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Case Study: Digital Strategy Restores an Auto Parts Retailer

Facing stiff competition from online rivals, a traditional company integrated its in-store and online shopping experiences to better meet customers’ evolving demands.


A major automotive company was struggling under the weight of duplicate parts, overlapping systems, supply chain inefficiency, and inconsistency across channels—all of which were chipping away at the quality of the customer experience. Meanwhile, online retailers had raised the bar, and traditional rivals were adapting not only their store formats but also the online shopping experience.

Leadership quickly recognized that the company needed to take action and brought in A.T. Kearney to help redesign operations with a new focus on digital.


A.T. Kearney began by benchmarking the retailer’s performance with its industry peers and assessing consumer demands. Once the key development areas were identified, we partnered with the retailer to use advanced analytics and algorithms to develop and pilot commercial applications that meet customers’ needs. We also defined the core technology capabilities needed to support a superior customer experience and an evolving supply chain.

To quickly ramp up online sales, the retailer partnered with an online company in a new model of business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) e-commerce. The retailer also developed a new in-store experience based on expert support, in line with store formats of leading technology consumer brands.

Impact and advantage

Integrating in-store sales with e-commerce creates a frictionless shopping experience for consumers while also giving the company a 360-degree customer view by aggregating data from all channels. A new, more flexible technology landscape and integrated data architecture are now supporting advanced analytics to further improve the customer experience. With an enhanced customer experience and streamlined operations, revenues have increased, and customer satisfaction and retention have improved. In addition, the company has lowered its distribution and inventory costs and reduced its risk of overstocking or understocking items in stores. The simplified landscape reduced the company’s operating costs, and the company’s C-suite saw the results. The experience brought to life how digital innovation can make a transformational impact on our business,” the company’s CEO said.