(Editor’s note: this article was originally published in November 2014, and has been updated for 2016 and can be read in this more recent post from January 2016.)
Aftermarket auto parts online continues to grow as a sales channel, and online sales will break the $6 billion mark in 2015.
It’s an amazing online shopping growth statistic for our industry and auto parts market size is an aftermarket industry trend that we follow closely.
Online sales of new auto parts, excluding online auctions, broke $5 billion for the first time in 2014 and will increase over 17% to hit $6 billion in 2015.
That trend will continue for the foreseeable future with projected annual growth rates of between 14% and 18%.
Online auto parts market size: eTailing in the automotive aftermarket
We originally projected online sales would reach $6.5 billion in 2016 but our industry is seeing slightly faster online growth right now and we’re forecasting 2016 to be over $7 billion in online sales.
In our annual forecast we count online sales of new (including remanufactured) auto parts and accessories, and we exclude used parts as well as online auctions such as eBay Motors. We also exclude sales through marketplaces, a rapidly-growing sales channel, where retailers sell through Amazon, Newegg, Sears, and other sites.
Adding online auctions and marketplaces would dramatically increase the online sales figure. We consider auction sites like eBay Motors, and marketplaces such as Newegg or Sears, to be sales channels because of the number of online retailers that sell this way; we want to avoid double-counting sales.
Online sales of used auto parts is a growing market segment and at some point we may track online used parts sales separately.
Drivers of online auto parts sales growth
When we look at the companies selling car parts, truck parts or accessories online, 19 out of the top 50 online retailers started out in the pre-Internet days as mail order companies or auto parts chain stores, or are now owned by an auto parts chain, so transitioning to online sales was a natural evolution for these retailers. Amazon.com, the largest online retailer of auto parts, has had steady growth. Amazon has had higher growth rates than the aftermarket industry as a whole for the past several years and has typically been 20% to as high as 30%.
Auto parts analysis methodology
We’ve tracked online auto parts sales since 2007 and use a combination of industry research, trends analysis, U.S. Census data, interviews with industry sources, analysis of third-party data and statistical modeling.
Quoting the online automotive trends mentioned in this blog
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