In their recent Marketplace 100 report, Andreessen Horowitz highlighted auto parts marketplaces as having many freshmen on the list, established companies riding a wave of rising auto prices driving shoppers to repair their vehicles instead of buying new ones.  In today’s Insight Flash, we dig further into the space, looking at Automotive Parts subindustry trends by channel and by region, and assessing how the companies on the Marketplace 100 are taking advantage of regional trends.

Online Automotive Parts merchants are fighting against a surprising market shift away from e-commerce purchasing.  Online spend share for the subindustry peaked at about a third of total spend with the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020.  While this may be expected, its share has trended down steadily since then.  Online share was smaller in every month of 2022 than it had been in 2021, with November and December share down more than 3% from the prior year. 

Subindustry Online Spend Share

Note:  Direct-to-consumer spend only

The decline in Online Automotive Parts spend is consistent across regions.  The West has held up the most, with December 2022 online spend at 94% of April 2020 levels.  Spend trends have been weakest in the Midwest, with December 2022 spend only 73% of April 2020 levels. 

Online Spend Growth by Region

Note:  Direct-to-consumer spend only

Of the Automotive Parts merchants who made this year’s Marketplace 100, CARiD may be best-positioned to take advantage of relative strength in West Coast online auto parts.  28% of the company’s spend in the last year came from that region.  Parts Geek has a similar mix with 24% of spend coming from the West Coast.  RockAuto, however, has the fewest customers in that region, and is instead overindexed to the beleaguered Midwest.

Merchant Spend by Region

Note:  364 days ending 4/9/2023

Stacie Rabinowitz is the VP of Product Research at Consumer Edge. Explore more of her insights here and follow her on LinkedIn.