2012 Online Behavior Study

Jan. 1, 2020
Despite the convenience and ease of price comparisons, technicians are not looking for suppliers online to meet their parts needs.

Despite the convenience and ease of price comparisons, technicians are not looking for suppliers online to meet their parts needs.

Although the Internet is becoming a more and more commonly used source on a day-to-day basis in the shops, techs would rather deal with their parts suppliers in person or over the phone, rather than through an online website, according to the results of the Aftermarket Business World Online Behavior Study.

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Although the world is pushing forward into a more digital era — one of apps and texting rather than customer service and personal interaction — technicians remain rather old school in their preferences for product purchases.

Fielded to the readers of Motor Age, the sister publication of Aftermarket Business World that is tailored to automotive repair shop owners and technicians, the survey showed 56 percent reported they use neither a smart phone or a tablet and “never” make product purchases online.

The remaining 44 percent who do a portion of their purchasing online, say convenience and the ease of price comparisons are the biggest incentives in Internet buying.

One-fourth of respondents would consider using an app for purchases, if their supplier created one, but the inherent biggest challenges of online buying — shipping costs and the potential to order the wrong part, according to respondents — still loom.

When turning to the Internet, techs and shop owners aren’t seeking out new suppliers — they are going to the sites of suppliers they already use in a more traditional sense. And nearly 35 percent reported that product reviews are either “very important” or “important” in their considerations of which products to purchase.

Two thirds of respondents have not made major changes to their online product purchasing habits over the past  year, buying about the same over the Internet as they did in 2011. And 42 percent say coupons, rebates, QR codes or incentives would impact their online buying frequency going forward.

METHODOLOGY: The Aftermarket Business World Online Behavior Study was fielded to readers of sister publication Motor Age via email.  Results are intended to show general  market trends, not statistical certainties, and should be used as such.

See full study results.

About the Author

Krista McNamara

Krista McNamara is the former Editorial Director for the Vehicle Repair Group at Endeavor Business Media. She oversaw five brands  — Motor Age, PTEN, Professional Distributor, ABRN and Aftermarket Business World. She worked in the automotive aftermarket industry for more than 15 years. 

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