3/07/07

AutoZone is driving slowly into more e-commerce

AutoZone continues to invest in the Internet, but sees its web site mainly as a channel that supports its network of 3,847 stores. Today, customers use AutoZone.com primarily to access information on vehicle parts and services.

Bill Briggs , Senior Editor

AutoZone Inc. continues to invest in the Internet, but still sees its web site primarily as a channel that supports its network of 3,847 stores.

“We obviously believe that we still have an opportunity from an Internet capability and we continue to invest in there,” AutoZone CEO William C. Rhodes told analysts on the company’s recent second quarter conference call. “It’s not a significant portion of our business today.”

In recent years, AutoZone, No. 161 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has updated AutoZone.com to include several new features and functions such as online circulars, downloadable coupons and the ability for customers to send a digital shopping list to a nearby store.

But AutoZone also still sees e-commerce and the web as a sales channel with a longer term return on investment. Today, customers use AutoZone.com primarily as research tool to access information on vehicle parts and services. “The other aspect of the Internet is that it’s a great opportunity for customers to come to the site and get educated on certain products and get information and then eventually buy on-line and pick-up at store,” Rhodes told analysts. “We believe that there’s opportunity for that. It’s not significant as it is today, but there is certainly opportunity for us to continue to plug into that channel of distribution.”

Topics:

AutoZone, business finance, Internet, Technology Internet

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