No industry is safe from the changing shopping habits of consumers and that includes the aftermarket industry. In the past, a consumer relied heavily on in-store availability. Today, changes in consumer behavior plus industry trends indicate a significant shift in the aftermarket that could catch your channel partners off guard.
The aftermarket industry depends on the close relationship between suppliers and channel partners to move merchandise on and off the shelves, in physical stores and online. When it comes to today’s channel partnerships, a company’s best tools continue to evolve to meet the demands of the market. Today, partnerships prosper on digital collaboration and communication. We recently wrote about the importance of sharing cross-channel data with channel partners. Although that blog post focused on data sharing as a tool to drive channel demand, data sharing also can ensure that your channel partners can see shifts in the market before it’s too late to react.
The trends show fundamental shifts happening in the way consumers repair their vehicles, buy parts and access services. One of these shifts is the rising preference of consumers to buy online. According to Forbes, online B2C automotive parts and accessory sales are predicted to rise an estimated 9-10 percent by 2020. That’s about $20 billion. With regard to accessing services, a recent Frost & Sullivan study suggests that digitally connecting consumers with garages based on location, needs and estimated quotes is a way to engage the larger vehicle owner population. In short, drivers’ preferences in purchasing parts and services for their cars are shifting. The question for company and channel managers remains: How can you help your channel partners see and adapt to these changes?
One way is to use an incentive program that encourages channel partners to focus on upcoming shifts and how they impact your company’s business goals. As your company sets new goals to address these aftermarket shifts, your incentive program can engage and motivate your channel partners to support your company goals.
When setting up channel partner incentives, first determine what changes in the aftermarket are affecting your company’s sales process. Then, tie goals corresponding to those shifts to your incentive program and be certain that those goals are clearly communicated. This encourages the support of your channel partners and also ensures they have a greater understanding of how industry shifts affect your business.
To learn more about applying an incentive program to collaborate and communicate with your channel partners, contact us today. Our expert team of representatives will work directly with you to plan and roll out your rewards and incentive program.