Automotive Aftermarket News & Auto Industry Trends
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Automotive qualitative vs. quantitative market researchQualitative market research gives you a high level view. It is obtained from a small group of respondents and the data isn't analyzed with statistical techniques. A focus group is an example of qualitative research. A focus group may give you some answers but is often a starting point for quantitative research.
Quantitative market research gives you facts and details. It is obtained from a larger number of respondents and the data is analyzed using statistical methods. Quantitative research results are given using a margin of error.
Where auto parts enthusiasts get information
Before buying products, enthusiasts (depending on market segment) rely on the following sources:
Enthusiast Web sites: 60%-85%
Internet search: 50%-85%
Manufacturer Web site: 50%-70%
Mail order catalog: 40%-65%
Chain automotive store: 30%-50%
Social media (Facebook, etc.): 2%-15%
Vehicles registered in the United States
There are 254,000,000 vehicles registered for personal use in 117,538,000 households (2010 US Census Department data).
Automotive direct mail response ratesRented mailing lists response rates are typically 0.5% to 1.0%, sometimes as high as 1.5%.
House file response rates are typically 1.0% to 10%, sometimes as high as 15% to 20%.
Automotive email delivery, open and click-through rates
Rented email list delivery rates should be 95% or more. Open rates can range from 2% to 5% depending on subject line and we've had open rates as high as 13%. Click-through rates are typically 0.25% to 0.50%, sometimes as high as 2.0%. Repeat emails can increase the response rate of a second email by 50%.
House file email delivery rates should be 98% or better. Open rates should range from 15% to 20% or more. Click-through rates are typically 1.0% to 3.0%, sometimes as high as 5% to 8%.
Automotive enthusiast buying cycle
Many enthusiasts will take time before buying. Here is the length of time between when an enthusiast decides to buy a part, and when it is actually purchased (depending on market segment):
1 day: 5%
Less than one week: 30%-35%
1 week: 18%-25%
2 weeks: 20%-25%
3-4 weeks: 10%-17%
1 month or longer: 5%-10%
Definition: Statistical margin of errorWhen reporting results for quantitative research, margin of error is used to describe the amount of random sampling error in the data. All margins of error are based on a confidence level. All Hedges & Company research uses a 95% confidence level which means if a survey were repeated in identical conditions, 95 times out of 100 the results would always be within the margin of error.
Margin of error examples
Automotive parts retailers: 381 responses are required for a margin of error +/-5%. 469 responses are required for a margin of error of +/-4.5%. 769 responses are required for a margin of error of +/-3.5%.
Automotive enthusiast consumers: 385 responses are required for a margin of error +/-5%. 475 required for +/-4.5%. 1,067 required for +/-3%.
Annual spending on auto parts and accessories
There is a big range of investment in the hobby. Here is the amount of money spent each year by enthusiasts on automotive performance parts and accessories (depending on market segment):
$10,001+ per year: 10%-15%
Less than $1,000: 10%-15%
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the importance of metadata and content
When designing a web site for search engine optimization for the automotive market, pay close attention to the following elements on your page.
Metadata in <head> section:
Page title <title>Title here</title>
Page description <meta name="description" content="Description here" />
Meta keywords: not important.
Content in <body> section:
Content rich in words relevant to your page's main subject.
Headline tags <h1>Main headline here</h1> (ideally just one h1 per page) and <h2>Subheads here</h2>
Make the most important words bold using <strong></strong> tags.
Add alt tags to images that reflect the page topic using the code alt="Alt tag here" wtihin your <img src="/image.gif"/> tags.
Size of automotive market segments
Here are the approximate size of various market segments in the automotive specialty equipment market. Due to extensive crossover between segments and enthusiasts owning multiple vehicles, this adds up to more than 100%.
Street performance: 70%
Passenger car: 45%
Compact performance: 30%
Street rod/custom: 25%