Posted on

Case Study: Pep Boys Automotive

Car battery being installed by a gloved technician

I had a pleasant eCommerce experience earlier in the month and thought it’s worthy of sharing. This was not WooCommerce specific, but it makes the case for investment in eCommerce solutions. This workflow could easily be built using the open-source WooCommerce framework.

I had been noticing my 7-year old KIA being increasingly sluggish to start. That’s a tell-tale sign of a battery going bad. Given that car batteries typically last 4-5 years it’s a wonder it lasted those 7 years. The first and second sets of tires the car came with performed terribly, but it seems had lucked out with the original battery – until now. It was definitely time to figure out a replacement before I got stranded somewhere. Ugh! Who’s got time to deal with that?

After some Googling I found PepBoys is a popular choice. The O-Reilly down the street from me was out-of-stock with the battery that fits my car. Plus, PepBoys installs the new battery for you and takes the old one away for recycling.

With very little effort on their website I was able to:

  1. Find Car Batteries product category with a couple of clicks.
  2. Enter my vehicle year, make, model, and engine type.
  3. Pick from the one and only battery they have the fits my car.
  4. Set my local store from a zip code lookup.
  5. Add the fitting battery to my shopping cart.
  6. Pick an appointment for installation, same day!
  7. Checkout as a guest and pay for the battery with the applicable taxes.
  8. Download an ICS file so the appointment goes directly onto my shared working calendar.
  9. Show up and get the job done within about 30 minutes.

That’s pretty darn effective. While the site wasn’t one of the better designed I’ve seen, it was fast and effective. I do hope the mobile device experience is as good as the desktop experience was.

Do consider selling services or product-service bundles on your website. Also consider offering a scheduling system that maximizes the value of the customer’s session on your website. Bringing existing business operations online is what eCommerce is all about.