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E-commerce is reshaping the aftermarket supply chain

Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 06:00
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As more auto parts companies sell product online, and as traditional online retailers like Amazon and eBay, as well as new companies like, enter the market, pressure has been high on aftermarket suppliers and distributors to keep up with increased demand.

Increasingly, installers and DIY customers are looking for 24-hour access to inventory, and that is affecting the way companies up and down the aftermarket supply chain operate.

This new reality prompted the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and Roland Berger to team up for a new study on how e-tailing, connectivity, telematics, digitalization and other trends are going to affect aftermarket distribution operations.

“Digital disruption is affecting every industry, and we’re not immune in the aftermarket,” says Paul McCarthy, executive vice president at the AASA. “Digitalization will bring new capabilities and new efficiencies to distribution and sales, as the online and offline worlds increasingly merge. We want to help people understand what is coming, how these new business models are going to affect the aftermarket, and what we need to do now to prepare ourselves for that.”

The study results were presented at the AASA Vision Conference earlier this month.

The Auto Care Association has also published a study on e-tailing and other trends affecting the industry, titled “Disruptive Trends Shaping the Future of the Auto Care Industry.” In 2014, the Auto Care Association estimated the e-tailing channel at $6 billion or roughly 6 percent of the replacement parts market. At the time, projections were that the e-tailing space would grow to 11 percent of the market in five years.

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