Automotive Aftermarket Retailer Shifts Website into High Gear with Geolocation Technology, Increases Store Calls by 22 Percent
With the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) projecting a 4.5 percent increase in sales for next year, retailers such as 4 Wheel Parts are gearing up to grow their share of this billion-dollar industry for 2010 and beyond.
With 55 stores, also known as retail performance centers, in addition to a large e-commerce site, catalog distribution and a wholesale division, 4 Wheel Parts has earned the distinction as the nation’s largest automotive aftermarket retailer.
As the company continues to serve the needs of the off-road industry, its focus remains on growth and improvement as 4 Wheel Parts constantly strives to deliver unrivalled and praiseworthy customer experiences every day. It has been this fervor that has helped 4 Wheel Parts develop into the nation’s largest distributor of wheels, tires, life kits, tonneau covers, and other 4×4 parts and accessories for trucks, Jeeps and SUVs.
4 Wheel Parts continues to be on the cutting edge of the industry, offering everything from computerized order tracking to overnight delivery, and even an exclusive ship-to-store feature. For a company already utilizing state-of-the-art inventory management technology that links its 55 retail performance centers with its six massive distribution warehouses, it made perfect sense to incorporate even more innovative technology where it is equally, if not more, important—at the point of sale.
“At 4 Wheel Parts, we needed a more effective way to integrate our e-commerce channel with our physical retail stores,” said Chris Casarez, Internet marketing specialist, 4 Wheel Parts. “We recognized a need to better communicate to web users that physical store locations may exist nearby. This would help conversions for people who prefer to buy at a store after doing online research.”
Casarez also wanted a way to show the company’s products online, relevant to a user’s location. “A visitor in Michigan, for example, has very different automotive needs than a visitor in San Diego, especially during winter. And, we wanted to use that knowledge to our advantage when merchandising our products on the website,” he added.
With company objectives clearly established, Casarez hit the fast lane to find a geolocation technology to fit the needs of 4 Wheel Parts.
After exhausting its research efforts, 4 Wheel Parts selected Digital Element, the global leader in IP Intelligence and geolocation. Casarez and his team conducted a series of meetings with the Digital Element staff and gained the confidence in the integrity of the company’s data that was needed in order to move forward with the 4 Wheel Parts’ strategy.
“We chose Digital Element because the company demonstrated its leadership position in the field,” said Casarez. “We knew incorporating geospecific information was the direction we needed to take and noticed that Digital Element was already providing other large retailers, such as Ace Hardware, with the type of data we were looking for.”
4 Wheel Parts has leveraged Digital Element’s NetAcuity product for these strategic online initiatives:
- Store Locator Enhancements – By detecting a site visitor’s location, 4 Wheel Parts can automatically feature retail stores nearest to the visitor’s area.
- Channel Synergy – As the only retailer in its class to offer in-store pick up for online orders, 4 Wheel Parts gives shoppers in close proximity to one of its retail locations the option of picking items up in-store to avoid shipping costs. This also gives retail stores a point-of-purchase-based possibility of making an add-on sale.
According to Casarez, 4 Wheel Parts has experienced more activity on its store pages and more web-based calls to its stores since deploying NetAcuity.
“Since implementing Digital Element’s technology, we have seen a 6.2 percent increase in unique visits to our store pages as well as a 22 percent increase in our web-based store calls,” Casarez specifically cited.
In the future, 4 Wheel Parts plans to use NetAcuity for content customization. The company will show a different array of products to site visitors based on various IP Intelligence data, creating an even more personalized and convenient experience for online shoppers.