Why Women Car Shoppers Drive Home
The Best Car Deals!
Women not only buy more cars now, they also continue to influence what men buy. More importantly, women may be more thorough. With the growth of online vehicle-shopping sites, researchers have been able to mine more data about men's and women's shopping behavior.
Women do more research than men
Online vehicle valuation and shopping site Kelley Blue Book (KBB) surveyed its readers, then, with their genders known, tracked which pages each viewed and for how long.
Women not only spent more time researching car purchases online- an average of 75 days compared to 63 days for men- they also spent nearly three times longer per visit on hard research, 10.4 minutes compared with 3.8 minutes for men. That's pretty significant. It also begs the question: Why?
Women car buyers spent 56 percent more time pricing vehicles, 53 percent more time reading ratings and reviews, 45 percent more time doing side-by-side vehicle comparisons, and 18 percent more time building consideration sets.
Both genders spent the same amount of time on the site. But men spent more time reading general automotive articles and looking at photos of cars and trucks they weren't considering buying.
Women stick to their price
A recent study confirmed women generally secured better prices.
Women are more likely to have a price in mind before arriving at a dealership.
Women car buyers go in armed with information, knowing exactly what they want. Men were more likely to be swayed by other factors. They go out for the best deal, but in the end pay more with add-ons.
Women are practical
The study which found women secured a better deal also noted women were far more likely to demand a vehicle inspection and to ask about accident history and functional components. Men tended to focus on a car's image, technology and driving performance.
Both sexes tend to place a high value on safety and durability when purchasing. When it came to additional features, women were more likely to seek fuel efficiency, driving performance and reputation, whereas men looked to interior layout, exterior styling, technology and ruggedness.
Furthermore, terms like "driving performance" can signal different values. Women defined "driving performance" as "reliability." Men chose to define it as "prestige."
When men pick a car they are thinking about image. Women don't. They think, “What's going to get me from Point A to Point B?”
Women weigh long-term costs
Smaller cars like the Honda Fit, Kia Spectra and Toyota Yaris, (which the EPA says gets 41 mpg on the highway) are all-around one of the most economical cars to own. It's no coincidence eight out of ten owners are women.
When Road & Travel Magazine compiled a list of vehicles with the highest percentage of female primary drivers, it found it ripe with "some of the smallest, least expensive cars available.”
Furthermore, three of the cars most popular with women were among the top five cars ranked as the least expensive to own: the fifth-ranked Nissan Versa (60.58 percent female owned), the fourth-ranked Toyota Yaris (61.86 percent) and the top-ranked Honda Fit (80.46 percent).
Even among wealthy buyers, women favored affordability, opting for some of the least-expensive luxury models. "By contrast," Road & Driver reported, "the luxury vehicles with the highest percentage of male drivers are among the priciest, fastest and flashiest around."
Women over-prepare to compensate for low confidence
Researchers believe there's at least one reason women do more research before buying a car: They think they need to.
The survey noted 72 percent of men said they felt confident in the "ins and outs of buying a vehicle," whereas only 38 percent of women did. Similarly, 72 percent of men said they felt confident negotiating with a car dealer, while 38 percent of women did.
The survey also found "confidence" ranks fourth among sentiments women experience when buying a car, right behind "apprehension" and "nervousness."
Women shop dealers
Women don't only care what car they buy, but who they buy it from - 50 percent more than men.
Women visit an average of 1.9 dealerships when shopping for a car, whereas men visit 1.4. Women will travel 16 miles to buy from a dealer they like, often bypassing closer lots. Young Millennial women will even travel up to 21 miles!
Price is not the top factor it’s the trustworthiness, and respect provided.
Women are open to change
One in five men knows the exact vehicle he wants, the study found. Women, however, are twice as likely to be undecided.
Women will have a longer list of desired car features, other experts say.
Men know exactly what they want. Women may have five cars in mind, and want to further evaluate which will best meet their needs.
When men and women were asked how they'd react if a vehicle they were considering had been briefly pulled from the market due to a recall, only 8 percent of men said they would cross the vehicle off their list, while 44 percent of women would.
In the male-dominated dealership environment, women consumers are often not as comfortable. Yet women purchase the majority of new vehicles. w
The Numbers Don't Lie
From a consumer standpoint, the numbers say that the automotive realm is one that is dominated by women, especially when it comes to financial decisions. For example:
There are more women drivers than men, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan.
Women purchase 65% of all new vehicles.
80% of all vehicles purchases are influenced by women.
Women influence 85% of all buying decision in North American households.
Women are very active when it comes to planning and coordinating finances for the household. They often act as the primary financial decision makers.
What dealerships still don’t understand about Women car buyers
Learn to Listen
Women feel valued and respected when you listen to them. So, try asking open-ended questions to get to the bottom of what features they want in a car. Then, you can help them identify cars that meet their needs.
Different, but Equal
It's okay to recognize women shop differently than men, but they still need to be treated with the same courtesy and respect. The entire shopping experience is more important to them than it is to men. If they don’t feel like they are being listened to or treated fairly, they will leave and never come back.
No One-Size-Fits-All Approach
No one-size-fits-all approach is going to cut it. There are all kinds of women buyers in the market when it comes to demographics such as age, lifestyle, purchasing power, ethnicity, etc. It's not just the stereotypical soccer mom anymore.
The bottom line
Understanding what women car buyers want is becoming more and more important. They are the majority of the car buying market, so effectively marketing and selling to them will help your store remain profitable. It's not rocket science either - just treat them with the respect they deserve and hear them out so you can find the vehicle that's right for them.
See the full episode below…
The Top Ten Cars Most Desired by Women
Women Drivers Prioritize Safety, Practicality, Reliability and Comfort, According to Research and Experts
Last year, automotive search engines published a study based on its analysis of 54 million car sales and over 500,000 consumer inquiries of cars for sale over a 2.75-year period. This analysis found 10 cars for which more than 60 percent of prospective buyers were women (complete list below).
01. HYUNDAI TUCSON
(avg. price: $16,722; inquiries by women: 66.2%)
02. NISSAN VERSA
(avg. price: $12,144; inquires by women: 64.0%)
03. VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
(avg. price: $18,179; inquiries by women 63.9%)
04. KIA FORTE
(avg. price: $13,730; inquiries by women: 62.8%)
05. FORD FIESTA
(avg. price: $13,237; inquiries by women: 62.8%)
06. KIA SORENTO
(avg. price: $18,668; inquiries by women: 62.0%)
07. JEEP PATRIOT
(avg. price: $15,615; inquiries by women: 61.4%)
08. MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER
(avg. price: $15,173; inquiries by women: 60.9%)
09. KIA RIO
(avg. price: $10,800; inquiries by women: 60.8%)
10. KIA SOUL
(avg. price $14,431; inquiries by women: 60.6%)
The bottom line for any car buyer is not which car they want, but the lack of transparency in the overall transaction. It doesn’t matter what price you end up going into the dealership with, because the price you think you’re going to get will go right out the window as soon as you get into the business managers office 100% of the time.
Knowing the right questions to ask the salesperson will determine your outcome or fate. Until recently there was very limited resources you could use to negotiate with the salesperson to keep them somewhat honest.
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