Mobile Sales: The Next eCommerce Frontier for Aftermarket Parts

mobile aftermarket app

Do you know what size or type of air filter or brake pads are on your car? Unless you just had them replaced, there’s a good chance you don’t know whether you have cylindrical or flat paper air filters or semi-metallic or ceramic brake pads or what size you need.

If you were to start shopping for either right now, you’d probably walk out to your vehicle, take apart the air box or take a wheel off to find out, and type the information into your smartphone. A recent study by Google shows a massive increase in tire-related searches using mobile devices. Like air filter and brake pad searches, it’s just one facet of a growing trend toward mobile aftermarket parts sales.

Unlike other forms of advertising like TV and mass mailing, online advertising effectiveness can be measured with extreme accuracy, down to each individual click. Google’s latest report on Adwords advertising shows a major shift toward mobile access when it comes to finding aftermarket parts. As the single largest starting place for car part searches on the Internet, these results are nothing to sneeze at.

In the last quarter of 2015, searches for tire information, for example, went up 20% compared to the same period last year. Desktop searches went down 1%, but mobile searches grew by a whopping 42%. Impressions, Google’s name for text ads served alongside search results, grew 26%. That translates to an average cost of $0.92 Cost Per Click (CPC) for desktop users, and just $0.78 for mobile users when advertising through Google.

Click through rate (CTR,) the rate at which users click on a link when it shows up in search results, increased 9%. Like searches, this growth shows an overwhelming bias towards mobile users: year to year, desktop clicks dropped by 5%, but mobile clicks more than doubled.

Where is this shift headed? Studies by the Pew Research Center show that mobile device use isn’t just growing, it’s becoming the primary point of Internet access for a growing percentage of the population. In 2015, 68% of American adults owned smartphones, up from 35% in 2011.

The younger a person is, the more likely it is they have a smartphone with 86% of adults between the ages 18-29 and 83% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 owning one.

Desktop and laptop computers are just as popular as they have been in the past decade, but in the past four years, computer ownership has fallen by 10 percent for adults under 29 years old. 15% of adults of all ages have limited access to the Internet outside of their smartphone, and 7% can only access the Internet through a mobile device.

Put it all together, and you can see that more people are using smartphones, they’re rapidly shifting to their smartphones when they want to find out parts information, and a growing number of people, particularly young people, don’t access the Internet outside of their phones.

If you want to drive new sales, your product information needs to be accessible to mobile devices. Period. That’s why we’ve been developing mobile access for our tools right alongside desktop access, using HTML5-based interfaces that play well with mobile browsers. When you build your website around ShowMeTheParts, you’re making your parts catalog accessible to all Internet users — no matter how they’re reaching your business.

Ready to take your business mobile? Contact us at (847) 609-9540 or email to build your mobile accessible catalog.