The global automotive aftermarket keeps on growing and this means that new trends are coming up. Like many other industries, the auto industry has changed drastically since the pandemic.
People are now doing everything online and this has benefited most automotive e-commerce companies that have adapted to this trend even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before we do anything else, let’s dive deeper into this article to learn more about what are the e-commerce trends for the auto parts industry this year.
7 Top e-commerce trends in the automotive industry this year
1. An increase in inventory
This is a trending thing this year and because there’s a chip shortage, it has strongly been affecting the automotive industry in the past years. Roughly 3 million vehicles are expected to be cut off from production because of the chip shortage.
Even though there’s an improvement from the previous years, it still isn’t as stable as it used to be. When supply levels increase, interest rates follow and this causes more room for a recession, reducing auto part demand. Affordability is what consumers are concerned about and many of them are now holding on to their vehicles much more than before.
2. The digital world is expanding
The shift in the ecommerce world accelerated during the pandemic and continued to do so, even more, this year. In 2022, the global automotive e-commerce market was around $75 billion and is projected to grow to around $213 billion by 2029. This means that a good percentage of vehicle owners will be engaging with at least some sort of digital tool when they purchase a vehicle.
Especially since many consumers are starting to shop online, traditional automakers and dealerships are now starting to implement retail solutions. Lots of manufacturers are starting to use modern car-buying software that is available to their dealerships worldwide. The software is excellent for streamlining the process for sales and customers.
3. E-commerce platforms for auto parts
Many e-commerce platforms are starting to be used in the automotive industry for addressing customer and business needs. A high-quality e-commerce platform is built directly with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and SAP, which doesn’t have any replications or manual synchronizations.
Finding the right e-commerce platform for selling auto parts online is not as hard as you think, but requires you to ensure that they offer you customizations and catalog integrations specific to the automotive industry.
With the right automotive e-commerce software, you are getting three key advantages:
- Reliability: Eliminates the room for error and an excellent user experience to avoid customers from being unhappy with results and revenue loss. For even more precise information, you can split up your inventory by showing precise warehouse locations. Inventory levels are updated in real-time and you’ll only be able to sell what’s in your ERP.
- Customer convenience: You can empower your customers with personalized self-service and transparency with important ecommerce features, such as: exploded views, filters, product groupings, self-service documentation portals, hyper-personalized web store and more.
- Constant evolution: Easily allows you to adapt to your business needs and exceed customer expectations in the latest automotive industry trends. You have no disruptions, can easily add numerous web stores and have a fast go-to-market.
4. Rise in aftermarket demand
Since interest rates and prices are high, consumers are now highly concerned about selling their vehicles and buying new ones. Even though prices are not as high as post-pandemic, the average age of vehicles and older vehicles on the road is affecting the aftermarket demand since older vehicles are requiring more auto products and services instead of buying new vehicles.
Auto market experts claim that the global demand for auto parts in the market will surge by 5% and reach nearly $1 Trillion in 2033. With the increase in auto part demand, companies can use these digital solutions for streamlining operations and promoting reliable and speedy services.
High-interest rates and economic uncertainty have made shoppers enjoy the car-buying experience and technology solutions help auto repair shops increase operational efficiencies, reduce costs and meet customer expectations.
5. Increase in demand for electric vehicles
The concern of air pollution from diesel and petrol vehicles is becoming highly concerning for the world. Diesel engines produce less CO2 than petrol vehicles, but emit up to 22 times more particulates and four times more NO2. This has caused many manufacturers to shift to electric vehicles because they are more environment-friendly.
The increased usage of electric vehicles will also cause manufacturers to increase demand for auto parts for these vehicles. The most common will be home charging and installations. Many manufacturers are now starting to invest in autonomous vehicle development, which is excellent for revolutionizing transportation.
AVs not only increase efficiency, but safety and make transportation more accessible for people with disabilities. Autonomous vehicles are rising in the industry, such as car-sharing, bike-sharing and ride-hailing services. This is for decreasing air pollution, increasing efficient and cost-effective transportation options and more. Also, it’s causing organizations to develop strategies for investing in research & development (R&D) to meet consumer demands.
6. Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is excellent for the auto parts industry because most visitors who come and search for parts are either in a rush, or might not know how to find the right parts. Overall, the AI is regulating consumer behavior, offering personalized recommendations and improving the customer experience with chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) abilities.
For instance, chatbots are starting to sound much more human than before. Also, they can answer more advanced questions than they did before. 84% of companies claim that AI chatbots should be part of daily interaction between consumers and businesses.
Consider the fact that human beings can’t always be available 24/7 and they might be busy with other inquiries, but this isn’t the case with chatbots.
Chatbots can simultaneously answer a bunch of inquiries and are available 24/7 because they never sleep. Once a consumer shops for an auto part, you might be sleeping and the chatbot will be guiding them throughout the process.
Based on the types of components, the worldwide market is segmented into different parts, such as accessories, wheels, tires, engine components and more. As of now, the engine components hold the largest share of the market because of an increase in aging vehicles, setting a new record of 12.5 years. All of the auto parts that go under the engine components section are:
- Cylinder heads
- Engine blocks
- Pistons and rings
Vendor type analysis
This includes the ability to provide fast delivery services with the right third-party vendor segments. Third-party vendor-type segments take most of the major market share and are projected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
This is all about third-party vendors that need to exceed customer expectations through fast delivery and engage in discount programs for attracting more customers.
Vehicle type analysis
This is segmented into three types of vehicles:
- Passenger cars
- Commercial cars
The dominant party here is the passenger car, which accounts for the largest market share. This is associated with an increase in demand for passenger vehicles, making retailers optimize the customer experience. Ecommerce stores that are properly optimized will allow online shoppers to find passenger vehicles by using the right filters in the search engine, such as:
- Vehicle price
- The vehicle’s specifications
- Vehicle brand
- The features of the vehicle
Many online stores will also provide consumers with an option to compare passenger cars which will help them in their buying decision. After all, if you want to be successful in an e-commerce business, especially in the automotive parts industry, you need to optimize your search engines and allow buyers to quickly find what they want.
Overall, the industry is highly competitive and many larger corporations are focusing on expanding their collaboration and acquisition strategies. This is because they want to offer consumers advanced auto parts for improving its offerings in the accessories and automotive aftermarket.
The importance of following e-commerce trends in the auto parts industry
The auto parts industry is continuously evolving and something you should know is that because of high-interest rates and the potential for a recession, people are keeping their cars longer than ever. This means that as of now, the auto parts industry is booming because older car parts wear and out and demand increases.
However, if people were to buy newer cars more often, the demand for auto parts will significantly decrease. Therefore, it’s always important to be on the lookout for these statistics.
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