PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The share of automotive aftermarket business transacted online has doubled in the past three years, market research firm NPD Group Inc. contends, although at 14-percent penetration it ranks among the lowest industry sectors tracked.
"E-commerce is the hottest topic in the aftermarket today, and the most frequent thing I get asked about," said Nathan Shipley, executive director and automotive industry analyst of NPD Group.
"Looking forward over the next three to five years, I expect its penetration to grow to about 25 percent. Observing industries that have gone down the e-commerce path long before automotive aftermarket, 25 to 30 percent is the maturation point we are seeing."
The top product categories purchased online in 2017 were lighting, interior accessories and exterior accessories, NPD said, with online penetration of 18, 13 and 11 percent, respectively, in dollar volume terms.
This contrasts with in-store business, where the top three categories purchased were batteries, motor oil and performance chemicals, based on NPD's Retail Tracking Service.