Regional Vendors Thrive as eRetailing of Automotive Parts and Service Picks Up in Europe


frost and sullivan

LONDON -- Aug. 27, 2014: The rapid growth in personal, in-vehicle and service shop connectivity is lending momentum to the creation of new customer touch points and driving the online sales of automotive parts and services in Europe. The emergence of independent eRetailers is further propelling the expansion of aftermarket eRetail, which has also been buoyed by aggressive participants such as Amazon.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Opportunity Analysis for the Automotive Parts and Service eRetailing Market in Europe, finds that the market was valued at €5.29 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach €18.33 billion by 2020. While France, Germany, and the UK contribute the highest to online sales due to higher Internet penetration, Russia is expected to witness maximum growth in revenues with a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent till 2020. Over the next five to seven years, Spain and Italy too will catch up as smartphone adoption increases.

"Sales through smartphone apps are an immediate opportunity for aftermarket participants in Europe to explore," said Frost & Sullivan Automotive and Transportation Research Analyst Anuj Monga. "Although the computer is currently the preferred mode for online shopping, and the use of mobiles is limited to accessing product information, shopping through tablets and smartphones will pick up significantly as more 4G long-term evolution options become available."

Tires will remain the leading product category in online sales, followed by brakes, batteries and vehicle accessories. Tire eRetailers, traditional parts retailers and pure play parts eRetailers are expected to gain market share owing to their regional presence, as radically dissimilar legislations across countries in Europe pose a challenge to cross border selling. Keeping compliance costs under check has also proved difficult for online sellers due to tax regulation variations and the complexity arising from deploying different models in each country.

Over the next few years, the key differentiator in the aftermarket retail space will be the fulfilment models employed by companies. Complementing various revenue opportunities such as smartphone apps, these innovative fulfilment models tailored to diverse target customers will enhance scope for growth.

"Original equipment manufacturers are likely to take the lead in directly driving parts sales by exploring new revenue-sharing arrangements with dealer groups as well as promoting the 'click & fit' model, which will ensure a steady stream of repair business," noted Monga. "Hence, remote assisted repair, remote diagnostics and predictive analysis will evolve into robust avenues for eRetailing revenue generation in the medium to long term in Europe."

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