Supplier Strategies for e-tailing Success A Fresh Look at e-tailing, Online Shopping And the Aftermarket

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1 A Fresh Look at e-tailing, Online Shopping And the Aftermarket Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association November 2015 Delivered by UPS

2 A Fresh Look at e-tailing, Online Shopping and the Aftermarket The increasing connectivity of consumers is transforming everyday life and business. Retail now includes etailing as businesses strive to boost online sales to consumers. The total e-tailing industry now exceeds $200 billion in the U.S. and is growing at a 12 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association s (AASA) landmark report, e-tailing: Supplier Success Strategies for the Fastest Growing Segment of the Aftermarket. Aftermarket e-tailing continues to grow rapidly and it is vital that aftermarket suppliers develop effective business plans to adapt to this exploding market. In conjunction with logistics expert UPS, AASA has taken a fresh look at e-tailing, online shopping and the aftermarket. Using key insights from the 2015 UPS What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper study, this new report presents successful strategies that its supplier members can use to succeed in e-tailing. Table of Contents Introduction: The Impact of e-tailing... 3 Buying Behaviors... 4 Information, Data and Analysis... 5 Brand Building... 6 Channels... 6 Supplier Action Items... 6 Conclusion: The Connected Aftermarket... 7 About the AASA Special Report: Inside the Automotive Parts Online Shopper EDITOR: Bill Hanvey, senior vice president of programs and member services, AASA WRITER: Margaret Beck, senior director of marketing and communications, AASA 2

3 INTRODUCTION: The Impact of e-tailing AASA released the insights and findings from its landmark report, e-tailing: Supplier Success Strategies for the Fastest Growing Segment of the Aftermarket, exclusively to members in late The report was based on extensive analysis by the former Booz & Co. (now strategy&) and interviews with AASA member company executives, senior leaders of key aftermarket channel partners, more than 150 service professionals and 750 consumers. The original report noted that e-tailing has already fundamentally changed the aftermarket and more drastic changes are still to come. It presented specific calls to action for suppliers in order to take advantage of growing e-tailing opportunities. AASA presents this fresh look at its original report with additional analysis provided by logistics expert UPS. The 2015 UPS What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper study, conducted by comscore in 2015, analyzes data from 541 U.S. online automotive parts and accessories shoppers. Using key insights from the UPS report and its e-tailing report, AASA addresses the continuing impact of e-tailing and these crucial areas experiencing drastic change: Buying behaviors Information, data and analysis Brand Building Channels This report provides aftermarket suppliers with a fresh perspective on e-tailing, online customer behavior and strategies for suppliers to promote their premium brands and products via the Connected Aftermarket. The impact of digital technologies and highly connected consumers is transforming the aftermarket. However, suppliers should not focus only on e-tail sales or assume e-tailing is strictly a do it yourself (DIY) phenomenon. It is true that e-tailing is driving DIY sales. However, do it for me (DIFM), or the commercial market, is being shaken by e-tailing as well. Service professionals are important customers, too. In the AASA e-tailing report, technicians reported being heavily influenced by their own digital experiences as consumers and online information about products, brands and prices. The chart below shows which products technicans indicated they are more likely or less likely to shop for online. Easier to Sell Online Harder to Sell Online Product Characteristics Easily digitized High degree of standardization Low weight/volume Physical products Relatively standardized Physical products Not standardized, individual experience products Perishable/low shelf life Complex product/installation High weight/volume relative to price Market Characteristics Low touch Discretionary purchase Physical handling and sale Discretionary purchase Assisted sale Same day delivery Assisted sale Immediate fulfilment Relationship based sale Source: AASA e-tailing: Supplier Success Strategies 3

