ecommotors and Automechanika Birmingham – collaborating on aftermarket digitalisation

In this post we talk about the work we’re doing with Automechanika Birmingham.

If you’re in the automotive aftermarket business then you’ve probably heard of Automechanika Birmingham. It’s the UK’s leading exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and supply chain sector, usually attracting over 12,000 visitors and over 500 exhibitors. Automechanika Birmingham’s ultimate parent is Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH.

Automechanika Birmingham is held in partnership with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and is one of a series of 17 Messe Frankfurt global events across 15 countries.

The next Automechanika Birmingham event runs over 3 days in June 2022 at the NEC Birmingham. The 2020 event, along with so many other activities this year, has been postponed due to Coronavirus. Automechanika Birmingham responded by hosting webinars focused on helping the aftermarket recover from the prolonged lockdown. Its webinar in July was entitled “A Brave New World for the Automotive Aftermarket” and attracted almost 1,000 registrations.

We were delighted to be able to sponsor the September webinar, which was called “Digitalisation; accelerating the recovery of the aftermarket”. Our own Andrew Rowson, Co-founder and Head of Services at ecommotors, was a panellist at the webinar, along with representatives from SMMT and research analyst Frost & Sullivan.  

The webinar’s aim was to provide practical recommendations for what brands, manufacturers and resellers can be doing now to embrace online channels like webstores and marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Since 80% of aftermarket business is affected by online (according to the webinar), this is clearly a strategically vital step for all businesses. You can access a replay of the webinar here

Our reasons for partnering with Automechanika Birmingham are similar to the reasons we explored in a recent post covering our association with the IAAF. We have a lot of experience in ecommerce and online channels for automotive and we see our role is one where we can educate companies about trends and priorities in aftermarket ecommerce to help them get up the learning curve faster.

Many established players in the aftermarket are used to selling through physical outlets where they can rely on a knowledgeable sales person to navigate the complexity of parts with the consumer. Online channels take away that comfort blanket and brands and manufacturers are understandably unsure about brand control, channel conflict and presenting their product information in ways that make it easy for direct-to-consumer buyers to find and buy the right item.

Distributors and resellers, on the other hand, are not as concerned about brand since they represent the product ranges of many different brands and resellers. This breadth of inventory, however, brings challenges in terms of the time and effort required to add listings with high quality data to the various web stores and marketplaces.

Education and experience is clearly the name of the game here, and that’s the motivation behind Automechanika Birmingham’s latest digital initiative called auto:resource. The company surveyed over 12,000 automotive professionals earlier this year and found that 60% of them looked for technological developments and innovations online, while 71% of motor factors look for new products and suppliers digitally.

Furthermore, 93% of businesses felt that digital resources could be better, while 73% would like a central digital platform to find training and technical advice. Out of this insight was born auto:resource with the intention of effectively informing, training and connecting the UK automotive aftermarket.

The platform launches later this year, with a strong focus on the garage and end user sector. It will support users to find products and suppliers to review and compare, keep them up to date with market trends and offer training and education through white papers, blogs, webinars and news. 

ecommotors will have a presence on auto:resource and plans to debunk the myths that exist around selling online via web stores and marketplaces using useful ‘how to’ guides and articles. We’ll also be available to answer any questions you might have about going digital and direct-to-consumer business models.

To learn how to accelerate your aftermarket presence, or for a no obligation introductory discussion, please contact us.