Quantcast
Jump to content


Joe Marconi

Openbay Partners with AutoZone; Is this what we need?

Recommended Posts

Openbay has partnered with AutoZone Inc. to enable Boston-area consumers to comparison shop and book automotive repair and maintenance services with a network of local professionals directly from autozone.com.

 

I don't know how you feel, but is this really where we are headed? An online service, now partnered with a Parts Company, that gives prices over the internet and comparisons to other shops.

 

Am I stuck in the past, or concerned about our future???

 

Here's an article on the topic:

http://www.ratchetandwrench.com/RatchetWrench/June-2015/Openbay-Partners-with-AutoZone/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


It's just beginning. AAA has partnered with Driver's Side. I got this from another shop owner.

"AAA makes a CRM deal with Driverside.com. Driverside.com is owned by Advanced Auto Parts. AAA wants to collect all member and NON-Member information from your management system. AAA wants to build brick and mortar locations to compete in the automotive service space. Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture??"

 

 

I don't think we can stop the trend of customer's looking for information online. The question becomes, How do we use the technology to help our business?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today's customers (generational customers) are internet savvy, however, they are NOT technical savvy when it comes to the complexities of today's modern car. But, they are willing to go to Auto Zone for their car needs, and I believe that's from years of hearing from their older siblings and parents how expensive car repair is and/or how much they believe they've been ripped by a mechanic. Not realizing their parents probably have the same level of "expertise" in the field of automotive repair. As we all know, even a simple repair can be made difficult because of a broken bolt, poor previous maintenance practices, or some screwed up aftermarket add on device. In my position, as a shop owner/mechanic I feel it is part of my job to inform them how wrong they are about comparing AZ parts to OEM. The thought of Auto Zone giving out advice on which mechanic or which shop to go to is simply absurd.

 

What I've noticed is most people will go to Auto Zone first, and after they've tried their alternator (for example) and it still doesn't fix their problem they head to a shop that ... usually...is found by word of mouth. AND, that's usually the last time they shop AZ, or at least until their memory fades to the point that they're willing to take another chance with one of their parts.

 

This whole thing sounds like some CEO's gimmick to make a fast buck. Will it draw customers? YEP, sure will... maybe once, maybe once in a while. But, the trust between a mechanic/shop and the customer is something that is earned and respected...the AZ shoppers in my opinion, are only looking for cheap... not loyalty or quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more reason not to by Autozone parts... We all already know they are attempting to destroy repair shops. It started with the "free scan" then the "loaner tool" program and now "Openbay". Okay autozone, we hear what you're saying, now go peddle your parts elsewhere.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more reason not to by Autozone parts... We all already know they are attempting to destroy repair shops. It started with the "free scan" then the "loaner tool" program and now "Openbay". Okay autozone, we hear what you're saying, now go peddle your parts elsewhere.

I agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will have to forgive me for I don't see using an internet based company's valuable customer base as a bad thing. Much like the market that we work in right now, the low ball grimey shops deliver poor experiences and customers don't go back. Rack up a half dozen awful ratings and see how many jobs you get no matter how low your price is on one of these sites.

 

I don't go for the lowest price, I provide an honest fair quote and find myself among the other several shops that have done the same with great ratings. I am taking business AWAY from those grimey shops that may have otherwise got the business had the customer not used the web platform (perhaps they just called them, got a low price and went there) and saw that they sucked.

 

I also think that I tend to retain these customers better and see them more frequently for maintenance items because these online platforms almost automatically schedule routine work that they need. They are also less likely to push items out. What this means to me is that I am likely to change a particularly customer's tires an extra time or two over the many years I service them. Making up for the 10% they are asking two fold. And quotes are still provided by me, so there is nothing stopping me from quoting something $105 that would have been $100 as a walk in. Customers want to use the internet and they are okay paying for that convenience.

 

Sounds like I am alone on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will have to forgive me for I don't see using an internet based company's valuable customer base as a bad thing. Much like the market that we work in right now, the low ball grimey shops deliver poor experiences and customers don't go back. Rack up a half dozen awful ratings and see how many jobs you get no matter how low your price is on one of these sites.

