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Radio Fuels Consumer Shopping at Local and Online Auto Parts Stores.

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals sales at “automotive parts, accessories and tire stores” increased 14.3% during the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, as more people were driving for work, shopping, entertainment and outdoor activities.

Radio is where to reach consumers in their vehicles when they are more likely to be conscious of their auto parts needs. Data from five representative 2021 consumer/market surveys conducted by The Media Audit supports the strength of radio, especially among Millennials and Gen Xers who are prime auto parts purchasers in-store and online.

In the five representative markets, an average of 12.4% of adults 18+ purchased auto parts at a local store during the past four weeks, compared to an average of 4.9% who made a purchase online. For Millennials, the averages are much larger, or 36.8% and 38.2%, respectively, with Gen Xers a strong second at 30.0% and 27.1%, respectively.

“Many Americans delayed auto maintenance and repairs during the last 18 months because they were driving less,” said Jeff Stein, East Coast Markets Manager, The Media Audit. “Despite the surge of the Delta variant of the COVID0-19 virus during summer 2021, total US vehicle miles increased 8.3% during September. Many vehicle owners can no wait to address maintenance issues, which should generate increased sales for auto parts stores.”

Although fewer consumers in The Media Audit’s five representative market surveys bought auto parts online during the past four weeks, many of the age groups in these markets who are online auto parts buyers listened to radio at higher percentages than those who bought at a store.

Auto parts retailers can also benefit from the use of radio to reach the millions of consumers driving older used cars. The average age of all vehicles in the US increased from 11.9 years during 2020 to 12.1 years during 2021. With the record amounts people are spending for a new vehicle, many are prime targets for accessory sales to improve drivability, safe operations and passenger comfort.

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