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Auto aftermarket registers huge growth online

By Zheng Yiran | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-10-16 13:54
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BYD's electric models attract visitors at a new energy auto expo in Beijing. [Photo by A Qing / For China Daily]

China's auto aftermarket business experienced explosive growth during the epidemic. With the closed loop from driving traffic to after-sales formed on livestreaming platforms, the online channel will continue to be an important sales channel for the sector when the epidemic is over, said a recent report.

Auto aftermarket refers to all services related to the use of cars after they are sold. It mainly includes car finance, car repair and maintenance, car accessory, car culture, car sport, second-hand car and car lending.

The report, issued by tuhu.cn, a national car repair and maintenance platform based in Shanghai, said that influenced by the epidemic, consumers in auto aftermarket shifted to online. Apart from traditional e-commerce platforms, social content platforms on mobile phone have become a hot spot for transaction.

"As livestreaming turns popular in China, automotive key opinion leaders starting a livestreaming chatroom to promote auto aftermarket products has become a norm. The livestreaming attracted tens of millions of visitors," said the report.

According to the report, the e-commerce penetration rate of auto aftermarket tops the whole online automotive industry, and more and more car owners prefer to use car repair and maintenance services online.

"For better user experience, more and more consumers choose to make an order online and get the service offline. Orders including basic car maintenance and tire replacement can all be made online," said the report.

According to the report, online shopping has become a norm for car owners. The peak hour for online auto aftermarket consumption is between 9 am to 5 pm.

In terms of age group, the post-90 generation turned to be the fastest-growing age group for online auto aftermarket consumption. However, the post-70 and post-80 generations, which took up over 60 percent of the total consumption group, were still the backbone of consumption, said the report.

To grasp business opportunities brought by the digital trend, many car repair and maintenance platforms are taking actions. Ever since February, tuhu.cn has launched several series of livestreaming broadcasts about car repair and maintenance, in an effort to attract traffic and promote business.

Zhu Hequn, vice-president of business intelligence and digital marketing at tuhu.cn said: "In the future, we will continue to explore the marketing mode that integrates short videos, livestreaming and offline events, to create high-quality products and services and enhance the digital level of the whole industry."

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