The platform wars get ever deeper, get ever broader — and, like all manner of conflict, beachheads are established.
We might consider auto parts one of the more visible fronts targeted by the marquee names within eCommerce, the ones with billions of dollars in payments (and cash!) at the ready, ready to change the ways in which buyers and sellers interact.
To that end, and as reported Wednesday (Aug. 24), eBay has bought myFitment, which offers software tools to sellers of automotive and powersports parts and accessories.
In terms of mechanics, MyFitment helps auto parts sellers and avoids expensive returns by optimizing fitment data for listings, so customers can order the right parts and accessories. As reported on Wednesday, the deal is geared toward simplifying the interactions through which buyers find the right parts, digitally done, and streamlined.
Focus on Parts and Accessories
eBay has signaled that parts and accessories remains a key vertical in the company’s crosshairs. During the conference call with analysts to discuss recent results, Jamie Iannone, eBay CEO, said that the auto parts segment, buoyed by enthusiast buyers, has ben marked by increased spend per buyer. “A parts buyer will buy $500, but then buy $700 outside of that.”
Late last year, we noted in this space that there had been particularly intense jockeying between Walmart and Amazon for prime position in online sales of auto parts — and the gap had narrowed, where each firm had mid-teens percentage point share in the space, as measured in sales. Walmart, of course, has a brick and mortar component through its more roughly 2,500 auto care centers. And now, Amazon’s share of total retail spend has pulled ahead of Walmart’s.
Read also: Walmart’s Auto Parts Dominance Over Amazon All But Ended
For eBay, the relative neck and neck movements between Amazon and Walmart spell opportunity to deepen its own reach within autos.
The tailwinds are in place, given the fact that we’re all holding onto our cars longer than ever, where the average age of the fleet is about 12 years. The fact remains that it’s relatively cheaper to replace parts, while waiting for prices to come down (inflation hits everywhere, of course). The platform models, too, are extensible, which in turn means that eBay, Amazon and others can bring on (ever-more) specialized sellers as the situation warrants.
The field is getting more crowded to, including the platforms that bring OEMs and retailers together, in a link that brings those players ever closer to the end consumer.
As PYMNTS noted in June, Andreas Ronneseth, co-founder and chief strategy officer at RevolutionParts, told us that “In this industry today, there’s a lot of emailing spreadsheets or phone calls happening but there’s also quite a few procurement systems — RevolutionParts being one of them.” RevolutionParts, serving 2,000 dealers, and 85% of the parts sales that go through the platform go to consumers while the other 15% go to repair shops and other businesses.
Related: Without Digital Payments, Auto Parts Platforms Would Grind to a Halt
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