April 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm #64829Tom HamParticipantI am working with some parts manufacturers who want to know what they can do to help shop owners advertise to, or market to the shop’s customers.ALL ideas welcome – no idea is too far out there.Also, if the answer you come up with is “little or nothing”, they want to know that, too.So, what comes to mind for you?Thanks!#autopartsmanufacturersTom
Tom - Shop Owner since 1978April 19, 2016 at 8:39 am #74351Tom PiippoParticipant
I have said for years, if the manufacturers are going to offer an incentive, make sure it an incentive that the purchasers want. For example, one supplier offered an expensive pair of designer sunglasses for buying X number of his product in one month. That means nothing for roughly 40% of his customers that wear prescription glasses. I see it again and again. It has gotten better now with gift cards to stores that I don’t go to. My message to parts suppliers is to offer technical training or lower parts prices as an incentive to buy more product. As an alternative to training, they could offer discounts or scholarships to national training events like MACS, CARS, NACE, VISIONS, ATE, etc…
This would be a win – win situation for the supplier. An educated customer is more likely to buy a quality product and less likely to use that product to “repair by trial” and return good product as defective when it didn’t fix the issue. This goes along with another message from suppliers on how to best reduce the return rate of ‘alleged’ defective parts.April 28, 2016 at 5:09 pm #74356advancedauto616Member
I agree 100% with Tom Piippo! I’ve been telling our local parts stores for 10 years that it’s ass backwards to try to force the market to buy something that the majority don’t want or need…we aren’t selling products that are discretionary purchases…just because there is a special on shocks/struts or any other part, the customer is only going to buy them if they need them…you’re instantly excluding 90+% of customers who don’t need the part that is on special!!
I have a background in marketing in several industries and I’ve developed marketing systems for our shop that have been working extremely well for the 10 years we’ve been in business. I’ve got a million ideas for how the parts vendors could work together with the shops they serve to develop a win/win marketing program that actually works and I’d be more than happy to discuss ideas with anyone at a parts vendor who has interest and has the ability to make decisions.
We are all small businesses…our success is directly linked to the
depth of the relationships that we are able to develop within our local
communities. Marketing that focuses on that goal offer the best
long-term benefits and ROI.
In our area, and from what I can tell, most other areas of the country, the towns are having major budget crisis. All of the local schools are cutting sports programs, music programs, etc. I’m currently working on a program with the local towns that our shop serves that will allow our loyal customers to donate their loyalty rewards to the local charity/schools/PTOs/sports groups of their choice…it also includes a component that encourages the local organizations to market to their members on our behalf and encourage them to do business with us because the organization will directly benefit from any sales we generate from their members.
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