Manufacturers struggle to drive beneficial postpurchase experiences for consumers. In fact, creating a good postpurchase experience has become an afterthought for many makers of appliances, power tools and consumer electronics, according to recent CMO Council research.
Conducted in cooperation with LiveTechnology, the research reveals a need for brands to commit to better customer support and more timely parts replacement—steps that are often independent of retailers yet reflect on their brand.
Ninety-three percent of those manufacturers surveyed view ownership experience as an important brand differentiator, yet only 19% derive more than 10% of their revenue from aftermarket services. And only 20% generate more than 10% of their profit from this postpurchase process.
For retailers, the number is much higher, as 65% get more than 10% of their revenue and 51% earn more than 10% of their profit from the aftermarket.
For retailers, more than half, 56%, consider aftermarket services as a strategic area of focus, compared with 45% of manufacturers.
"While top management on the manufacturer side is strongly committed to creating customer-centric cultures, they don't appear to be giving CMOs the responsibility to take ownership of the aftermarket as a revenue and margin opportunity or a critical area of customer loyalty-building and brand attachment," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.
In fact, less than 10% of chief marketers had responsibility for this area of operation, and it was mostly fragmented across multiple titles.
So why are more manufacturers not taking responsibility for the aftermarket?
According to the CMO Council, one reason is that brands are relying on retail partners to take on the bulk of aftermarket opportunities.
"Indeed, 57% of retailers we surveyed feel that brands are very dependent on channel partners or third parties when it comes to delivering a quality aftermarket experience," a representative from the CMO Council told FierceRetail.
Secondly, while some manufacturers are thinking strategically about how new opportunities for service-oriented business opportunities, many are still focused on a sales approach.
"Brands that effectively leverage the aftermarket can create powerful add-on sales opportunities. By effectively engaging with consumers after the point of purchase, they can understand how the consumer is using the product, and therefore provide recommendations for add-on purchases or similar purchases that can equally provide benefit to the consumer. They can also benefit by brand affinity and customer recommendations that are extremely powerful in today’s connected age," the representative added.