Virtually anyone who shops and has a computer has encountered Amazon at least once. In recent years, the shopping giant has entered the world of groceries and fashion. Now, Amazon has its sights set on a sizeable share of the automotive market.
While Amazon’s online car marketplace might be a year or two away, it has already established a storefront for vehicle parts. And this venture could prove to be one of the retailer’s biggest profit centers given how much money the average American household spends on car parts. The move is especially timely, as the online auto part market is expected to grow by 16 percent this year.
As Amazon continues to make deals with new auto parts vendors, big auto chains could soon feel some pain. AutoZone and O’Reilly both reported dismal sales quarters last month, and some analysts think that Amazon is the culprit. And others believe that Amazon may even venture into the world of auto repair since they already offer such services as tire and trailer hitch installation.
Amazon’s ease of use makes it attractive to customers who won’t even have to leave the driveway to get their car repaired. Things could get even easier if Amazon links its auto repair services with its Alexa devices, which could potentially be used to set up repair appointments with basic verbal commands.
While smaller, local shops may get hurt in the process, the larger, chain shops eager for new ways to stay competitive may not be able to resist the integration provided by online and hands-free assistant integration.
Let us know! How does your dealership plan to keep its service department competitive as online parts depots become more popular?