Auto Service World
News   February 16, 2024   by Adam Malik

Rethinking your website as tech giants eye the aftermarket

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As tech giants try to move in on traditional aftermarket space, an industry observer pointed out that it’s harder for outsiders to learn this industry than it is for the aftermarket to learn theirs.

With that in mind, if you think of your business website as a place simply for customers to get your contact information or see what services your shop offers or products your store sells, you’re not maximizing its potential, according to Ram ChandraSekar, founder and CEO of PhaseZero.

He works with aftermarket businesses to look at their website as more of a platform.

“No longer are the employee experience, our direct customer experience our end user experience [considered] three different things. With this connected work and experience economy, all of those experiences are already converged,” he said at the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers Aftermarket Technology Conference.

“All of them share a common journey and they need to be enabled and supported.”

Over the years, a lot of bad practices have been created when it comes to websites — one being that there’s a website or app for everything.

“And that’s what created our barriers for us actually becoming a digital business,” ChandraSekar said. “So as a result of that, the first thing is you need to think about all of those point solutions that the website for everything needs to be thinking about from an enterprise perspective.”

To become a digital business, those enterprises need to be integrated. It’s what needs to be done if the industry is to compete with the likes of Amazon.

“I believe that we can learn the Amazon business faster than Amazon can learn our industry, our way of doing business. Why? For the first time, the technology — whether it’s AI technology, open-source technology or computing technology — all of those technologies are affordable now,” ChandraSekar said.

“With the right funding, anyone can be a disrupter to the best part of our business. The gross margin of aftermarket is far better than any OE business. And that is what these digital disruptors are targeting. So before they do that, we need to do it for ourselves.”

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