“This industry has definitely been incredibly slow to react and acknowledge the power of the internet. Suppliers are still not looking to use the internet to maximize efficiency in their systems and garages look down on the internet as a â€œpassing fadâ€ rather than embracing it.
The internet however is responsible for damaging margins as factors use the online portals to sell product direct to consumers who then take these parts to be fitted at their chosen garage or do it themselves. This has a very damaging effect on the aftermarket as trust can be lost between garage and motorist and indeed factor and garage.”
Steve Gandy, RRD Automotive
“The automotive aftermarket has been slow in utilising the internet to reach existing customers and expand to new customers.
Over the past few months we have been driving our online presence forward through various forms, focussing mainly on the instant contact with potential customers that Facebook offers us. We have been trialling different ways of growing our reach and have found various successful ways of doing this.
We believe that by growing our Facebook fan base we can have instant access to a huge potential captive audience to which we can instantly and continually feed information and offer campaigns.”
Vaughan Wetherill, Motorserv
“The answer lies somewhere between exceptionally well and terribly. At the end of the day, â€˜e-marketingâ€™ is just another tool in a companyâ€™s marketing armoury. Granted itâ€™s relatively new but itâ€™s become a very important tool; ignore the internet at your peril. There are huge commercial opportunities for companies that get it right and those that donâ€™t will get left behind. I have to say, Iâ€™m not totally convinced about the value of social media to businesses in our sector but clever, focussed use of the internet is an absolute must for businesses of any size.
I saw some research recently that shows that only 84 percent of independent garages and 89 percent of motor factors have a computer. I fear for the 16 percent and 11 percent respectively.”
Richard Swann, GSF
“The aftermarket is a bit slow in embracing the internet and social media most companies are using Twitter, Facebook, Linkedln etc but the garage sector do not seem to be using these powerful free tools at their fingertips.
GMF uses EBay,Twitter,Q R codes and Facebook to reach our customers as well as our website which is popular with offers and technical tips.
We are in the age of â€œdigital consumersâ€ who are able to do their research online first so they appear more â€œsavvyâ€ by looking up registration plate look ups to find the parts and correct fluids they need before approaching the likes of motor factors. We need to make our websites and social media pages more appealing to our audiences by enforcing Brand Awareness of our companies and making them more up to date and innovative. At GMF we associate ourselves with the rally team and event we sponsor and attract a big following from this. We also target our offers to these types of audiences which also brings custom to our doors.”
Wyn Jones, GMF