Times are changing. High transaction costs used to limit the number of sellers
in the market, but not any more. The internet has made it possible for many
more people to become sellers – and renters. The net result is what some call the "Sharing Economy" and it is getting the attention of shoppers and other stakeholders in the commercial marketplace.
Changes are on the horizon for car
sales. A recent Wall Street Journal article describes the current status this
way: “dealers are still learning how digitally savvy customers behave.”
Ironically, new car buyers spent 12.5% more time negotiating deals in 2012 than
they did in 2010, even though they averaged 18 hours of online research before
the purchase – why?
SideCar slices the task of getting from point A to point B
even thinner by giving people an easy way (via a mobile app) to connect with
drivers who will take them from one point to another. This can be an interesting model for others looking to innovate
and create engagement.
RepairPal’s TopShop network aims to make the very
difficult job of finding an auto repair shop you can trust – for both a fair
price and a guarantee on the work – a lot easier. Talk about delivering customer benefits!
specifics in the Playbook for Success, published by NACS/CCRRC, apply to convenience retailers, but the principles
apply to all: Deliver on the basics, defend your turf, and attract new
business. To find the right opportunities to use technology to drive sales and
improve performance, sometimes it helps to step back and look at the big
Yesterday I got to see some mobile shopping trends up close and personal. The woman ahead of me at the checkout was trying out SnipSnap, and she'd already consulted her Pinterest ideas while walking the store.
Marketers and advertisers may focus on the 18-49 segment, but “The Most
Valuable Generation” is the Boomers according to a new Nielsen report. It’s hard to argue
with these numbers: Fifty percent of the U.S. population will be over 50
in 5 years. This group will control 70% of disposable income in the
country, and they stand to inherit $15 trillion over the next 20 years.
They will be responsible for spending almost 50% of all CPG dollars, but
less than 5% of advertising dollars are directed to them. The contrast
with younger segments is striking.
Check out the BMC paper Big Data & Retail: Where are we today?, and post your opinion
on big data in retail here. BMC conducted a survey in June 2012 to learn more about how retailing
professionals understand big data, and it's opportunities, benefits, and
challenges. The paper presents the results of that survey.
“Consumer technology use has shifted the balance
of power from retailers to shoppers,” we say, but has the industry fully grasped how
far the pendulum could swing? “No!”
says Doc Searls in a provocative WSJ column. He describes a future in which
shoppers define and drive what could be called the “C2B” economy via
“intentioncasts.” They broadcast their need to vendors who meet their terms and conditions, collect
offers from them, and then make a selection. He calls it VRM (for Vendor
Relationship Marketing), and it completely reverses the direction in which
Over the last several months we’ve asked the thought leaders in
several Brick Meets Click segments to share what’s happening in their
business that would be of interest to the broader community. In this
blog, Phil Bishop and Joe Register talk about how digital technology is
changing shopping in the automotive aftermarket and positively impacting
product marketing and supply chain efficiency. It turns out that
helping customer pick the perfect part can be a model for supporting
customers who need to make complex purchase decisions.
Retailers are wrestling with which way to go - mobile site or mobile app. According to this recent Mashable
blog, recent surveys indicate people are gravitating toward mobile
sites for shopping, searching, and entertainment, and mobile apps for
managing data, navigation, and connecting with others.
One of the Apple announcements that caught our interest was a new way for mobile app developers to track users of their software. We think the net result is that shoppers are going to be asked for permission to use their data more often – and that shoppers’ awareness of the value of their data will grow.
The recent Facebook IPO raised expectations and initial
market reaction has tempered them. Where
is the real value to retail? The recent BMC original paper Making
Facebook Work for Retail looks at three practical ways Facebook can create value for
retailers beyond being an advertising vehicle. The concepts of attracting, engaging and
involving are not new; however, the reason to focus on them now is that only a
few have put them into action. Many are missing this opportunity. The paper shows how taking action to attract, engage and involve can yield
“new found money.” Who would walk away from that?
Motors' Chevrolet division recently announced its sponsorship of a Street Skateboarding League as a
new way of getting the attention of its young target audience. The campaign
will leverage plenty of social media rather than traditional media buys.
Scope & Leadership
After-market purchases for parts, accessories, and fluids/chemicals, and new and used car shopping.
Phil Bishop President & General Manager Nu-Way Automotive