4 Buying Behaviors The AASA e-tailing report found that half of all DIYers start their parts purchase process online and forecasted that almost all DIYers will buy or research online by The 2015 UPS Online Shopper study showed 66 percent of online shoppers said they installed parts themselves, a 4 percentage point increase over the 2014 survey. The 2015 AASA report, DIFM Outlook 2025: A Dynamic Battleground, demonstrates this trend as well. It notes that the DIY market represents about 26 percent of the overall aftermarket parts market and is expected to decline by 4 percentage points by While the DIY category itself is shrinking, it is the fastest growing segment of e-tailing. In addition, the AASA e- tailing report found that more consumers are using the Internet to research auto repair and maintenance, and they are exerting greater influence over the service professionals parts decisions. Current consumers are much better informed when they go to a shop and are increasingly affecting the repair shops product and pricing decisions. The UPS Online Shopper study shows that consumers place great Source: UPS 2015 What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper Study emphasis on access to information and special offers. They increasingly use their mobile devices and apps to shop both in-store and online, and are heavy users of social media, which influences their purchase decisions. Service professionals and independent repair shop personnel also use online information to help inform their purchase, pricing, customer management and installation practices. Just as with DIY and DIFM consumers, they are accustomed to the convenience, transparency and lower prices of shopping online. They continually access more and better product and technical information at home and on the job. Information, Data and Analysis Online customers want to be informed about availability, products, brands and, of course, prices. They utilize greater amounts of information or content online. The UPS Online Shopper study notes that online shoppers for auto components value convenience and technology. They want delivery service options that provide greater access and visibility into when and where their items will be delivered. Their desire for connectivity also extends to in-store shopping. Online shoppers are interested in new technologies that make their brick and mortar experience seamless, such as electronic receipts and in-store kiosks. 4

5 Consumers online behaviors create footprints that reveal shopping habits and browsing interests. The resulting data can be analyzed to reveal a wealth of powerful insights for suppliers about how to optimize sales and profits. The possibilities afforded by information, data and analysis in the online world are well beyond that of in-store commerce. As one supplier commented in the AASA e- tailing report, Information is the lifeblood of the internet good data is power. Source: UPS 2015 What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper Study The aftermarket has been all about having the right product at the right place at the right time. Now, the right data at the right place at the right time is vital. By using data and analysis gleaned from online shoppers, as shown below, suppliers can meet that goal. Customer Example Targeting promotions and personalizing offers (e.g., customized mailing, rewards and coupons) Product recommendations Data Used Customer purchasing behavior Purchase history Marketing Optimizing marketing mix and promotions Pricing optimization and demand sensitivity Marketing response data Pricing sensitivity data Web Customer online activity analysis Sentiment analysis Web activity data Customer social media posts Operational Demand and inventory forecasting Localization Supply chain analysis Workforce optimization Demand data Inventory data Location data (web usage, smart phone) Distribution data HR data Fraud and Risk Fraud analytics Shrinkage analysis Customer interaction data Purchase returns data Inventory data Source: AASA e-tailing: Supplier Success Strategies 5

6 Brand Building According to the UPS Online Shopper study, the three primary drivers for consumers when buying automotive parts and accessories online are: cost, selection and online presence. Free shipping also is important but consumers are willing to pay for shipping to get the exact product that they want or within their specified timeline. When shopping online for automotive parts, consumers are drawn to brands to give them assurance. DIFMoriented brands historically were developed with the trade slowly over decades, and more consumer-oriented brands built theirs gradually by offering a choice that satisfied their particular needs such as price coverage for obscure applications. With most DIYers and many DIFMers researching and shopping online, aftermarket brands are being built up or broken down with unprecedented speed. Source: UPS 2015 What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper Study To build a brand online, suppliers have to be present online and be proactive. Suppliers that do not actively and aggressively support their brand propositions online with customers will find their products gravitating toward online comparisons with commodity products and end up competing on price. Channels In the UPS Online Shopper study, the consumers surveyed indicated that they prefer to shop online and are more satisfied with the online shopping experience versus the in-store shopping experience. In-store shopping can play an important role in the auto parts purchase experience valuable face-to-face interaction with knowledgeable sales staff regarding brand comparisons, other customers experience in using a product, tools or other accessories needed with the purchase, etc. However, more of the survey respondents make purchases online rather than in-store. This consumer preference for online shopping for auto parts will drive the growth of pure-play e-tailers and spur further consolidation in aftermarket channels, according to the AASA e-tailing report. While some smaller pure-players will find viable niches (e.g., performance parts), those without sufficient value add or scale to compete against e-tailing giants will fade away. In addition to consolidation among e-tailers, consolidation in the traditional and retail aftermarket channels will continue and be boosted by share and price pressure from e-tailers. Weaker and smaller warehouse distributors (WDs) and potentially retailers will see further consolidation. Aftermarket suppliers will face increasing pressure as large retailers likely will look to the traditional channel customers and their suppliers for concessions in the face of shrinking DIY volumes and pure-play e-tailers share expansion. Suppliers must figure out ways to participate across channels e.g., smart pricing, differentiated offerings, strong communications skills. 6

