Catalyst of Evolution – How M-Commerce and the Connected Car are Transforming the Marketplace
Say you’re sitting in your garage working on your vehicle and realize you’ve bought all the parts to fix your leaky radiator but forgot one: the actual radiator. Nine times out of ten you’d simply pull out your phone, launch an app, find the one that fits your car and hit the big buy button. My how times have changed. Since eBay, Amazon, and Zappos transformed into today’s equivalent of driving down to the local Sears or AutoZone, nothing has had a greater impact on our purchasing habits than the smartphone. And this behavioral shift is hardly isolated to weekend garage warriors. By offering the flexibility to operate ubiquitously anywhere at any time, smart devices are increasingly being recognized as the new platform of choice for businesses as well. But these powerful devices, and their potential, have also accelerated the need for applications that can deliver economic advantage from their increasing range of advanced capabilities – as with most tings, there is always room for improvement.
Traditionally, consumers are more forgiving than their corporate counterparts when it comes to locating and purchasing automotive parts. While replacement parts for vehicles are relatively easy to find from purchase receipts and vehicle identifiers used by original equipment manufacturers, finding the correct aftermarket product for any one vehicle is complex. Users must often rely on multiple solutions to check for availability, fitment information, and price. The significant IT investments required to modernize point-of-sale and legacy warehouse order management solutions make it difficult to share customer and vehicle information. Incorrect vehicle identification, lack of visibility between disparate systems, long order fulfillment cycles, and incorrect replacement parts are some of the factors contributing to high return rates, revenue loss and inefficiency within the industry.
As increasingly sophisticated vehicles and vehicles systems roll off the assembly line and onto our roads, the benefits that smart devices coupled with telematics, and the power to harness the resulting big data, promise to deliver is immense. Not only will this move the parts supply closer to consumers and service points, but it will also mitigate the strain of unusual demand surges when a component fails unexpectedly. The historic tensions between the OEMs and aftermarket should not matter to consumers, and with telematics-enabled vehicles further blurring the lines, it will not. Mobile applications used to identify, track, and share vehicle and transaction information instantly with businesses will improve accuracy, reduce operating costs and inefficiencies – but there is a caveat: organizations need to build these solutions on a platform capable of capitalizing on the technology.
Anna Buettner, manager for infotainment at IHS Automotive, states that “the telematics supply chain will see amazing growth and innovation through the end of the decade, as more vehicles debut new connected solutions that make use of embedded modules, while at the same time enabling consumers to fully leverage their mobile devices.” Indeed, industry analysts project that e and m-commerce will soon account for $28 billion of the industry’s sales—and those are conservative estimates.
With the widespread adoption of mobile devices, and autonomous vehicles and cloud-connected cars just around the corner, the industry desperately needs a platform and solutions that can facilitate communication between the various systems that monitor, track and service cars now and in the future. The benefits are clear: instant access to services, reduction in wait times, faster recalls, and lower costs for manufacturers and distributors. Telematics simplifies the complexity of automotive parts commerce. Ditch the complexity and drive connectivity with SHIFTMobility.
Learn more about our revolutionary automotive platform at www.shiftmobility.com
Elliott Schendel, SHIFTMobility Inc.