Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on retail businesses, and not in a good way. If you are in the automotive industry selling parts, you know sales were unpredictable.
In an effort to combat the economic struggles felt throughout the country, three stimulus payments were provided between April 2020 and March 2021. In the weeks following each stimulus check, retail businesses across the country saw much-needed gains in revenue compared to the previous week.
We recently took a look at our sales data to learn what type of impact these stimulus checks had on online auto parts sales, and the results were interesting.
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Following each stimulus payment, dealers selling parts online saw a massive increase in sales that lasted for several weeks. Here are the key takeaways:
- Stimulus check 1 – $1.4M increase ($5.9M – $7.3M)
- Stimulus check 2 – $1.7M increase ($6.4M – $9M)
- Stimulus check 3 – $1.6M increase ($10.7 – $12.3M)
Stimulus Check #1
We can clearly see a major drop in sales in the weeks prior to this first stimulus payment. This drop correlates directly with COVID-19 being declared a National Emergency on March 13th and cities and states implementing stay-at-home orders in the days following.
On April 13, 2020, the first stimulus checks of $1,200 began being distributed. This put money back in the pockets of everyday Americans, and they immediately began to spend it.
The week of April 12th saw a $1.4M increase after a drop of $1.6M following a national emergency declaration. From this point, dealers on the RevolutionParts platform saw a more steady stream of sales throughout the year, thanks to their ability to sell parts online to millions of Americans, whether or not they were shopping in person.
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Stimulus Check #2
As the new year rolled around and COVID-19 infections continued to hit an all-time high, the second stimulus payment of $600 was distributed to the American people, starting on December 29th, 2020.
The week leading up to the stimulus payment saw a $1.7M drop in auto parts sales but then increased by $1.6M the week of December 27th. It then increased another $1M the following week for a total of $2.6M.
Although the drop and increase can also be attributed to the holiday season and follows a pattern seen the previous year, this cannot rule out the impact the stimulus payment had. However, the exact impact of the stimulus payment remains unclear.
Stimulus Check #3
The third COVID-19 relief stimulus checks of $1,400 began being distributed on March 17th, 2021. While parts sales began to rise at the beginning of March, there was a significant uptick in sales the week the stimulus payments hit.
The two weeks prior to the stimulus payment saw an average increase of $437K. However, the week the third stimulus payment began to hit, we saw a $1.6M jump in parts sales. This is a significant increase that cannot be ignored.
Dealers With Parts eCommerce Had The Advantage
The COVID-19 pandemic hit retail businesses hard, including auto parts sales, but those who invested in eCommerce were able to take advantage of an increase in online shopping, which rose by 44% between 2019 and 2020. While auto parts sales took a dive, dealers on the RevolutionParts eCommerce platform saw a 28% rise in auto parts and accessories sales in 2020, and they are projected to rise another 29% in 2021, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
The extent of impact the stimulus checks had in this rise in sales is not entirely clear. However, what is clear is that they did have a positive impact.