August, 10 2020

Gen Z at the dealership: How can an inventory management platform improve service?

Ivan Mishanin
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There have been quite a few articles written about how car dealers interact with Millennials. They have high purchasing power, but a new generation — Generation Z — is already stepping on toes. The oldest of them have recently driven their parents’ cars, but soon they will come to dealerships to buy their own first car. You must be ready for that meeting. A management inventory system can help prepare for the growing number of young car buyers.


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What should we know about this generation?

gen z

According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z is defined as “anyone born from 1997 onward”. They were born into a high-tech world. “The iPhone launched in 2007, when the oldest Gen Zers were 10. By the time they were in their teens, the primary means by which young Americans connected with the web was through mobile devices, WiFi and high-bandwidth cellular service. Social media, constant connectivity and on-demand entertainment and communication are innovations Millennials adapted to as they came of age.” 


Gen Zers have little driving experience, and most likely no experience of owning a car at all, but based on the economic, social, cultural, and technical shifts that have taken place to form this cohort, you can understand how to help this generation buy their first car. After all, this is something they will remember for the rest of their lives!


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According to Kantar Consulting, a company that studies Generation Z, they are a quite pragmatic bunch. Further, Kate Turkcan, vice president and head of youth insights at Kantar Consulting, notes, “They know that one night of partying can ruin all the hard work and preparation that they’ve been doing.” How can having this information help a system like Zurich Connected Cars? It’s simple: Given the quick and easy connected car device, Zurich can connect its entire inventory without hassle. Each connected car’s OBD2 deviceincludes a tracking mechanism, so that salespeople can find specific vehicles in just a few taps. Search by VIN, stock number, year, or make/model, making it easy to select a car quickly — one tailored to the needs of a Generation Z customer. Most likely, representatives of this generation will opt for a used car, but only if it is equipped with the technological capabilities they are used to. This means that, when a Z-buyer comes to the dealership, you will be able to organize a test drive of the desired car with the help of an inventory management system.


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Make it Quick


In addition to the above, representatives of this generation appreciate speedy service, even more than Millennials do. According to study by the National Retail Federation and IBM’s Institute for Business Value, almost half of Gen Z members surveyed said the most important thing to them when shopping is the ability to find things quickly, and more than 60 percent say they will not use apps or websites that are hard to navigate or slow to load. That takes care of their digital expectations. “Despite living largely digital lives, 67 percent of Generation Z prefer to shop in a brick-and-mortar store all the time, with another 31 percent preferring to shop in-store sometimes.” This means that these digital service speed expectations have to be moved offline. Here, again, an inventory management system can help. Zurich Connected Cars allows dealerships to enable faster inventory audits and gives sales staff the ability to locate any vehicle on the lot— and see its battery and fuel levels — all from their smartphones. In using the system, the buyer will first see that the dealer understands digital technology, and second, they will get their car for a test drive super-fast.


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In our opinion, today’s dealers’ successes in the market when interacting with representatives of Generation Z are determined by three components: the organization of online commerce, effective stock management, and the use of different channels of digital communication. Companies such as Zurich Connected Cars are well-positioned to cover the issue of effective stock management and anticipate the expectations of these new customers.  

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