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Study Says Online Parts Ordering Expands Quickly

Using the Internet to order automotive parts and accessories has increased dramatically, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted online.

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From Ward’s Dealer Business Using the Internet to order automotive parts and accessories has increased dramatically, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted online.

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Professionals working on vehicle service, maintenance and repair are warming to the new medium. Their numbers for ordering parts on the Internet are up 27 percent over a six-month period. And they’ve tripled the numbers for accessories in the same period.

“The increases are striking,” says Henry Allessio, managing director of Walden Consultants. “If there remain any doubts that online parts purchasing has mainstreamed, the Harris survey dispels them.”

More than three-quarters of those placing orders on the Internet say it is better on “flexibility” and “shopping around.”

“As is often the case,” says Walden’s David J.R. Ogilvie, “price isn’t everything. Getting the exact brand is important too.”

Almost 90 percent of Internet users ordering parts report that getting the precise specified brand is “always” or “usually” important.

Half say it’s acceptable for a supplier to select another brand of comparable quality. Internet-related business trends such as these are a major theme of peer group meetings facilitated by Walden Consultants for various groups of auto parts suppliers.

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Information was collected from online interviews conducted by Harris Interactive. The Harris panel of respondents included professional mechanics and do-it-yourselfers.

Copyright 2004 Primedia Incorporated. All rights reserved.

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