Digital Transformation in the Automotive Industry

Manufacturers and Digital Commerce Planning Workshops

In February of 2022, GCommerce was fortunate to participate in a gathering of the Dana Aftermarket Team for a Digital Transformation Workshop designed to help their team better understand the digital transformation and eCommerce trends in the auto parts aftermarket, so they could confidently engage customers and facilitate growth. Digital transformation is happening in the automotive industry now. Understanding and making the necessary moves it takes to stay current with the auto industry’s digital direction is paramount for continued growth and success.

Online Sales Growth Chart for Auto Parts - CAGR

According to Data from the Auto Care Association and AASA, Digital Commerce in the Auto Parts Aftermarket has been growing at a 19.24% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) since 2013, while brick and mortar business has been growing at a 2.54% CAGR over the same period.  Digital Commerce now represents 12% of total aftermarket sales, and studies show that 70%+ of end users are using digital channels to research prior to purchase.  Learning to navigate this changing and growing channel is imperative for auto parts manufacturers and distributors alike.

Benefits of Digital Commerce to Brand Owners include:

  • Improved Brand Equity through
    direct control of Online Product Content
  • Direct Influence over resale
    price; versus trying to police Minimum Advertised Price (MAP)
  • Infinite Aisles of Aftermarket
    Automotive Product for Customers; visibility to Distribution and Manufacturing
    Inventory
  • New Product Introduction for parts
    not yet stocked by Brick and Mortar outlets, which also provides proven sales
    history to promote stocking within the Supply Chain.
  • Direct feedback from Customers,
    which eliminates lag time and allows for better decisions.
  • Increased sales for Distribution
    partners through tools provided by Brand Owners

Internal speakers from Dana covered topics such as lead generation, Google, benchmarking, and digital diagnostics at the Digital Transformation Workshop.  Guest speakers covered Digital Trends in Industrial segments, Aftermarket Automotive Digital Commerce, product content, drop shipping/fulfillment, change management, and customer experience.  Digital Commerce touches many different operations within a manufacturer, and it is important to include them all.

Dana Digital Transformation Workshop Venn Diagram

Through this format, participants were able to provide valuable feedback so the strategy and tactics could be refined to best suit customer needs, and participants were given new tools to help them guide customers to success.  GCommerce was honored to be able to participate and provide input to the Dana team on automotive eCommerce trends, auto parts order fulfillment processes, and the role technology companies play in connecting manufacturers to buyers.

Digital Commerce is growing and changing, so it’s important to have a strategy and continue to refine that strategy.  Dana’s Digital Transformation Workshop did exactly that.  Kudos to the leadership of Dana!

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.  Every participant in the Dana Digital Transformation Workshop left as a more able navigator.

If you would like to organize an Automotive Digital Transformation Workshop like this for your company, and want to learn more about what Dana did, you may reach out to Beth Mooney, Senior Manager: Ecommerce & Marketing, beth.mooney@dana.com. If your company does decide to have such a workshop, GCommerce would like to contribute.  Please feel free to contact Rick Main, Chief Revenue Officer, rmain@gcommerceinc.com.