 

I don't go for the lowest price, I provide an honest fair quote and find myself among the other several shops that have done the same with great ratings. I am taking business AWAY from those grimey shops that may have otherwise got the business had the customer not used the web platform (perhaps they just called them, got a low price and went there) and saw that they sucked.

 

I also think that I tend to retain these customers better and see them more frequently for maintenance items because these online platforms almost automatically schedule routine work that they need. They are also less likely to push items out. What this means to me is that I am likely to change a particularly customer's tires an extra time or two over the many years I service them. Making up for the 10% they are asking two fold. And quotes are still provided by me, so there is nothing stopping me from quoting something $105 that would have been $100 as a walk in. Customers want to use the internet and they are okay paying for that convenience.

 

Sounds like I am alone on this?

nope, we are in it too. Look, i know you old heads (no offense) dont want to see this and i have seen your reasons and they are valid. You cannot stop this, the consumer is tired of the guy that is ripping them off and they want answers. It just so happens that these "online" companys are doing what we want, gathering customers. Why would you not want to be apart of this? I am signed up with repairpal (he you cant get your pricing in between there scale then i wouldnt be taking my car to you anyway), openbay and other thing that i can get our name out there on. I give our price, if they dont want it then they move on, but we are participating. We just recently signed up with openbay and have done a few quotes, nothing has come of it but i didnt sign up to expect it. TBH i dont know what to expect from it but the internet is going to be changing things in EVERY industry and it will continue, so, again, adapt or die.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately our local Auto zone has been quoting labor prices, I wonder if this is the result of openbay . People call all the time, AZ says its $60 to change my xxxx. I say let AZ do it then I can't quote a price without looking at your car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lately our local Auto zone has been quoting labor prices, I wonder if this is the result of openbay . People call all the time, AZ says its $60 to change my xxxx. I say let AZ do it then I can't quote a price without looking at your car.

I am the same way. As soon as a customer tells me they can get it done at the shop down the road for x amount I tell them you better go back there cause that is a hell of a deal. They usually end up leaving the car or if they leave you will see them back a few hours later after they have exhausted all other options in the area. I also tend to match a customers attitude, If they come at me sort of abrasive or demanding I am the same way with them. The funny thing is when you match their attitude they seem to respond better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The major trade publications for two years now have been warning us that our industry (independent repair) is ripe for consolidation, they just didn't say how. Think of the local hardware store from 30 years ago, the family doctor or the local pharmacy from 15 years, all gone due to consolidation. I'm afraid that our industry will be consolidated to the AAA, Goodyear, Firestone etc. driven by consumer demand made possible by the internet.

 

As many of you have already stated, the real question is how do we change with...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The major trade publications for two years now have been warning us that our industry (independent repair) is ripe for consolidation, they just didn't say how. Think of the local hardware store from 30 years ago, the family doctor or the local pharmacy from 15 years, all gone due to consolidation. I'm afraid that our industry will be consolidated to the AAA, Goodyear, Firestone etc. driven by consumer demand made possible by the internet.

 

As many of you have already stated, the real question is how do we change with...

 

Our franchisor for Car-x was acquired by Monro. Monro has made more than 30 acquisitions totaling more than 500 stores and producing revenue of 650 million since 2000. I have oftened wondered why Wal-Mart really didnt do something with their TLE's. If they did they could possible dominate the market. The biggest issue I think we all face is that future advertising is going to be all internet and digital. The business that can figure that out will be successful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel most customers are more knowledgeable , also more confused. Auto Zone is in my office twice a week now. I think they know the DIYr is stopping quickly. Most of the AZ employees were working in Walmrt Produce 2 months ago. I see nothing but good times for the ethical independent shops in the next 10 years.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good news is the local garage can't be easily replaced. Anyone can buy pop tarts or glue at Walmart vs mom's grocery, and with no detrimental effects to the consumer. That's why mom and pop grocer's and hardware stores disappeared. Same product, easier acessability, lower prices. Walmart and AZ cannot simplify complex unique repairs. I don't forsee it happening in my lifetime. They try with batteries but even that will probably go away soon, too costly when burger man hooks up a battery wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will all be wearing body cams at some point. I serve those that allow me to and wish the others all the best. You have to attract the small fish if you want the big fish to come.

Edited by FROGFINDER

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...