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Australian Automotive Aftermarket Sign Historic Repair and Service Information Sharing Agreement

By | Announcements, Automotive, Blog, Comment, Industry | No Comments

 

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Finally, after five years of intense campaigning by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the heads of the biggest stakeholders in the automotive industry (both from supply and service sectors) have signed a historic Heads of Agreement on December 15 to free the consumers in their choice of vehicle service suppliers and repairers.

The move ensures that vehicle telematics (information gathered by sensors on vehicles for a wide variety of purposes, including tracking, navigation, safety and mobile data) in this case, information very critical to having one’s vehicle repaired and serviced, will be made fully available and not hoarded by just a few players who wish to control the market.

This means even the smallest vehicle service and repair business will have access to critical information in order to fix, service, and fine-tune vehicles – information which was previously only available to manufacturers and their preferred dealers. This levels the playing field for small aftermarket businesses

Bruce Billson, Federal Minister for Small Business, said that the agreement is “a significant achievement for the rights of consumers and all automotive businesses, big and small.”

With the signing of the agreement, aftermarket enthusiasts now have a choice on getting the most affordable and efficient vehicle repair and servicing without fears that work done by small vehicle service businesses will be not up to legal and market standards. This means safe and professional vehicle maintenance everywhere in Australia – a very welcome news indeed for Australian aftermarket enthusiasts.

The agreement includes:

  1. Guidelines and governing bodies in the resolution of disputes;
  2. Safeguards to make repair information fully available (even if for a price) to all stakeholders; and
  3. The use of emerging technologies in collecting, processing, transmitting, and diagnosing vehicle telematics while at the same time providing safeguards to owners of data – often the consumers. A report on the progress of these emerging technologies is to be submitted within a year after signing the agreement.

The agreement’s signatories include representatives from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (the car industry), the Australian Automotive Dealers Association (the new car dealers), the Australian Motor Industry Federation (retail motor trades), the Australian Automobile Association (car owners) and the AAAA.

AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity was quoted as saying “the agreement is a win-win-win for all parties. It promotes consumer choice for owners of 17 million vehicles – particularly those in regional areas where there are fewer dealerships. It helps 22,000 small workshops remain business. And the vehicle manufacturers will earn a fair price for the data that they share.”

This is a welcome news not only for Australian aftermarket enthusiasts but for the whole Australian aftermarket sector as well.

Even as Australia’s vehicle manufacturing supply sector declined – underscored by Australian car manufacturer Holden’s decision to stop making cars in Australia by 1917 – the automotive aftermarket manufacturing sector surprisingly grew – fueled by Australian boom-time cash and Australians’ passion for vehicle customisation. The aftermarket sector is a $4 billion/year industry in terms of sales, employing 36 percent (16,000 out of 45,000) of Australian auto industry workers. These auto workers, along with aftermarket enthusiasts, all stand to benefit from the historic vehicle repair and service information sharing agreement.

Enform strongly supports the automotive aftermarket and see’s great opportunities for our customers in this area with knowledge share and marketing through information.

eBay Australia Rolls Out New Product Image Policy

By | Announcements, Blog, Comment, ecommerce, Research, Training, Web Design | No Comments

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eBay Australia vendors should take note that beginning August 4, 2014, all new item listings, including those that are relisted without an image or has an image smaller than 500 pixels will be automatically blocked.

As most of eBay’s Australian Solution Partners already know, the online marketplace announced last year its plans to roll out a new image policy that would affect all product listings on eBay.com.au.

Since February 2014, the site had slowly put the new policy into effect across all listings. For those not completely aware of the change, or need a reminder on what to expect from the policy, here’s a quick refresher for you.

  • All item listings must feature at least one image.
  • Stock images can only be used on listings for brand new items/products, otherwise original photos should be taken of the item in its current state
  • All images must have a minimum image size of 500 pixels on the longest side. eBay recommends a size of 1600 for best results
  • Pictures must have no borders, text, or artwork – sometimes referred to as “graffiti”
  • Watermarks are allowed, but only for ownership and attribution purposes

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Graffiti, including text, borders, etc. won’t be blocked, for now, but eBay still recommends, and strongly at that, to feature graffiti-free images, as outlined in the company’s Picture Requirements.

