In this post we talk about our association with the premier association for the UK aftermarket industry, the IAAF.
A couple of months ago, shortly before we launched ecommotors, our parent company E-Motive joined the IAAF. The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation is just that, promoting and securing the future of the sector and its members, who comprise hundreds of manufacturers, suppliers, warehouse distributors, buying groups and independent garages.
The IAAF has regular contact with a wide variety of government departments, including DVSA, DfT, DEFRA, BIS and DCMS, as well as the many statutory agencies such as the Health & Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Trading Standards Institute. In addition, the IAAF keeps the media and other opinion formers in touch with its influential thoughts and advices.
So why did we join the IAAF? Obviously, it makes good commercial sense for us, since we’re dedicated to that particular industry and some of our customers are already members. But clearly there’s much more to it than that. There’s the four E’s.
We know online commerce, in the form of web sites and marketplaces, which means we understand consumers, especially automotive consumers. ecommerce opens up new markets, new customer groups and new incremental revenues for manufacturers, distributors and resellers who traditionally have relied on experts to represent and sell their products.
Aftermarket ecommerce has been growing steadily, and that growth spiked considerably during the Covid-enforced closure of outlets. Even with re-opening 2020 levels have settled at way above 2019. ecommerce is a huge opportunity for the aftermarket industry, once it grasps how consumers shop for parts.
We’ve been involved in ecommerce and motors for over 20 years, hence the reason why we chose our name. As such, we’ve loads of experience turning business-to-business data on parts, tools and accessories into information that consumers will search for. Brands and manufacturers often worry about controlling their branding online, and this is a particular focus area for us.
Similarly, distributors and resellers often represent such a wide range of products that they lack the resources to be able to put all of them or even some of them online with the accompanying information organised in the right way to appeal to online buyers. We have the tools and expertise to help with this, as well as people who understand how to manage channel conflict.
We see our membership of the IAAF as an educational one in the main. We’re here to lend our educational support to the aftermarket industry, to brief it on the latest developments in the digital world and their likely impact. We look forward to doing this through blog posts, webinars and, when time allows, physical events.
Digitalisation is here already, and we want to impart that knowledge so that aftermarket companies can understand how to navigate the various paths through to success. This might be controlling their brands, embracing the consumer, managing their channels, managing profitability – all of them in fact. When done properly, digital channels deliver the best margins.
At the risk of introducing two more E’s to the discussion, we want to be the eyes and ears of ecommerce for the IAAF, keeping you in touch with the ebbs and flows of digitalisation in your industry. We want to help chart the aftermarket’s journey through digitalisation to full multichannel ecommerce.
Aftermarket ecommerce is moving online fast. If you haven’t already, now is the time to understand and start capitalising on the benefits of aftermarket ecommerce. It’s something that you can ease into gradually, learning as you go, with experienced partners like the IAAF and ecommotors to snowplough the route for you. To find out more on digitalising your aftermarket presence, or for a no obligation introductory discussion, please contact us.