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Mobile-First Tech Users are Key for Pickup Truck Sales

Demographics Dealerships Automotive News Millennial & Gen Z

Millennial and Gen Z buyers rely on online research and their smartphones to increase decision-making confidence.

In the last decade, pickup trucks have been consistent sales leaders and profit makers across the auto industry. They have expanded the audience beyond the traditional workhorse contractor, commercial, farm and ranch vehicle buyers. Enter the millennials and Gen Z, driver.

Sales in the U.S. full-size pickup segment rose by 1.9% to 1,174,581 in the first half of 2019. It is holding steady with a strong 2018 and still healthy margins supported by aggressive pricing.

With high-line premium models costing as much as $70,000 offering bespoke amenities and the latest tech features, pickup trucks are also personal luxury vehicles with power, size and style advantages.

Additionally, the pickup truck is a new American family vehicle. People love the spacious extended crew cabs and height, tech interfaces and USB plugs, plenty of space in the bed.

Meanwhile, in a sustained growing economy, pickup trucks have been riding a crest of traditional contractor, commercial, farm and ranch markets.

Pickup Market Common Denominator

They are increasingly a mobile-first audience using smartphones as their primary point of contact with dealerships websites and accessing third-party car research resources.

Millennials & Gen Zers particularly rely on online research and their smartphones to improve in-store experience and increase their confidence.

They spend over 4 months and a total of 14.5 hours on the car buying process. The majority of that—up to 9 hours—is spent online researching to improve their in-store experience.

Dominate Buying Information

321 Ignition Mobile-First platform offers the full range of buying information. 321's responsive customer engagement, intuitive navigation, marketing messaging tools, and techniques provide dealers with effective communication tools.

Using functionality and design based on millions of engagements and interactions with customers from other industries; the 321 Ignition platform offers enterprise-class digital marketing capabilities to new and pre-owned dealerships. The goal is to maximize customer contacts and increase sales conversions.  

Informed consumers are looking for special offers, incentives and clear breakdowns of models, trim levels, safety features and warranty protections. These are the salient details that the 321 Ignition platform incorporates, organizes and delivers with impact and clarity.

However, increased competition in the pickup truck marketplace means dealerships with the most effective online resources will make significant sales advances. The newest crop of Millennial and Gen Z buyers are resistant to salesmanship versus a customer service-oriented approach.

Time is Literally Money, Be Transparent in Your Process

They are suspicious of traditional showroom sales tactics. Going to a dealership website must be a satisfying and productive experience. Millennials know that with a little bit of online research, detailed information on the dealer cost is widely available from multiple sources.

So after visiting unorganized, awkward websites—up to 60% of younger buyers leave dealership websites without enough info to make a decision.

Based on the results of dealerships using the platform, consumers overwhelmingly prefer the 321 Ignition web-rooming experience. The average site visit lasting over 12 minutes and 31 seconds. This is 2 to 3 times higher than average visit times of market leaders like Autotrader.com (6:05), Cargurus.com (4:51), and Carmax.com (4:58).

321 Ignition dealerships have also experienced a 389% increase in direct website traffic. The percentage of visitors returning to the site has increased by 257% to do more research, resulting in an overall average traffic increase of 131%.

Dealerships on the 321 Ignition platform report up to triple the number of unique leads. with an 81% loan pre-approval application start to completion rate. Producing consistent results across all vehicle segments are especially lucrative in the healthy margin pickup truck and SUV categories, dropping significant additional profits to the bottom line.