The Maker Files Blog

Our blog for brands looking to create authentic connections with makers & DIYers

Auto DIY and the Online Aftermarket

Posted by Ivy Decker on Aug 23, 2017
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Not so long ago, only a pro could shop the automotive aftermarket. It took experience and technical knowledge to know what parts were necessary for which repairs or upgrades, and then finding those parts was an entirely different story. It might surprise you, then, that as of 2015, 63% of replacement parts buyers and 51% of upgrade buyers install the parts themselves - and they're not professionals at all.

The biggest factor contributing to this shift in aftermarket sales is the access to both suppliers and informational resources online. Automotive DIYers are more empowered than ever to buy aftermarket auto DIY parts online as well as complete the installations in their own garages. What's most important for aftermarket manufacturers to know is that the auto DIY market is projected to grow from here.

To learn more about how DIYers are growing as an aftermarket segment and how they shop online, continue reading.

Auto DIYers Gain Confidence Through Online Content

In a survey conducted by Auto Parts Warehouse, 48% of automotive DIYers reported that their cars are 10 or more years old, and 64% said they have over 100K miles on their vehicles. So how are DIYers managing to keep their vehicles running for a growing average age of 11.4 years? A third of DIYers say the biggest factor supporting their repair and upgrade work is access to more how-to and tutorial content online than ever before. Our recent post on DIY motivations tackles this concept in depth - check it out here.


Smartphones and other devices have increased our access to the internet anytime, anywhere in the past decade or so. Naturally, more and more content creators used this access to their advantage by creating content that's useful to DIYers. Like we discussed above, it takes research to figure out exactly how to perform a repair. With the support of how-to content, 44% of DIYers today report doing more repair work in general. 67% say that they're more likely to attempt more difficult repairs as well. What's important for aftermarket brands to remember is that a company can gain the trust and loyalty of a DIYer through valuable content.

Auto DIY and Increasing Online Aftermarket Sales

Not only has access to online resources made it easier for DIYers to learn how to complete repairs, but it has also created numerous new channels to get the parts and tools they need. E-commerce is changing they way almost every industry is distributing its products, and the automotive aftermarket is no different. The end-consumer is buying more aftermarket and upgrade parts than ever from online outlets. In fact, 80% of aftermarket consumers say that easy access to parts and accessories online makes them more likely to complete DIY auto work. While brick-and-mortar stores certainly aren't phased out yet, DIYers find it more convenient - and usually cheaper - to complete repairs when they can have the right parts shipped directly to them.

The combination of digital content and e-commerce accessibility of the aftermarket enables more DIYers than ever to complete repairs and upgrades at home instead of at the mechanic or the dealership. The DIY segment of the aftermarket is expected to grow almost 15% year after year. That's an opportunity no aftermarket manufacturer can afford to miss.

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Topics: Marketing to Makers, Automotive Enthusiasts

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