Accessories not only drive revenue, they also influence auto purchases, says Foresight Research

Rochester, MI September 8, 2016 – It is well known that automotive accessories contribute billions in revenue to the auto industry. In fact half of new auto buyers install $250+ worth of accessories, with corresponding average per vehicle spending near $1,000. But accessories’ influence extends beyond just the custom floor mats, racing wheels or performance exhaust – they contribute to the decision to buy a particular new vehicle, according to a pair of recently published reports by Foresight Research.

“For many vehicle buyers, accessories are not just a last minute impulse purchase, but instead are one of the several criteria they use to make vehicle choices,” said Chris Stommel, President of Foresight Research. “Understanding who these buyers are and how they approach accessories as part of the purchase process is key to maximizing the accessory, and ultimately new car, revenue potential.”

Foresight surveyed almost six thousand recent new auto buyers, including over 3,100 accessory buyers. While one-fifth of all buyers said accessories influenced their purchase decision, this influence rises to nearly one-third of accessory buyers.

Just as there are certain consumer groups likely to buy accessories, there are also specific groups who tend to incorporate accessories into their purchase process, according to Foresight Research’s recently published 2016 Accessory Immersion Report TM. Not surprisingly, men, those under age 55, sporty car segment buyers and luxury brand buyers are more often accessory-influenced. However, buyers of certain luxury brands are more often predisposed to accessory influence: Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz all fall into that category.

“Sales efforts inside the dealership are an important, and often-overlooked, factor.” said Stommel. “In most cases there is a positive correlation between a salesperson’s attempts to sell accessories and key accessory outcomes: higher installation rates, higher spending and higher accessory influence on the purchase decision. But much depends on the brand customers as well as execution in store, such as accessory training and support within the dealership.”

The newly designed Inside The Minds of The Accessory BuyersTM delves into accessory shopping practices and buying perspectives among new car buyers to arm accessory planners and marketers with insights. “One of the findings revealed that the majority of accessory buyers think it is important that the accessories they buy are made by their own vehicle brand, and another points out that accessories most often influence buyers who carefully research their accessory purchases instead of buying spur of the moment. This intelligence can support a range of strategic and tactical decisions for accessory marketing, because it gives perspective on how car buyers think about accessories,” Stommel says.