[TREND 7] E-COMMERCE: A New Standard in Oils, Lubricants, and Auto Parts Sales
COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated an expansion of e-commerce and the technological platforms enabling e-commerce, as consumers now must turn to online shopping for essential and discretionary products. Online automotive and lubricants sales and services are no exception; however, they were already rising prior to the pandemic. The shift to online purchases has boosted the lubricants market from several perspectives.
In terms of lubricants demand, increased e-commerce activity has boosted demand for light- to medium-duty vehicles for delivery services, leading to a boost in demand for lubricants. In Asia, growth in motorcycle oil demand is driven by two-wheelers engaged in e-commerce and food delivery services. This is also expected to further promote development of the two-wheeler parc in the region.
In terms of lubricants sales channels, new alternative channels have started appearing and are providing opportunities for greater growth as people adapt to a post–COVID-19 world. In China alone, alternative channels are projected to double by 2025 as consumers embrace these new means of vehicle service and lubricants procurement. These new channels include online to offline (O2O) and other Internet platforms, along with car-sharing platforms.
In terms of lubricants services, COVID-19 is helping create a shift in how dealerships interact with customers. With the threat of the virus, some vehicle owners had started to look for contactless options where they can pay through their phones, drive into a bay to have service performed, and leave without ever opening their vehicle door. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, customers and dealerships are embracing more online services to maintain social distancing. This has also allowed some innovative dealers and OEMs to roll out alternative options to benefit their customers and help their business remain healthy.
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