Auto service franchise owners and managers overwhelmingly say that the most effective marketing tool they have in their arsenal, which also is the least expensive tool they can use, is their recommendation.
More than three-fourths (77 percent) of the auto service franchise owners and managers responding to the Aftermarket Business World 2018 Auto Service Franchise Study of four product categories said their recommendation to customers was their best marketing tool. Coming in a distant second at 7 percent was in-store displays; social media was the best tool for 6 percent of respondents; and coupon/rebates worked best for 3 percent. Another 7 percent selected “other.”
When the same group was asked how their customers typically respond when they make a recommendation to buy a particular product, 58 percent said that most of the time customers take their recommendation. Another 27 percent said that customers always take their recommendations; 14 percent said customers sometimes take their recommendations; and 1 percent said customers never take their recommendations.
When it comes to preferred suppliers, 35 percent said they prefer to buy from warehouse distributors, 33 percent prefer to buy form auto parts retailers, 20 percent prefer to buy from jobbers and 7 percent prefer to buy from an OEM parts arm, such as a dealership.
The majority (69 percent) of auto service franchises said they stock replacement auto parts on as add-needed basis, while 24 percent said they carry stock for the most popular makes and models. Only 7 percent said they carry enough stock of the four product categories surveyed for most makes and models.
Some 43 percent of auto service franchise owners and managers said they expect their sales of the products surveyed to increase in 2018, while 56 percent said they expect their sales to stay the same. Of those expecting an increase in sales, 16 percent said they expect a 1 percent to 3 percent increase, 12 percent said they expect a 4 percent to 7 percent increase, 12 percent said they expect an 8 percent to 15 percent increase, and 3 percent expect a 16 percent to 20 percent increase.
Methodology: The Aftermarket Business World Auto Service Franchise study was fielded to readers of Motor Age magazine via email. Survey results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties.
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