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Automobiles

One of the biggest success stories in the world of electronic commerce has been Autobytel, an online car sale site in the United States and Canada. From a single site, it is instantly possible to select a model of nearly all the makes available in America. Autobytel has already declared its intention of conquering the European market. Many different services have now been added to the basic service (finance, insurance, etc ...). The economic principal of Autobytel even calls into question the role of car dealers, since there is a transfer of added value from the latter to Autobytel, which manages the commercial relationship from beginning to end, and relegates the dealer to the position simply of handing over the car keys to the customer, which also divides his profit margin by three or four. To stand up to the threat, the dealers and manufacturers (who are losing control of part of the selling process) obviously need to change their role by broadening the scope of services they offer (which is part of the manufacturers' long-term policy). Internet can be considered by the manufacturers as a customer loyalty tool, which allows them to get closer to their customers by analysing changing demand in real time, thanks to a continuous contact with everyone, moving towards an advanced personalisation system of each of the models it delivers, maintenance assistance by setting up the possibility of associated services, thanks to portable equipment (journey itineraries on demand, information services, etc...). Taking into account the amount of time motorists spend in their vehicles, if these were equipped with a portable information system, they could be considered as an online distribution venue. Sites which produce automobile information could potentially be very valuable partners in the world of electronic commerce.

The main players now and in the future
The federal sites such as Autobytel, Autoweb or Carpoint. The intelligent agents which will compare what's on offer from the federal sites, will also eventually include the large and smaller publishers in their comparisons, and will compare drivers' opinions. The manufacturers. Manufacturers in developing countries (India, Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, South America).

Innovative services
The creation of made-to-measure cars and the possibility to follow the car's production. Diagnosis by computer. Long-distance maintenance. Added-value services. Community sites for individuals. Community sites for professionals.


Telecommunications and electronic goods

The electronic goods market for the general public (hi-fi, video, portable phones) is dominated by the American, European and Asian multinationals. These products generally have a short life-cycle, their prices have fallen almost constantly within the last ten years, and their distribution is complicated. Taking these factors into account, their stocks have to be very carefully controlled. In addition, the distribution of this type of product is very different depending on the country (widely available in Japan, very concentrated in France). Internet can partly solve these problems as it allows the launch of a new product to be speeded up. Setting up an efficient online distribution network necessitates a precise identification of buying habits (for example, television sales soar at the time of sporting events such as the Olympic Games or the World Cup) and the inclusion of affiliation programmes and specific promotions (with sport sites, for example). In addition, price transparency on Internet would increase the pressure on prices to the extent that there would be little difference between the different manufacturers. But for the most expensive products (televisions, home theatre, hi-fi systems) a system of production to measure would maintain profit margins.

The main players now and in the future
Sites associated with the products' use (video, music, sport). The big manufacturers. Developing countries which produce cheap bottom-of-the-range products.

Innovative services
Personalised products. Co-branding.


 

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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