Exemptions

However, there are exemptions to eBay’s new rule. The following categories are not included in the site’s image size requirements. These are:

  • Services
  • Books
  • Sub-categories within Collectibles & Memorabilia under Music and Movies

Why the change?

According to eBay, buyers have told them that the quality of product photos found on the site leaves a lot to be desired. And with the advent of mobile, and the fact that over half of all eBay.com.au visits come from mobile devices, image quality has taken high prominence in the mobile shopping experience.

Elements of a great listing photo

We at Enform recommend that our clients take note of the following tips for product images:

  • Don’t rely on direct flash lighting as this creates harsh and unpleasant shadows. Use off-camera lights, several of them, for an eye-pleasing look to your photos.
  • Use continuous lighting to minimise the effect of flaring and unpleasant reflections
  • For your lighting, lights with daylight or 5500k colour temperature work best for clear photos
  • Purchase or build your own softboxes for softer, more even lighting.
  • Clean white backdrops work best for product imagery and no graffiti
  • Square images work best on eBay, and are the safest option for mobile viewing
  • Use a photo editor, even a basic one, to enhance colour, contrast, and brightness, as well as to crop the image.
  • The item should take up as much space as possible on the image
  • Be sure to take multiple images of products from different angles, as well as close ups to reveal details and flaws, if any.

ebay advice

eBay’s recommendations aren’t hard to figure out, and should only benefit you and your listings’ chances of being sold on the site.

Enform releases results of Australian automotive performance usomer survey 2009

By | Announcements, Automotive, Research | No Comments

Performance Survey

Enform has released the results of the Australian performance products usomer survey to help automotive performance brands better understand their customer and the rapidly changing market.  Enform targeted over 15,000 performance enthusiasts and industry participants and invited them to complete an online survey. 

 The survey covered the following issues:

  • sources of performance product information and research used
  • purchasing intentions including most likely buying channels
  • online sources used for researching or buying performance products
  • performance brands used in Australia, awareness and related Net Promoter Scores (NPS)*

Jim Gurieff, director of Enform says, “We believe the results of the survey have uncovered a great opportunity for any Australian automotive performance brand that is looking for export opportunities and more effective and efficient ways to market their products in the performance sector.”

 A highlight summary of the questions and answers can be downloaded here.

Enform releases results of Australian Business Travel Survey 2009

By | Announcements, Research, Travel | No Comments
Enform Australian Business Travel Survey 2009

Enform Australian Business Travel Survey 2009

Enform Networks releases the results of Australia’s first comprehensive business travel survey covering brands, technology, emerging trends and the realities of a changed economic climate.

Enform targeted over 300 Australian based senior executives in the corporate sector who regularly travel and those who manage, administer and/or arrange corporate travel on behalf of the business.

The Enform Networks’ Business Travel Survey covered the following issues:

  • business travel management in the current economic climate
  • business and corporate travel trends in the current environment
  • sources of travel information and research used
  • technology, systems and how they relate to travel management
  • user and traveler preferences and priorities
  • business travel brands used in Australia, awareness and related Net Promoter Scores (NPS)*

*Net Promoter Score index – for more on this important consumer advocacy metric visit www.netpromoter.org

The linked en_biztravelsurvey2009_summary document provides details of the questions along with a short summary of key findings. Additional information is available upon request by contacting Enform Networks.

 

Enform Networks completes the Australian Business Travel Survey – 2009

By | Announcements, Research, Travel | No Comments

Enform Networks has just completed the first Australian Business Traveler Survey. The survey was conducted via a combination of web questionnaire and telephone follow-up  during April and May 2009. In conjunction with a leading Australian TMC, 300+ qualified respondents delivered answers to questions relating to;

  • Business travel management in the current economic climate
  • Business and corporate travel trends in the current environment
  • Sources of travel information and research used
  • Technology, systems and how they relate to travel management
  • User and traveller preferences and priorities
  • Business travel brands used in Australia, awareness and related Net Promoter Scores (NPS)*

We hope to have a summary of the results soon.