If you’re anything like us, every time you log in to Amazon or Staples, they are promoting a bunch of daily deals on trunk organizers, pet seat covers, mini cordless car vacuums, and all sorts of other automobile accessories. There is a reason an online retailer initially known for selling books and another known for selling office supplies push auto accessories products – they sell!
In 2021, the car accessories market exceeded $416 billion, which is expected to grow by over 6.4% year-over-year. The demand for car accessories is increasing. Americans spend, on average, 432 hours per year in their car, which works out to be 18 days! That number dropped below 293 hours per year during the pandemic, but it is back up to over 400 hours.
So, what does all that time people spend in their car mean? Well, for auto dealers, it is good news. It means, despite the slight downturn in new car demand during the pandemic, the popularity of ride-sharing apps, and fewer people communicating to work with the rise of work-from-home jobs, car demand will still increase in 2023. And, for those selling car accessories, it means business is booming.
Here are some of the best-selling auto accessories of 2022:
Best Selling Car Accessories
We will focus on product types and not promote specific brands; through our research, these four products made all the lists of the best-selling auto accessories of 2022.
Handheld Car Vacuums
This one is something to celebrate for all of you neat freaks out there. With handheld vacuums topping best-selling accessory lists, it would appear that customers are valuing having a tidy car. And, if you have kids, these little vacuums are great for picking up the seemingly never-ending amount of cheerios and fish crackers that find their way into every nook and cranny of your car.
In America, over 20 million vacuums are sold each year. This is because they are a product most people find essential. For cars, they are more of a luxury, but with people spending on average over 400 hours per year in their car, any product that helps clean a car interior has the potential to sell very well.
Car Trunk Organizers
Americans love organizers, and Florida might be leading the way. We have stores like The Container Store, with locations in Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Boca Raton, and a few other cities, that sell, of course, containers, but all sorts of items to help people get and stay organized. And, their parking lots are never empty. Never!
For most of us growing up, the concept of a trunk organizer never crossed our minds. But these days, consumers love organizing or at least the idea of being organized. Organizing products also speak to most consumers’ demands when looking for a new or used car – comfort and convenience. And, increasingly, consumers prioritize purchasing at a value price. Therefore, any product that can increase a consumer’s comfort or convenience, and be marketed as a value buy, can sell well.
You might think that since an AAA membership, with free jump starts, is less than the price of a cup of coffee per day, the demand for jump starters would be decreasing. But, remember, consumers increasingly value convenience and are increasingly impatient. Having to wait 20-30 minutes for a local AAA auto technician to jump-start your car? That is just too long for many consumers. But, then, consider how few people these days know how to jump-start a car with the assistance of another vehicle, or don’t feel comfortable approaching strangers for help and you will know why jump starters are selling like hotcakes.
Jump starters truly are convenient. You don’t have to worry about finding a friendly motorist to help lend their car to start your car. Also, with the electronic components of many modern vehicles being sensitive, a jump starter can be safer than a two-battery connection jump. And, in Florida, where we put our car batteries through hard work blasting our air conditioning, a portable jump starter is a good idea.
Pet Seat Cover
We love our furry friends! Over 56% of people in Florida own a pet, and over 39% own a dog. We all know that dogs love to go for car rides. Therefore, many car buyers prioritize the dog-friendliness of a car design as a motivating buying factor when shopping for a new car.
Pet seat covers help to keep a car clean. They’re designed to capture pet hair, and the covers are typically washable. In addition, some pet seat covers offer pet safety features, such as extra padding or seat belts. The seat covers also prevent lingering odors. And, a pet seat cover will help maintain a car’s value by protecting the interior.
Why Car Dealers Should Care About Auto Accessories
There are many motivating factors for why auto accessories are a popular carry-over to auto sales. For instance, people spend over 400 hours a year in their cars. That statistic alone is one car salespeople should put in their back pocket as a nugget of wisdom to bring out at the right time. Furthermore, the accessories that are selling the best inform you about the driving habits of potential car buyers. Here are a few examples:
You know they are selling well. Does their current vehicle have a trunk organizer in it? Then, it might be essential to highlight features in a vehicle that provide for more organization, such as storage areas. If you see particular objects in their car that aren’t organized, such as some soccer balls in the back seat, you may want to point to the included cargo net in the car you are showing can be used to store soccer balls.
Pet Seat Cover:
If you see a pet seat cover in their current car, then talking about their pet is an obvious relationship-building topic. And, if you can do something that allows not only them to think of themselves inside that new car you’re showing them, but to picture their dog with them along for a ride also, you’ll be better able to get them emotionally attached to the car. Or, at the very least, if they have a pet, you’re going to want to focus on how easy it is for a dog to get in and out of the car, and you might want to show them the safest place for their beloved pet to ride in the car.
There are several other ways that knowing what accessories are selling well can help car dealers. Another example would be promotional gifts. For example, if car vacuums are selling well, it might make sense to bulk order some, have your logo placed on them, and give them away as prizes or promotional items. That way, every time they take their vacuum out and think about how dirty their car is, they’re reminded of your car dealership and prompted to dream of a new, clean car. And hey, you’re just the auto dealer to sell it to them!