4 Trends Where Car Mechanic Software Solves the Problem
If you haven’t had a chance to dive into the Auto Care Association’s 2023 Factbook yet, we highly recommend it. Its insights show how e-commerce built into car mechanic software creates a brighter future.
In general, the next generation of drivers expect better service, especially when online. Looking ahead, trends show how interactive shop management software lays the groundwork for success in coming years.
First, the overview
The general health of the economy surfaces as the overall theme. You won’t be surprised as global economies have faced the pandemic, shipping issues, inflation and the war in Ukraine.
According to experts, the automotive aftermarket will expand to a $514-billion industry by 2024, despite supply chain challenges and staff shortages.
In short, our industry changes constantly so we need to adapt as our customers and market conditions evolve. Let’s look at how car mechanic software can make for a less bumpy ride.
Our shops step up to fix aging cars
As the average age of vehicles keeps rising, owners tend to avoid non-essential repairs, focusing instead on keeping cars running. Compared to past surveys, the issue of average age of vehicles rose to the top spot in 2022.
Since 2020, the value of delayed maintenance value by Do It For Me (DIFM) clients has increased by 7.6%. Yet, the consumer knows they will need services and repairs at some point.
Consider these numbers:
- the average age of a U.S. vehicle is 12.2 years
- 42% of vehicles are even older
- Ownership of vehicles between 4 and 7 years have grown the fastest since 2017
Meanwhile, as gas prices went up between May 2021 and April 2022, miles traveled dropped drastically. “Vehicle miles traveled is the leading indicator for aftermarket spend,” the ACA notes. At the same time, auto repair shops continue to be essential to the 228 million licensed drivers in the U.S.
“We see 2022 as being a good year for the U.S. automotive aftermarket as fewer individuals will buy new cars,” it adds. “They will need to have greater repairs done on their existing vehicles.”
Of course, shops rely on automotive shop software to get the job done smoothly with all the right parts.
Car mechanic software delivers better customer experiences
The ACA defines two types of consumers: DIYers who buy and install their own parts and do-it-for-mes who hire us.
DIY consumers turn to shops with convenient locations where they have had good experiences and get a low price – in that order. When they buy parts or services, they want clear information and brands on a website then quick and easy checkouts.
Meanwhile, the do-it-for-me (DIFM) consumer prefers to hire a professional to repair, maintain and install parts. Those who bring their vehicle to an independent repair shop are likely:
- Under 40 years of age
- Owners of older vehicles beyond their warranties
These do-it-for-me consumers seek a good customer experience, a convenient location and low prices from an aftermarket repair shop. However, if they are over age 60 and earn higher incomes, they are more likely to get services at a dealership.
First, you set the tone as soon as a car owner arrives and you start their RO with a few clicks, thanks to canned jobs and past service. Next, you could tell them their brake pads run thin, but an image of the worn parts with a gauge reading changes the game. Showing photos or videos from within the RO makes it real.
Now, they can see why they are paying for your expertise. And that earns their trust and loyalty.
Check out these additional ways to ensure a great customer experience.
Auto repair software values your time – and theirs
Is your shop attuned to drivers under age 40? Today’s Gen Z and Gen Y aftermarket customers are:
- much less likely to go to a new-vehicle dealership for service
- more likely to do work themselves or through a friend or family member
As a result, shops must make a special effort to build a bond and trust with these younger customers.
Therefore, to attract younger customers, shops need to focus on two key areas. First, you must show them the value of hiring a pro rather than to turn to your handy uncle. That means showing them the complexity of their car and how you build the estimate to fix it.
Secondly, you want to communicate with them using the technology they use every day: texting and live chats in auto repair software. Sending photos, videos and updates within the flow of their day offers shows you value their time too.
Ecommerce in auto shop software makes life easier
Digital-first auto shop software for our customers doesn’t just deliver transparency. It also reveals insights about good customers that merchants can use to up-sell, cross-sell, and promote brand loyalty in the future.
Pre-internet, traditional offline transactions and services often led to problems for pricing, efficiency and quality. Now, sophisticated e-commerce has emerged to set a higher bar for online aftermarket services.
In short, the integration of online transactions and offline service is the new form of automotive repair maintenance. As a result, Shop-Ware offers more integrations than any other shop management system, from accounting to auto repair estimating software.
You can read the full document if you have an Auto Care Association account. If you don’t have an account, then you can create one to read the full Factbook.
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