Hedges & Co. has published its annual automotive parts & accessories forecast for online retailing.
The digital marketing agency serving the automotive aftermarket said in its forecast that online auto parts sales in 2018 will exceed $10 billion for the first time, a 16.3-percent increase compared to 2017. More than $5 billion of online purchases will be made on mobile phones this year, according to. Hedges & Co.
The group also forecasts online sales of auto parts will reach nearly $16 billion by 2021.
The marketing agency also forecasts 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. 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 percent of all consumers), visiting online auto parts retailer websites (73 percent), visiting manufacturer websites (57 percent) and visiting automotive forums (47 percent), according to Hedges & Co.
Online activity will influence nearly $152 billion in parts and accessory sales through all retail channels-including chain retail stores, automobile dealers, big box retailers, local independent brick & mortar retailers, jobbers, as well as online sales-by 2021, according to the marketing firm. Online sales include online retailers, as well as the growing trend of manufacturers selling direct to consumers (DTC).
Hedges & Co. has tracked online auto parts sales closely each year since 2007, using a combination of proprietary industry research, trends analysis, U.S. Census data, data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, interviews with industry sources, analysis of third-party data and statistical modeling, according to the company. The forecast does not include used or recycled parts, online auctions such as eBay Motors or third-party marketplaces. The forecast considers U.S. business only.
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