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Auto shop owners increase use of tablets, smart phone for business

Friday, June 24, 2016 - 06:00
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Auto service and repair shop owners and technicians are using their tablets and smart phones for work more this year than last year, according to the 2016 Aftermarket Business World Online Purchasing Habits study.

When asked if they use their tablet and/or their smart phone for work, 73 percent said they use one or both, compared to 65 percent who said they use one or both in last year’s Online Purchasing Habits study. In the 2014 study, 56 percent said they use one or both for work.

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The breakdowns this year show that 35 percent of respondents use their tablet and smart phone compared to 30 percent who said they use both last year; 31 percent said they use their smart phone this year compared to 29 percent who said they use their smart phone last year; and 7 percent said they use their tablet compared to 6 percent who said they use their tablet last year.

Respondents who said they use a smart phone app to make parts purchases increased from 6 percent in 2015 to 9 percent in 2016.

When asked why they purchase auto parts online 25 percent said it was due to ease of comparing prices and options, 18 percent cited convenience and 16 percent said it was because of wide product availability.

What shop owners and techs dislike most about buying products online is the potential to order the wrong part (39 percent) and shipping costs (17 percent). Only 10 percent cited lack of counterman assistance.

Online product reviews are more important to parts buyers this year than last year as 26 percent of respondents said they were “very important” (compared to 22 percent who said that last year); and 23 percent said they were important (compared to 20 percent who said that in last year’s survey). Those who said online product reviews were “not important at all” dropped from 31 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2016.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they would be doing more online parts buying in 2016 than in 2015, compared to 12 percent who said last year that they would be doing more online buying in 2015 than in 2014.

Methodology: The Aftermarket Business World Online Purchasing Habits Study was fielded to readers of Motor Age via email. Results are intended to show general market trends, not statistical certainties. Click here to see the entire study.


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