General Motors now runs an online auto parts store.
The automaker says the expansion of its digital “marketplace” makes its catalog of 45,000 repair and maintenance parts more convenient for Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac owners.
The automaker expects the expanded e-commerce effort will boost revenue growth.
Merchandise includes oil filters, engine and cabin air filters, batteries, brake pads, accessory belts, cooling hoses and windshield wiper blades.
Parts and accessory sales are big profit sources for automakers.
GM forecasts that such sales online will reach $40 billion by 2030.
The company says its digital commerce investment combines convenient aspects of online shopping and physical retailing.
Customers can choose home delivery or pick up their order at one of more than 800 participating dealerships, where staffers can answer any questions.
Parts purchased through GM’s online store are eligible for brand rewards programs, earning customers redeemable points for future purchases.
GM recently launched the latest version of its My GM Rewards loyalty program as well as a rewards-earning new credit card in conjunction with Goldman Sachs.
The automaker began online accessory sales in 2015 and sells all of its 5,000 accessory products online.
The new e-commerce parts initiative “marks another step in transforming the ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts brands,” says John Roth, GM’s global vice president-customer care and aftersales.
While touting OEM parts compared with knock-off replications, he adds, “The launch of this trusted online sales channel extends that peace of mind to the parts-buying experience.”
GM plans to offer parts, accessories and subscriptions through a single digital storefront.
Customers also can use the store to purchase over-the-air upgrades such as improved capabilities for the Super Cruise advanced driver-assistance system and personalization themes for in-vehicle screens.
“We are placing software and digital services at the center of every part of our business,” says GM Chief Digital Officer Edward Kummer. “The future of GM retail lies at the intersection of digital and physical e-commerce. Whether it’s selling parts or vehicles, GM will meet our customers where it’s most convenient for them.”
The new program doesn't structurally cut dealers out of the picture because consumers all along have had the ability to directly purchase OEM parts from a non-digital catalog, GM spokeswoman Miesha Krueger tells WardsAuto. "This is another opportunity to make it more convenient."
The parts and accessories online store is built on one of three platforms that form the foundation of GM’s transformation of digital commerce.
In the future, in partnership with dealers, GM’s digital retail platform will allow customers to shop, purchase and finance electric vehicles entirely online, with the option to transition to an in-store experience at any point in the process.
GM is also extending its subscription services platform to support new recurring revenue sources. The automaker forecasts $20 billion to $25 billion in annual software and services revenue opportunities.
Steve Finlay is a retired WardsAuto senior editor. He can be reached at [email protected].