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Consumers compare prices when buying auto parts, but lowest price does not always win

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 07:00
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While the majority of consumers say they compare prices before buying an auto part, they are not always motivated to buy the lowest priced product, according to the Aftermarket Business World Consumer Attitude Study.

Approximately three out of four consumers said they compare prices when shopping for auto products, the survey indicated. Interestingly, starters and alternators was the only product category that fewer than 50 percent of respondents said they compare prices on before buying. Only 43 percent of consumers surveyed said they compared prices on starters and alternators, by far the lowest percentage of any product in the survey. That’s likely due to the fact that 30 percent of consumers said they bought that product when their car wouldn’t start, which doesn’t allow much time for price shopping.

When consumers were asked the top five reasons for purchasing a particular product, lowest price was rarely picked as the most important reason, although it often was among one of the top three reasons. Lowest price garnered the most responses only in two categories – batteries and wiper blades.

Recommendation was most often picked (in 10 out of 12 product categories) as one of the top five reasons for buying a particular auto part.  Other frequently picked reasons for buying a particular part were brand name, performance claim/warranty, coupon/rebate and in-store display/packaging.

Consumers consistently agreed that their likelihood to repurchase a product would be based on the performance they received from that product. Some 80 percent to 90 percent of consumers said they would be “highly likely” or “likely” to repurchase a product based on its performance.

Methodology: The survey sampling for the 2015 Aftermarket Business World Consumer Attitude Study consisted of a consumer-sampling panel via email. Of the 20,296 invitations sent, 1,585 responses were received for a response of 7.8 percent and a +/- 2.1 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

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