Automotive Industry Disruptions & Embracing Change in Auto Aftermarket Businesses
DISRUPTION & RAPID CHANGE IS EVERYWHERE
Technology, Sustainability, Demographics, Lifestyle Changes, Globalisation and Government Shifts are driving rapid change in all businesses. Just like the Automotive Aftermarket – many industries have suffered from marketplace disruption or “Disintermediation” (‘cutting out the middleman’).
Think about some of the industries that have already been decimated – video stores, solariums, antique stores, photo developers, newspapers etc. Sometimes your business just isn’t needed anymore because you didn’t add enough VALUE and didn’t change FAST enough.
Some other consequences of marketplace disruption have included: Commoditisation, Channel Conflicts, Transparent Pricing , Parallel Importing, Direct Buying via the web and Mobile Shopping.
Customers have much more choice and control now – remember ‘whoever OWNS the customer, owns the market’. So what CAN you do to stay closer to your customers?
AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET DISRUPTION
Vehicles are using more technology, are better made and lasting longer.
This has already impacted the auto exhaust industry, vehicle brakes industry, panel beaters and vehicle suspension industry. The products and services they currently offer are in less demand. So these auto aftermarket businesses must offer EXTRA SERVICES to stay relevant to their customers.
Additionally, Car Manufacturers and Dealerships in Australia are working hard to claim a bigger share of the Aftercare market for vehicles and has a PR campaign designed to encourage consumers to go back to dealers. This market will be more complex and competitive in future.
The Automotive Aftermarket industry has also seen the rise of newer technology – like Online Selling & Distribution Channels, Service Booking portals and using Mobile Vans for Tyre Fitting & Mechanical Servicing.
Remember – If you don’t add enough VALUE in the supply chain from maker to end user – then you may be bypassed, cut out or just plain “disrupted”.
A solution is to LOVE your customers more, collaborate with partners and add even more VALUE.
LOOKING INTO THE NEAR FUTURE OF TRANSPORTATION & CARS
Some of the future changes affecting vehicles and aftermarket include dealing with more complex vehicles, newer electric vehicles, self-driving (Autonomous) vehicles and Driverless Trucks. But there are even more disruptions ahead.
Do you really NEED to own your own vehicle? – Share it!
Will the rise of autonomous vehicles and the sharing economy impact the future of car ownership and make the need to own a car obsolete? Will there be a subscription model rather than purchasing a car?
Who will OWN all these autonomous vehicles? Maybe a car company (like GM, Benz, VW, BMW, Toyota or even Tesla?) or a big tech company (Aptiv, Zoox, Uber, Amazon or the most likely Waymo – Google/Alphabet owned)?
What ELSE could impact the marketplace? – Cars are Computers
The rise of better technology, robotics and artificial intelligence will continue to make all vehicles more complex and as car manufacturers & dealerships hope – may make it more difficult for local mechanics to service cars and even change tyres and batteries. A lot more training and new technologies will be needed to compete in future.
Look up! – using drones for transporting people?
A real “transport wild card” that I heard about this week was CASA licensing for airborne drones. Soon to carry people and up to 1000kg payloads for delivery. With ballistic parachutes to keep you safe if it falls from the sky. China already has a workable battery powered “person drone” that can transport you up to 300km and costs around $200k (This will reduce with scale). Imagine that you just travelled by autonomous drone taxi through the air and didn’t even bother with a self drive vehicle and all the traffic.
Teleworking and travelling Les
Many people (and especially sustainability-minded Millennials) can now work on a computer from anywhere, so the need to live close to the city and go to work in an office is declining. Regional lifestyle areas will boom but there will be less need for vehicles for the daily commute to and from work.
Appealing to Different Buyers
Bernard Salt the demographer spoke recently about the population shift and opportunities for Australia. In a nutshell – 350,000 more people coming to Australia every year and about 140,000 coming live around Melbourne. More people moving into our regional areas too. If you build your business where people are moving in and building houses, chances are you will be more successful.
Your auto business will boom if you get really good at selling to millennials, females and new immigrants.
When will all this change and disruption happen?
For some small business owners hoping to RETIRE before all this change happens, just remember how quickly Australians take up technology and how quickly the smart phone and internet took over the world.
Some changes will happen much quicker than expected!
Read This Book for More Insight and Opportunities in a Changing market:
Australia’s #1 futurist Michael McQueen has a great book called “ How to prepare now for what’s next? – A guide to thriving in an age of disruption” full of useful ideas about embracing change.
FINDING FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE AUTOMOTIVE AFTERMARKET
So what can you do to prepare your auto aftermarket business for the future?
My friend Darrell Hardidge is an Customer Surverying expert on has written a great book about Customer Appreciation and Loyalty. It is exactly what you need to stay relevant in a disrupting future marketplace.
Customers don’t just want to be satisfied, he says, they want to be APPRECIATED.
Darrell is a big believer in giving your customers a 10/10 experience by wowing them. He says that customers giving you a top 10/10 rating are 3 times more likely to come back and tell others.
So, do you really FOCUS on your customers?
CUSTOMER DATA is the new OIL, you need to collect all your customer information and keep in touch regularly through multiple channels – Phone, Email, SMS and Social Media. Make the most of your CRM database and your online marketing.
If you want to make the most of your investment in your store, your stock and your team, then be more FLEXIBLE.
Find out what your customers really want and give it to them.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to ASK your customers – verbally in store, by doing a survey (email or SMS) or by getting more Online Reviews and reading them.
IN SUMMARY – THINK ABOUT THE 3 C’s
- CUSTOMERS – focus on your customers and what they are saying – ask them.
- CONVERSATIONS – have more meaningful conversations about value with your customers
- COLLABORATIONS – collaborate with your partners, alliances & stores to add more value
ABOUT David Staughton CSP & Big Hat
David “Big Dave” Staughton is an Award-winning Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) with over 15 years of professional speaking & consulting experience. He is a past board member of Professional Speakers Australia and an advisor to a large Australian speakers bureau.
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