More independent repair shops are using Facebook and Twitter to promote their services and to offer coupons and specials, according to the Aftermarket Business World 2017 Independent Repair Shop Study.
Some 78 percent of independent repair shops that use social media said they use Facebook in the 2017 study, compared to 74 percent of shops that said they used Facebook in the Aftermarket Business World 2016 study. In the 2015 study, 73 percent of independent repair shops used Facebook for that purpose.
Independent repair shops using Twitter to promote their services and to offer coupons also has increased steadily from 11 percent in the 2015 study, to 13 percent in the 2016 study, to 14 percent in the 2017 study.
However not all social media sites showed an increase in usage this year. Independent repair shops using LinkedIn to promote their business increased from 10 percent in the 2015 study, to 15 percent in the 2016 study, but fell back to 11 percent in the 2017 study.
Some 44 percent of independent repair shops said their sales of certain products have increased in the last 12 months compared to the prior 12 months, while 51 percent said sales stayed the same.
Independent repair shops enter 2017 with confidence as 49 percent said they expect to sell more products in the next 12 months compared to the prior 12 months. Some 47 percent said they expect to sell the same amount in the next 12 months.
Independent repair shops also are confident about future gross margins as 46 percent said they expect their margins to increase on certain product sales in the next 12 months, while 53 percent expect their margins to stay the same.
Thirty-nine percent of independent repair shops said that part quality is the number one need of customers, while 22 percent said price was most important, and 19 percent said OEM form, fit and function.
When it comes to preferred suppliers, 36 percent of independent repair shops said they prefer to buy from warehouse distributors while 35 percent prefer to buy from auto parts retailers and 21 percent prefer to buy from jobbers.
Methodology: The 2017 Independent Repair Shop Product Study was fielded to readers of Motor Age magazine via email. Survey results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties, as results were garnered from a small sample audience.
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