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Shop owners, techs gradually adopting online parts purchasing

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - 07:00
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Auto service and repair shop owners and technicians are becoming less reluctant about using online purchasing methods to buy auto parts, according to the Aftermarket Business World 2015 Online Purchasing Habits Study.

Only 35 percent of this year’s respondents said they use neither a smart phone nor a tablet at work to order parts, compared to 44 percent in the Aftermarket Business World 2014 Online Purchasing Habits Study. Similarly, those who said they never make online purchases dropped from 39 percent in last year’s study to 36 percent in the 2015 study.

They also appear to be paying more attention to online product reviews of the parts they order. In this year’s study 22 percent of respondents said online reviews were “very important” compared to 19 percent who answered the same way in the 2014 study. Respondents who replied “not important at all” dropped from 33 percent in last year’s study to 31 percent this year.

The number of respondents using online searches to find auto parts retailers’ e-commerce websites increased from 32 percent in the 2014 study to 39 percent in 2015.

Respondents said what they dislike most about ordering auto parts online is the “potential to order the wrong part” (35 percent) and “shipping costs” (25 percent).

On the positive side, respondents said they like the ease of comparing prices and options the most (27 percent), and like the convenience and the wide range of product availability second most (each at 19 percent). Click here to see the 2015 study.

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.

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