Despite retail sales of auto components slowing, their online sales have surged. While Flipkart said that the category saw a growth of 1.7X in sales, and about 2X in units, Amazon said it was seeing good traction and had already started selling electric two-wheelers.
The major factor contributing to the rising sales of auto components online is the availability of all categories, including car and bike accessories/components on a single platform. The trend, however, is yet to catch on among OEMs.
Data shows that around 75% of the consumers buying these products are male and about 80 per cent of these are in the age bracket of 15-35 years.
Flipkart sells car audio and video systems, mobile accessories, lubricants, engine oils, other car accessories and spare parts and bike accessories such as helmets, riding gear, lubricant and engine oils for two wheelers, lights and other spare parts. There are more than 2000 brands on Flipkart of auto accessories and equipment.
According to data, about 40 per cent of Flipkart’s sales of these products comes from the Southern states.
With the widest collection of brands across all verticals, consumers find it easier to make a decision when buying online. In addition to this, the convenience of receiving these products right at their doorstep also serves as a major driving factor as these are products which consumers don’t usually include in their weekly shopping. These products are also standardised and have a longer shelf life, eliminating the need of ‘touch and feel’ which most consumers demand as part of their off-line buying experience, said a Flipkart spokesperson.
Shalini Puchalapalli, director – category management, Amazon India, added that customers had a wider choice of automotive products ranging from accessories, parts and components, tyres, chemicals, oils and fluids on online platforms.
The portfolio under components is spread across a vast selection of products including wipers, horns, filters, HID conversion kits, glass/mirrors, lighting, steering and suspension components and much more.
Amazon works with a host of original equipment suppliers providing genuine aftermarket parts from top brands like Bosch, Uno Minda, Osram, Philips and Lumax, 3M.
At present, customers care about their vehicles and hence search for specific parts which are genuine and ensure transparent pricing. Moreover, independent garages in tier-2 and tier-3 cities see Amazon as a platform to get quick access to branded aftermarket parts and components which otherwise may not be available or may have longer lead times.
With the emerging trend of affordable electric mobility solutions, Amazon recently started selling Ampere electric bikes in select cities and plan to take it national.
Amazon also has other brands like Battre which deliver electric bikes to the customer’s doorstep as these don’t need registration. The convenience of home delivery is one of the key factors that can make customers opt for online purchase in the category.
The ecommerce firm said that it had witnessed upwards of 50 per cent y-o-y growth in the category and new customers had grown at 74% y-o-y.
Vivek Srivatsa, head-marketing, Passenger Vehicle Business Unit at Tata Motors said for brands like the Nexon and the Harrier, the company had launched the Imaginator which helps customers customise their cars according to their their needs and book them online.