Automotive accessory categories captured one-third of all automotive aftermarket online dollar sales

Port Washington, NY
, July 25, 2019 – Online dollar sales of automotive accessories – including appearance accessories, cargo management, exterior accessories, interior accessories, towing & hitch, and tire & wheel accessories – grew by 26 percent in the 12 months ending April 2019, according to The NPD Group’s Checkout E-commerce Tracking. Additionally, 34 percent of online dollar volume during the same time period resulted from sales within these six accessory categories.

“Online accessory sales are seeing gains, as the e-commerce channel is able to offer an expansive selection that can be challenging for retailers to match or maintain in brick and mortar locations,” said Nathan Shipley, executive director and automotive industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Accessories are also not typically required as urgently, whereas a replacement car battery may drive a consumer in-store for same-day purchase.”

According to Checkout data, more than half of consumers that made an automotive aftermarket purchase online bought an automotive accessory. In fact, many of the accessory categories are seeing double-digit online sales gains with appearance accessories up 56 percent, interior accessories up 32 percent, and exterior accessories up 31 percent.

While pure-play online retailers are capturing the greatest share of automotive accessories e-commerce sales, traditional retailers remain in the mix as they work to replicate their in-store sales strengths through web-based offerings.

“Consumers continue to move purchases of hard-to-find items – such as application-specific automotive accessories – online,” added Shipley. “While pure-play ‘etailers’ own the lion’s share of sales in these categories, there is opportunity for traditional brick-and-mortar stores to remain competitive by creating user-friendly web experiences while also offering a variety of accessories, competitively priced and available to ship. In-store pick-up options – convenient for the consumer – may also help keep foot traffic in the stores for the purchase of automotive accessories that are not time sensitive.”

Note: Automotive
aftermarket online dollar sales referenced does not include online tire sales.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Checkout E-Commerce Tracking, 12 months ending
April 2019.