Automotive E-commerce Growth & The Challenge of Packaging

eCommerce for automotive aftermaket

The online retail market for aftermarket automotive parts and accessories continues to grow at a rapid rate. In fact, according to findings from Hedges & Company, auto parts sales influenced by digital is likely to grow to $152 billion by 2021.

This means that the challenges associated with packaging and shipping automotive parts and supplies need to be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Why Are Buyers Shifting To Purchasing Parts Online?

There are four main benefits of buying aftermarket automobile parts online:

  • Easy access a wide selection of parts
  • Cost savings
  • Ability to price compare
  • Time savings

Simply put, the convenience of e-commerce and modern shop management systems have made it easier to purchase parts online, compared with traditional, over-the-phone ordering. 

Consumers appreciate the information and price transparency available on online because local garages have often held an unfortunate reputation of being vague in their pricing and pricing methods, as well as in their product descriptions.


Proper Packaging is Key

Online shoppers buying auto parts employ ship-to-store 55% of the time, a 14% increase from the prior year. This is part of a growing trend toward increased convenience and “no-cost, ship-to-store pricing,” according to data from V12

For the remaining 45% that opt to have their automotive parts shipped to their home or place of business, there are unique challenges to address.

Aftermarket automotive parts can be anything from replacement windshields to fenders or headlights. Each product requires unique protective packaging to prevent damage during shipment. 

When car enthusiasts make purchases for their vehicles, they expect the parts to arrive in pristine condition — any imperfection is simply unacceptable.

If parts are damaged during transit due to poor packaging, a costly returns process may be initiated by the buyer. 

Depending on the application and final destination, there’s an array of materials and techniques that can be used to create the best packaging solution for your products. 

Some of these solutions include:

  • Plastic corrugated partitions lined with foam
  • Heat-sealed bubble pouches
  • Films to protect against scratching, marring and abrasion
  • Water-activated tape for a strong, secure seal

Choose Efficient Packaging Methods

When shipping automotive parts, packagers’ top concerns and considerations typically include the speed and flexibility of the carton sealing equipment, and the durability and overall quality of the shipping carton and tape being used.

Ensuring that efficient solutions are in place for your packing stations will help increase productivity, employee happiness, and improve overall time to delivery for each package. 

Water-activated tape and electric tape dispensers are ideal for pick-and-pack operations. The electric dispensers feed and cut the exact length of tape needed to seal assorted sizes of cartons with just the touch of a button. 

Because water-activated tape creates a strong bond with the shipping carton, only one strip of tape is needed to securely seal the carton – increasing packer efficiency

Additionally, when using water-activated tape (also commonly known as gummed paper tape) you have the option to add branding to the tape itself, to further increase brand awareness as your product goes through the delivery process and waits on your customer’s porch.


Better Packages is Here to Help

As you work through the challenges of increasing e-commerce demand for automotive aftermarket parts, we’re here to help. 

Check out our Automotive Aftermarket Parts Packaging Guide today.