7 Supplier Action Items The potential opportunities and threats from e-tailing are too great to not exploit, just as the telephone was impossible to not leverage for business in the last century. Suppliers need to implement the six action items below right away, if they have not done so already. It took 70 years for the telephone to penetrate 50% of US homes it has taken the internet only 10 Create a Vision Suppliers need to build a better sense of the role, impacts and opportunities of e-tailing and online customer engagement for their products and brands. They need to develop a strategic vision about how they will take advantage of e-tailing. This starts with a view of which channels they want to be in, based on who the winners will be and e-tailing will be one. They also need to think carefully about pricing strategy and how to create a seamless experience across channels. This includes a good understanding of how to best position and manage brands. Build up the Basics for Offline Building new capabilities for e-tailing will require having strong offline capabilities as a foundational prerequisite. Some of the basics, such as providing accurate and complete cataloging information, ensuring availability of parts, meeting customer fill rates, and providing category management support, are table-stakes before suppliers can think of being successful operating in the e-tailing environment. Suppliers with limited strength in satisfying and managing existing offline channels will find it hard to lead in the online world. Invest in Digital Content and Digital content and analytics are cornerstones of successful online brand management and customer engagement. e-tailing sales volume is not the immediate goal; engaging customers and guiding them through the purchase process is the goal. If suppliers have good digital content, they can undoubtedly make it better. If they have limited digital content, it is imperative to get started. In either situation, the ability to drive better conversion of products and services will make a compelling case for urgent attention and investment in e- tailing analytics by suppliers. The greatest opportunity for suppliers, as in other retail categories, will be to collaborate with WDs, retailers, and e-tailers on indirect e-commerce. Critical to making this happen is building capabilities for content and analytics in addition to collaboration. Exploit e-tailing and Online Opportunities Representing brands online is crucial. Selling through pure-play e-tailers and directly to consumers will provide the best opportunities for building the requisite capabilities. Being successful with e-tailers will improve suppliers online marketing skills for collaborating with other channels. Similarly, suppliers own branded directto-consumer (DTC) websites are usually an essential component of an ecommerce strategy. The purpose is not to sell significant volumes, but to provide direct access to consumers and to develop content, insight and analytics that can be exploited elsewhere. Execute, Execute, Execute As with most major initiatives, setting the direction and determining what to do is only the first step. Actually doing it is a major challenge. Getting the supplier s team to stay on track and meet commitments in support of the e-tailing vision takes hard work. It will not all happen swiftly. Many details across various organizational boundaries need to come together. At the same time, the digital environment is changing quickly, requiring more experimentation and course corrections than in the past a test and learn mindset is needed. Don t Overlook Logistics Remember that how, when and where consumers receive their products shapes their overall shopping experience and impacts your brand perception. 7

8 CONCLUSION: The Connected Aftermarket e-tailing represents a tremendous opportunity for suppliers to engage their customers, build brands, and grow with winning channels. To realize this opportunity, suppliers will need to develop a three to five-year vision for their ecommerce strategy, invest in the critical capabilities required to succeed in the strategy, and execute well. As this report emphasizes, real-time connectivity using a hand-held device is influencing how consumers research and purchase aftermarket parts. Understanding the new Connected Aftermarket will be key to the development of aftermarket supply chain business plans for the coming years. AASA is committed to providing the thought leadership and, in conjunction with partners such as UPS, presenting solutions to ensure its fullservice supplier members products are a part of the conversation in the Connected Aftermarket. To discover more about e-tailing and overall insights into the online shopper, click here to download the 2015 UPS Study: What s Driving the Automotive Parts Online Shopper AASA (www.aftermarketsuppliers.org) exclusively serves manufacturers of aftermarket components, tools and equipment, and related products which support 710,000 employees in the United States. AASA, The Voice for the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers 8

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