May 17, 2018—Hedges & Co., a digital marketing agency serving the automotive aftermarket, has published its annual automotive parts & accessories forecast for online retailing. The new forecast shows online auto parts sales in 2018 will be more than $10 billion.
The agency predicts the automotive aftermarket will continue its dramatic shift to digital as online retail sales of auto parts and accessories in 2018 will exceed $10 billion for the first time, posting a 16.3 percent increase over 2017, with more than $5 billion of that occurring on mobile phones. Hedges & Co. forecasts online sales of auto parts to reach nearly $16 billion in 2021.
Hedges & Co. 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).
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 (DTC).