Looking beyond the year that was, the automotive parts industry will continuously develop with advances in manufacturing and AI technologies. The future of the industry is likely to rely more and more on data as vehicles and their systems become more diverse and complex.
In order to keep ahead of the increase of data for automotive parts, technologies such as the use of an auto parts API in order to harness big data and analytics will become paramount. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify and eBay also contribute to the excitement of the upcoming changes.
Here’s a clearer look of what people can expect in the automotive industry, particularly in car part sales. Businesses should adapt to these changes to become more resilient and future-focused.
Top Trends in the Automotive Parts Industry
The auto parts industry faces different challenges, one of which is digitisation. In today’s world, car parts businesses need to adapt to the latest technologies in order to thrive online. More importantly, the changing needs and demands of customers are always developing and it takes the latest technologies to keep ahead.
For starters, they must make sure that they maintain consistent access to the growing number of car parts and increasing complexity of fitment configurations. Here are some trends that online car parts sellers should know and take advantage of.
A. Cart Parts API
E-commerce has changed the automotive parts industry. Most consumers now start their purchasing journey online to buy car parts, but a surprising amount of these purchases are still completed offline. Until parts API were available, it was just too expensive for small to medium businesses to build and maintain their own parts and vehicle catalogs.
Websites integrated with an auto parts API get access to accurate and up-to-date fitment data and have the ability to easily maintain their own catalog. APIs also allow businesses to provide relevant information to their clients through their online stores, software or marketplace platforms.
An auto parts API makes it easier for businesses to tap into a network containing huge amounts of data without worrying about resource overload, data verification or manual updates. At the end of the day, it is the customers (the buyers) that reap all the benefits of businesses integrating with an API. Because the main function of an auto parts API is to help buyers find the right part for their vehicle..
B. Big Data & Data Analytics
Because of big data and data analytics, predicting and forecasting a vehicle’s performance and operation becomes possible. This includes detailed vehicle information that is relevant to the automotive part industry, particularly car components and system data. Access to this information is crucial for car maintenance and repairs.
Collecting and storing this data and making it available to the automotive part industry makes it easier for businesses to sell parts online. When access to structured data is combined with API integrations, the impact for car part businesses is huge. Car part sellers are able to facilitate solutions for their customers through their websites.
Access to structured data means higher parts availability, fitment data integrations and faster inventory management. All of these provide customers with a better experience when buying parts from an online store without significantly increasing the store owner’s overhead cost. Structured data and a car parts API makes selling auto parts online highly efficient.
C. The rise of Amazon, eBay and Shopify
In the past year, e-commerce platforms amassed an estimated amount of $861 billion in sales, and that number is set to increase by about 44% every year, according to Digital Commerce 360. The three major platforms that serve as the go-to places for people when shopping online are Amazon, eBay and Shopify. Through an auto parts API, this presents a whole new opportunity for car part sellers.
These platforms have consistently provided impressive sales volume for auto parts sellers. More and more people prefer buying car accessories and spare parts online. Car part sellers that are looking to increase their revenues should take advantage of the opportunities that these platforms provide.
Through an auto parts API integration, sellers are able to offer their products on these platforms with fitment data automatically translated into the format of the ecommerce platform. This makes it easy for auto parts businesses to take advantage of all their other features, such as higher market reach, optimised pages and consolidated shipping options. Furthermore, they will be able to market their products with incredibly high standards when it comes to fitment accuracy, which leads to a better customer experience and sales conversion rates.
D. Automotive DIY and DIFM sales
A survey shows that DIY car enthusiasts comprise 6% of the total sales of the auto parts industry, and they generally transact online. A survey by Auto Care Association also shows that 16% of spare parts purchased online were installed by customers themselves. Another survey shows that more than 50% of replacement parts are upgrade buyers who install the parts they bought themselves.
A deeper dive into this shows that most online purchases by DIY-ers are parts such as glass, lighting products, filters and easy-to-install electrical parts. But this doesn’t mean that the larger and more complicated parts aren’t purchased online. In fact, bigger parts such as exhaust systems and emissions components are commonly bought online, although these are usually sought after by another set of buyers, the Do-It-For-Me (or DIFM-ers).
DIFM buyers are not very different from DIY buyers. They simply prefer to have the part installed by a trusted mechanic instead of doing it themselves. Even so, they still prefer to choose and purchase the parts they want to use for their cars. Their purchases may include steering systems, body parts, clutch components and thermostats, among others.
Demographic data shows that these groups of online car parts shoppers are mostly individuals aged between 18 and 34 years old. These buyers are generally more tech-savvy and they tend to consult a few social media channels and do online research before buying. They also often use their mobile devices when they buy.
To serve this demographic, the use of a car parts API is again, a game-changer. Auto parts APIs are just as easily integrated into mobile technology, making it easier for these consumers to purchase the parts that they need through their phones or tablets. Car parts APIs also provide customers relevant information about the part, such as fitment data, weight and dimensions, brand name and part type. This means they no longer need to research extensively elsewhere before making the purchase.
Partly Auto Parts API Integration
APIs are essential to the digital transformation of a car parts business. The integration allows car part sellers to provide a much better range of products and services online. Therefore, every car part business should seriously consider investing into an auto parts API integration.
APIs allow car part sellers to tap into the online technology that is available to the industry. One of the best choices right now is the Partly API, which provides a lot of relevant information to end-users such as part interchange data, part categorisation, fitment compatibility, weight and dimension information and a lot more.
An auto parts API allows sellers to easily monitor, manage and maintain their auto parts catalogs. Without the API that links your store to the Partly database, sellers may end up spending a lot of time keeping their parts and vehicle data up to date. It’s also very expensive to build your own infrastructure. With Partly, businesses don't need to go through any of these challenges. They simply tap into the database and share relevant information with their consumers through the API.