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Recommendations, brand name influence consumers to buy auto parts more than lowest price

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 07:00
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The vast majority of consumers who purchase auto parts compare prices before buying, but relatively few say that lowest price is the top reason that influences their purchase, according to the Aftermarket Business World 2016 Consumer Attitude Study.

Three out of four customers said that they compare prices before buying parts. The likelihood to check prices before buying varies widely by product category, ranging from 97 percent who said they check prices on oxygen sensors and 93 percent who check auxiliary lighting prices, down to 58 percent who check prices on starters and alternators, and 57 percent who check prices on battery chargers. Of those buying starters and alternators, 26 percent said they did so because their car wouldn’t start, which limits time for price shopping. These results were similar to the results of the Aftermarket Business World 2015 Consumer Attitude Study.

When consumers were asked the top five reasons for buying a part, lowest price finished a consistent third, behind recommendation and brand name. Recommendation was selected as the top reason in eight product categories and brand name finished as the top reason in three categories. In-store display/packaging was given as the top reason for purchasers of auxiliary lighting.

Lowest price ranked as the second most important reason for consumers buying in only two product categories – gaskets and wheel bearings. The other category that garnered most of the fourth or fifth most important reasons for buying was performance claim/warranty. Other categories that could be selected by consumers were coupon/rebate, impulse purchase, environmental concern and other.

In all 12 product categories consumers said that their primary purchase location was an auto parts store. Other frequently appearing answers included independent repair shop, dealership, discount stores, independent auto store and online. Click here to see the entire study.

Methodology: The survey sampling for the 2016 Aftermarket Business World Consumer Attitude Study consisted of a consumer-sampling panel via email. Of the 20,076 invitations sent, 1,461 responses were received for a response rate of 7.3 percent and a +/- 2.1 percent margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level.

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