PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. – The value of online sales of tires grew 34 percent throughout 2018 and the category now accounts for 21 percent of total e-commerce automotive dollars spent, according to research from NPD Group Inc.
Consumers who bought tires online represented 7 percent of all consumers who made an online automotive-related purchase, NPD said, and these consumers also are active buyers of other automotive products as well, spending twice as much and shopping twice as often as other online automotive product consumers.
NPD cited information from its Checkout E-commerce Tracking service, which showed that tire category outpaced e-commerce growth for the total market of automotive products, which was up 28 percent for the year.
"Historically, selling tires online was challenging because consumers had to then find somewhere to have them installed," Nathan Shipley, NPD's executive director and automotive industry analyst, said. "Today, companies are finding creative ways to have tires reach consumers.
"E-commerce partnerships with traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are solving this issue by making both the buying and installing process more convenient for consumers," he said.
"One tire manufacturer recently unveiled a new store format to take the friction out of the transaction, by allowing consumers to purchase tires and have them installed wherever the consumer wants, including at home or work."
Mr. Shipley also noted that the tire market is a "healthy example" of how disruption is happening everywhere, and manufacturers and retailers are finding new ways to sell the same products.
NPD did not disclose its estimated dollar volume of e-commerce automotive aftermarket parts sales.