Auto Aftermarket and Digital Drivers – Google Research

By | February 3, 2014

Google recently released a research report on how does digital drive auto parts purchases and research, as per this report the aftermarket needs not changed but the purchase and research processes are evolving. Auto parts sales are still driven by a range of maintenance and repair needs. Because of immediate needs most drivers still purchase in person, and yet the online purchasing is a growing channel.

  • Key findings: Regardless of where the drivers buy, seventy percent do online research before they purchase. The most used source for shopping is search, drivers use both category and branded terms to research and 90% of drivers are clicking on paid category search terms. As a results of watching online videos over one third visited a parts retailer or purchased. Drivers are using their mobile devices throughout the purchasing process.
  • Drivers purchasing methods: The purchasing process by the drivers is depends on the needs. For the reactive drivers needs parts quickly and the proactive drivers are more interested to make purchase online. For enhancement 59% of drivers bought parts offline and 41% online. If the purchase is seasonal 47% preferred online and 53% offline. For maintenance and repair 33% and 29% of drivers preferred online method respectively. While most purchases still happen offline, seven out of ten drivers start their parts purchase process online.
    • 39% of drivers researched online and purchased offline. 30% purchased online. 25% of the drivers are researched and purchased offline.
    • The drivers digital usage is on the rise of 14% year over year. With 19% increase in the period, e-commerce had the largest year over year gains. Motor and brick also up seven percent year over year.
    • Between 100 to 500 dollars per transaction most consumers are preferred online purchase. Between $100 to less than $250, 45% of drivers preferred online purchase and between $250 to $500 per transaction 20% preferred online.
    • 76% of drivers visited multiple parts websites prior to purchase. 24% visited single site, 32% visited two to four sites and 44% visited more than five sites.
    • 79% are researched and purchased within one week, of them 35% on the same day.
  • Search is the first source used by digital drivers: Search is the first preference for the online purchase, as 70% use search engines, 65% used general retail websites, automotive parts/accessories retail websites (63%), Vehicle brand websites (52%), general automotive websites (48%), Consumer-generated reviews online (45%), automotive parts/accessories brand websites (43%), vehicle dealership websites (41%), professional automotive review websites (41%), and social networking websites (40%) are in the next to them.
  • 70% of brand terms searchers are existing customers and remaining 30% are prospects. In the category terms search, only ten percent are existing customers.
  • Over one third of the drivers are actively looking for vehicle parts videos online. Majority (49%) are looking for DIY (do it yourself) videos, 34% for product videos, and 30% professional review videos.

In entire purchasing process, drivers actively use their mobile phones for research the products online. Whether they buy offline most of them are preferred to research online than the traditional offline or in person research.