Statistics from Roy Morgan Research show that 306,000 Australians make at least one automotive product purchase online in an average four-week period, up almost 40 per cent on 2011.
Although it is a significant increase, the volume of online automotive purchases pales in comparison to women’s clothing (1,042,000) and ebooks (891,000).
But look at the average automotive online spend of $182 and selling to petrolheads suddenly looks rather lucrative.
And in a case of stating the bleeding obvious, Roy Morgan’s statistics also show that people who identify themselves as “a bit of a car enthusiast” are almost 200 per cent more likely to make automotive purchases online than the population average.
Those who “would like a car that handles like a racing car” (that really was a survey option) are 133 per cent more likely than the average Australian to buy something car-related online.
People who drive a Nissan Pulsar (the option was actually ‘I don’t care what a car looks like as long as it is reliable’) were 29 per cent less to buy something for their car online, while Camry drivers (the option being ‘I regard my car simply as transport from A to B’) were 45 per cent less likely.
Barina drivers (I’m not interested in the mechanics of my car) were 60 per cent less likely to buy car stuff on the internet.
Roy Morgan Research general manager of consumer products Andrew Price said the data proves that “the passion (or lack thereof) a person feels for their car (or cars in general) influences whether they will buy these products online”.
Mr Price also made a link between a different kind of passion and online automotive spending.
“People who prefer a car with lots of sex appeal tend to spend more on auto accessories than anyone else,” he said.
“Armed with this kind of detailed attitudinal information about their present and potential customers, online retailers of car accessories are better placed to tailor their marketing communications to resonate exactly the audience they wish to reach.”
But surely, the biggest finding in this research is that a fool and his money are easily parted.