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Consumers buying auto parts most influenced by brand, recommendations; not low prices

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 06:00
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Consumers who purchase auto parts and products are highly likely to compare prices of those items before buying, but they are not influenced to buy by the lowest price available, according to the Aftermarket Business World 2017 Consumer Attitude Study.

On average, three out of four consumers surveyed said they compared prices before buying 13 different parts and products, according to the study. Consumers said they were most likely to compare prices when buying auxiliary lighting (89 percent), turbochargers (88 percent), gaskets (87 percent) and battery chargers (85 percent).

Consumers were least likely to compare prices when purchasing motor oil, as only 33 percent said they did so before making their purchase.  The other items that were not price compared as often as the average include wipers (55 percent), starters and alternators (64 percent) and batteries (73 percent). The other five items surveyed fell between a 75 percent likelihood and 83 percent likelihood of being compared by price before being purchased.

Despite this awareness and tendency to compare prices, consumers report that they are not influenced to make their purchases simply by the lowest price. In fact, low price was a distant third and several times fourth most important reason that consumers cited when they were asked for their top five reasons for purchasing a particular auto part or product.

Brand name and recommendation were the two reasons cited by most consumers for purchasing a particular auto part or product. On average, brand was cited by 28 percent of respondents as being the top reason for purchasing, while recommendation was at 27 percent.

Lowest price was a distant third cited by only 14 percent of those responding to the survey. Performance claim was fourth at 11 percent. Other categories that influenced consumers to purchase items were in-store displays and coupons/rebates.

In 12 of the 13 categories surveyed, consumers said auto parts chain stores were their primary purchase location. Auto parts chain stores came in second to dealerships as the primary purchase location for gaskets. In addition to those two locations, consumers most often cited discount stores, independent repair shops and independent auto stores as their primary purchase location. Click here to see the study.

Methodology: The survey sampling for the 2017 Aftermarket Business World Consumer Attitude Study consisted of a consumer-sampling panel via email. Of the 21,055 invitations sent, 1,768 responses were received for a response rate of 8.4 percent and a +/– 2.1 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

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