In 2019, more than $12 billion worth of auto parts and accessories are expected to be sold online in the U.S. — twice the volume of just four years ago. That explosive growth might have given new-vehicle dealerships a massive opportunity to expand their parts business on their websites.
Except Amazon largely beat them to it.
The e-commerce behemoth is likely to capture nearly two-thirds of the online parts market this year, estimates Hedges & Co., a digital marketing agency in Hudson, Ohio. Amazon's share of the market has risen even more rapidly than online parts sales overall, says Jon Hedges, founder of the company that bears his name.
It's not too late for dealerships to build a lucrative online parts operation independent of or working with Amazon, says Hedges, who has an extensive aftermarket background. Among their advantages: ready access to a wide array of original equipment parts, warranty protection offered by automakers, the technical expertise of dealership parts staffs, and dealerships' own credible brand.