When it comes to selecting where to purchase RV aftermarket parts and accessories for RVs, owners say that the immediate availability of products is the most important factor, according to research conducted by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) on the RV aftermarket customer experience.

RVIA News & Insights reported that 76% say it is the top consideration when deciding where to shop and purchase aftermarket products. RVers who are 45 years of age and older are more than twice as likely (22 percent) to choose immediate availability of products as the single most important factor than those younger than 45 years of age (10 percent). RVers that have a longer history of RV ownership also rate product availability higher while less experienced RVers say that having a relationship with aftermarket store staff and the product knowledge of online aftermarket sources are more important.

More than half of online shoppers believe parts availability is better online than in stores; however, aftermarket buyers do have positive views on parts availability when shopping at a store. Nearly 60 percent of buyers say they are always able to get the parts and accessories they are looking for while 34 percent say sometimes. Overall, there is a 74 percent satisfaction level among consumers with the availability of RV aftermarket parts and accessories, but delays in getting parts has a negative impact on the respondent’s views of RVing.

“The key takeaway in these findings is that consumers feel a real urgency to get the parts and accessories they need when they need them, particularly when they are on the road. Sometimes the availability of a part can means the difference between continuing to vacation or disrupting the trip. That plays a critical part in overall satisfaction with RVing,” said RV Industry Association Senior Director of Research Bill Baker. “Retailers in the aftermarket space need to give careful consideration to carrying the correct mix of key items at the right time of year to maximize parts availability and strive to provide those parts immediately or within a 24-hour window.”

The Aftermarket Parts and Accessories Customer Survey was conducted in 2018 by the RV Industry Association. The first-of-its-kind research reveals key buying habits of RVers and details what is most important to RV owners when shopping for parts and accessories in stores and online. The study provides association members and dealer partners with critical information needed to understand and meet evolving customer expectations when it comes to the RV aftermarket.

Cairn Consulting directed the research, questioning 800 RVers who had traveled in an RV within the past year and were heavily involved in decision-making about where to purchase aftermarket parts and accessories.