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Automotive Aftermarket Sees Major Surge In Online Sales

Online sales are surging for companies in the automotive aftermarket, according to data from Hedges & Co.

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Stimulus payments totaling $155 billion helped drive online sales higher during the week of April 12-18, Hedges & Co. noted.

It looks like the trend is continuing this week, as stay-at-home orders and stimulus checks accelerate the transition to online sales of auto parts and accessories.

Hudson, Ohio-based Hedges & Co., a digital marketing agency serving the automotive aftermarket, OEM parts and powersports industries, analyzed 7.7 million online user sessions and online purchases from parts and accessory websites in the United States and Canada. The analysis included retailer websites and manufacturers selling direct to consumer.

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In the analysis, the company gave online sales from the week of March 1 an index of 100, before widespread shutdowns were in place. The week of April 12-18 had an index of 140, or a 40% overall increase in online sales of parts and accessories from six weeks earlier.

Hedges & Co. broke down the analysis into OEM replacement parts; truck and off-road parts; and performance/racing parts. Here are the comparisons of the week of April 12-18 to the week of March 1-7:

  • Overall aftermarket e-commerce sales: index of 140.3 vs. 100 for the week of March 1-7
  • OEM replacement sales: index of 125.4 vs. 100, the first positive week after sales declines in earlier weeks
  • Truck and off-road sales: index of 157.2 vs. 100.
  • Performance/racing sales: index of 148.9 vs. 100, showing surprisingly strong demand considering many motorsports events are cancelled

Another factor contributing to the surge in online sales appears to be from Amazon’s apparent cutback in promotions and advertising for automotive parts and accessories, as the retailing giant focuses on products related to the coronavirus crisis, such as disinfecting wipes, sprays and other health items.

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“The week of April 12-18 was an amazing week in the aftermarket, as stimulus payments started showing up,” Hedges & Co. said in a blog post. “Consumers gained approximately $155 billion in their checking accounts.”

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