The aftermarket industry has been introduced to online service providers; online sales are experiencing an upward trend for sake of convenience and for conducting presales research of replacement parts and accessories for consumer to make informed decision and meaningful use. The online service providers offer quick access to the consumer of the replacement parts database. Few online service providers offer same day delivery commitment; which increases the attractiveness of the web based sales channel. The do-it-yourself consumer account for most of online parts sale and the same day delivery now opens door to the commercial consumer. The online option offers quick and easy access to the aftermarket parts database. This availability of parts online increases the competitiveness and includes body parts, engine parts, performance parts and accessories.
E commerce auto parts sales were projected to grow by 16% for 2016 and reach $7.4 billion. The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) projects 3.5% sales growth for do-it-yourself category. According to Hedges & Company for the year 2017 online sales of automotive aftermarket parts are projected to hit $8.4 billion, with increase of approximately $1 billion each year. By 2019 online sales are projected to break $10 billion.
E commerce research is the first step a consumer would take to increase the base knowledge for the product and aftermarket replacement parts. The consumer for reason of convenience goes to the online channel for information. A consumer who does research online and make a purchase in store refers the process as webgrooming. A consumer who does research in shop and makes a purchase on online refers the process as showrooming. For this reason most of the manufacturer’s are tying up with e commerce portals to enable direct selling to the customer. With e commerce portals they offer product research online but not necessarily connect shoppers to local dealer for purchases. But these online ecommerce tools are no match to the extensive in –store services and in person advice and a feel stores have to offer; where a shopper can negotiate on the aftermarket replacement parts and accessories.
In compare to the traditional brick and mortar shops e-commerce online solutions offer an optimized environment to manage both inventory stock and consumer interest. Online shops have a long way to go and would mark the future of the automotive aftermarket industry. Together both in store and online services offer a load of options to the consumer for quality, inventory, price and delivery.