. Twenty-one percent say buying a car is not quick and effortless.
Of the women surveyed, 15 percent said they didn't like or trust their salesperson.
When women decide to go out to a local car dealership to buy a car, they are most often ignored as if invisible. If they do bring a man (just to get noticed!) but try to dominate the sale (because it's their car, after all), they are treated like a mouthy kid, or worse yet, expected to allow the man to do all the talking.
In today's competitive auto industry, I can't understand how salespeople can discriminate based on gender. If anything, they should cater to women or risk missing a sale and the opportunity to recruit a loyal customer. With so much information available to women to conduct research before they buy a new car, women are becoming much more car savvy and deserve the respect of car dealerships.
Here are some facts on women car buyers:
- Women spend approximately 17 weeks on the new car buying process, three weeks longer than men.
- Women are more inclined to purchase cars that they consider fun-to-drive and that are well made. In contrast, men prefer vehicles that are a good value for the money, are comfortable, have nice exterior styling, good fuel economy and display a certain image.
- Women, more than men, place a high value on a vehicle's reliability, durability, passenger seating capacity, safety features and availability of four-wheel drive.
- Women rate safety as the most important aspect when shopping for new vehicles.
- Female buyers seek advice from automotive authorities (57 percent) before buying a new car.
- Female auto buyers will shop an average of three dealerships for best price and best treatment.
- One third of female buyers read an average of four automotive magazines for 12 months before purchase.
- Females place the most importance on dependability, functionality and economic factors when buying.
With these facts in mind, what is your dealership doing to attract, sell, retain and create loyalty with women car buyers?
Properly armed with the right tools and training your dealerships can increase its share of the largest and fastest growing demographic of new vehicle buyers in the US — women consumers. The Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly Dealer program was designed specifically for car dealerships to attract, sell, retain and keep loyal women consumers.
Editor's Note: Jody DeVere is the chief executive officer of Ask Patty.com. To learn more about becoming an Ask Patty.com, Inc. Certified Female Friendly dealer, email email@example.com or call (888) 745-1928. This contributed column contains data sourced from Edmunds.com, Road and Travel Magazine, Detroit News, CARMAX Survey 2013, and LipSticking – Marketing to Women Online.