There is strong consumer interest in online purchase of automotive parts and equipment, particularly in growth markets. This looks likely to become a key aspect of how the industry operates, giving Tier 1 suppliers an important opportunity to strengthen their position. A number of challenges need to be tackled first, but these can be overcome provided the supplier thinks carefully at the outset about customer requirements, the most appropriate business model, and how to resolve conflicts with existing channels. Benefits include a stronger market position, access to additional feedback and information, improved customer satisfaction, and better use of working capital.