Some 83 percent of automotive specialty-equipment retailers report stable or growing sales in recent years, dispelling reports of a “retailpocalypse,” according to the new SEMA Retail Landscape Research Report.
The report, which is available for download, shows that the heavily publicized death of traditional retail is greatly exaggerated, says Gavin Knapp, director of market research for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (SEMA). “The positive news is that most retailers in our industry are doing well. While the Internet and ecommerce has impacted their businesses, savvy retailers are learning how to incorporate online sales into the mix and finding great success.”
He pointed out that the Internet and e-commerce is becoming a normal part of the retail business, with many specialty automotive retailers selling products online or using the Internet to advertise and promote their businesses. However, retailers surveyed report that most 2018 sales were made through in-store purchases and believe that offering personalized advice to their customers is the key to helping them succeed in the future.
For specialty-automotive retailers who find opportunity online, 54% sell products through their company’s website and 39% sell their products through an online marketplace such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.
According to the report, the web and social media are vital for marketing, with 81% of retailers using social media to market their business. Facebook and Instagram are the main, but by no means the only, platforms used while 71% of specialty auto retailers use their company’s website to advertise the business.