A new annual forecast for online retailing shows online auto sales in 2018 will be more than $10 billion, according to a report by Hedges & Company, a digital marketing agency serving the automotive aftermarket.
Nearly $138 billion in retail sales in 2018 through all sales channels – including traditional retail channels – will be influenced by the internet, due to online activity by consumers and service professionals, according to the company’s report.
The automotive aftermarket will continue its dramatic shift to digital as online retail sales of auto parts & accessories in 2018 will exceed $10 billion for the first time, posting a 16.3% increase over 2017, with more than $5 billion of that occurring on mobile phones. Hedges & Company forecasts online sales of auto parts to reach nearly $16 billion in 2021.
This influence comes from consumers doing online research before buying a part, reading information and checking fitment on a manufacturer’s website, being exposed to online advertising, reading product or reseller reviews, going to automotive forums, or using search engines. The four most popular methods of online research used by consumers before buying are using search engines like Google or Bing (74% of all consumers), visiting online auto parts retailer websites (73%), visiting manufacturer websites (57%) and visiting automotive forums (47%).
Online activity will influence nearly $152 billion in parts and accessory sales through all retail channels – chain retail stores, automobile dealers, big box retailers, local independent brick & mortar retailers, jobbers, as well as online sales – by 2021. Online sales include online retailers, as well as the growing trend of manufacturers selling direct to consumers.
Hedges & Company has tracked online auto parts sales closely each year since 2007, using a combination of proprietary industry research, trends analysis, US Census data, data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, interviews with industry sources, analysis of third-party data and statistical modeling. The forecast does not include used or recycled parts, online auctions such as eBay Motors or third-party marketplaces. The forecast includes the United States only.
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