Auto Parts Buyers Are Purchasing Online

More than one in 10 have bought digitally

Author: Monica Melton

July 13, 2017

More than one in 10 auto parts buyers have purchased parts online, and as with so many other areas of ecommerce, millennials are on the leading edge of the digital sales channel.

NPD Group reported that 12% of US consumers who have purchased auto parts in the past year have done so online. It said that millennials represent the highest share of online auto parts sales, citing the generational preference for comparison shopping and reliance on reviews. It also noted that millennials are significantly more likely than older groups to watch online videos to learn about auto repairs.

eMarketer estimates that ecommerce sales of autos and auto parts will rise 15.8% this year.

A common misconception about millennials is that they are not interested in owning cars, and while it is true that the generation is not as car-centric as preceding ones, this does not mean they can do without a car for getting around.

“As millennials age and increasing numbers of them move themselves and their spouses and kids to the suburbs, a car will be indispensable,” eMarketer Senior Analyst Mark Dolliver said.

Handling your own auto repair fits in with millennials’ DIY tastes, but Dolliver suggests another motive: Money. “For a generation whose finances are shaky, it may also reflect a greater tendency to buy used cars, which are more likely than new cars to have fenders and mufflers falling off,” said Dolliver. “And a used car is far less likely to have a warranty that would let you simply take it back to the dealer for repairs.”

A J.D. Power report in April found that consumers ages 23 to 40 made up almost 30% of vehicle buyers in 2017, a considerably higher proportion than it found in 2011, when that group accounted for just 20% of vehicle buyers.

Photo credit: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash