The automotive industry is currently undergoing a critical change. No longer are consumers forced to purchase auto parts from local stores. They can now buy these items over the internet. As online retail sales continue to rise, e-commerce will reshape the future of the automotive industry in the following ways.
Easier Access to Aftermarket Parts
E-commerce provides consumers and auto parts businesses alike with easier access to aftermarket parts. According to a study conducted by IHS Automotive, the average car is now 11.5 years old. As drivers continue to squeeze more life of their vehicles, they’ll find themselves needing parts. Aftermarket parts offer a cost-effective alternative to conventional original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Aftermarket manufacturers use websites and online portals to sell these parts at low prices to consumers and auto parts businesses.
Local pickup has become a standard tactic used by auto parts suppliers with a brick-and-mortar presence to boost online sales. With local pickup, the customer buys the part online but visits the business’s local store to pick it up. Lock pickup is beneficial for both consumers and auto parts businesses as it eliminates the need for shipping. Furthermore, many consumers need auto parts immediately to keep their vehicles running, so they aren’t willing to wait for delivery.
Online Car Sales
E-commerce sites sell more than just auto parts. Some forward-thinking companies sell used vehicles online. Carvana, for instance, has become a leading online vendor of used cars. Initially founded in 2012, the company sells, finances and purchases used vehicles through its official website. When a consumer buys a car, he or she have it delivered or pick it up from one of Carvana’s signature car vending machines.
Omni-Channel Online Marketing
Auto companies are now using an omni-channel online marketing strategy to promote their sites. Rather than relying strictly on search or referral traffic, for example, they are using pay-per-click (PPC), social media and even video marketing. This multi-faceted approach helps companies reach their target audience with their marketing message, and it’s also useful for offsetting the cost of digital marketing.
Statistics show that 79 percent of consumers regularly buy products online. As e-commerce continues to evolve, it will have a lasting, positive impact on the automotive industry.