Online Sales of Automotive Accessories Continue to See Growth, According to The NPD Group

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

"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,” - Nathan Shipley, The NPD Group.

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."

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

Checkout offers robust data for tracking and improving performance across all channels plus buyer analytics to help businesses keep current customers and win new ones. The Checkout Omnipanel tracks online and in-store sales. A complementary e-commerce panel delivers more granular views of sales through the fastest growing channel with access to over 1 million consumers via our research partner Rakuten Intelligence. Buyer analytics deliver insight into most valuable customers, brand loyalty, brand leakage / lift, brand launches, and more.

Please 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.

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