The eCommerce for auto parts market has grown over the past five years and continues to grow. According to a McKinsey survey, this trend will continue. Additionally, 80% of industry players are not prepared for growth.
Thankfully, we are here to help get you up to speed.
Know What You Are Selling
Knowing your products help you structure your eCommerce website providing a better user experience that converts.
People looking to buy include externals like bumpers and grills that often have large boxes and high shipping costs. Internals like spark plugs and cylinders that need careful packaging to avoid breakage. Also, tools are an option like a jack or a wrench. These items also have their shipping requirements.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Buyers are in many demographics. Car owners, garages, and even other stores are all different demographics. The target market matters when designing your eCommerce website.
If you already have a website, you will want to take advantage of tools like Google Analytics to analyze your audience and comprehensive website monitoring tools to help optimize your audience journeys. If you do not have a website, you will want to research automotive aftermarket shoppers.
Knowing your audience helps better understand how to sell. Some examples include auto shops and garages that prefer B2B wholesalers who tend to buy in higher volume to end customers looking for one set of rims for their Honda tuner.
The Best Channels for Selling Auto Parts
In the virtual world, customers no longer head to a store and buy. Buyers shop around based on price and convenience. When deciding on a sales method, consider these approaches:
Your eCommerce Shop
With your store, you have more control. There are no brokerage fees like Amazon or eBay eating into costs. Also, you can build your brand and loyalty with customers. This leads to repeat business and easier customer retention.
eBay is a great option, especially for rare parts. There are roughly 90 million auto parts listings with three sales per second. In addition, eBay has a variety of tools to help you sell.
Amazon is built to help businesses gain a broad audience. In 2019, Amazon was the most used online store. However, refurbished products must come with a warranty, and images should be viewable outside the Amazon platform.
Stores can integrate one or all of the options when selling auto parts online. Amazon and eBay both have tools to help make this easy.
Find The Right eCommerce Platform for Auto Parts’ Sales
User experience is critical to influencing customer decisions. Visual merchandising, chatbots, payment gateways and shipping all matter. Your eCommerce platform must have all of this as well as making it usable for you. Here are some options to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform.
Vehicle Type Filter
Many customers are looking for parts or accessories for a particular car. Your website should have this.
Consider this example:
American cars > Ford > 1999 – 2010 > 5 Series > 6 Cylinder > Manual > Your transmission
If you make a mechanic happy and reward their loyalty, they will reward you with repeat business and referrals.
Chatbots can help solve many customer problems before a human needs to get involved leaving you with more time to improve your business.
There are several payment options out there. With Apple Pay, Paypal and others, your customers can save time with saved information on another platform.
Several apps can help employ a wholesale model.
What About OEM vs. Third-Party?
Authenticity matters these days. Customers are looking for honest and transparent brands that care—transparency and honesty matter. Make sure you are clear whether a part is OEM or not. What is the difference?
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer
OEM means the customer is getting the exact part recommended by the manufacturer.
Third-party is sourcing from any company that does not make them for the manufacturer.
How To Optimize Auto Parts’ Sales Online
Your eCommerce store is only one piece of the puzzle for selling parts online. It would be best if you also researched and network.
Talk to car enthusiasts and mechanics
Talk to them about hard-to-find parts, ask about their pain points. What drives them to buy? What is lacking from competitors? Is it price, quality, or convenience? Research can help differentiate your store.
Competitive Research and Analysis
Look at the competition on all channels, even third-party sites. See what the strengths and weaknesses are and whether or not you can compete. Some creative Googling can help you discover what others are doing and give you ideas.
Get Quotes from Suppliers
Once you determine prices, contact suppliers through other marketplaces such as Alibaba. Look at suppliers you use, and contact others. Find out what margins are to see if you can compete.
Send POs to parts manufacturers to verify quality. Quality matters. Ultimately, higher quality can save you money, avoiding recalls and customer complaints.
Build Your Site
While waiting on inventory, build your site. Site building is where your design and UX research comes in.
In fact, BigCommerce has plenty of auto parts themes from which to choose. Do you want to use a BigCommerce partner or manage everything in-house? You need to verify API connections and work with developers who can professionally Get you running faster and smoother.
Finally, you want to build a site with great images and quality keyword-rich content to show up in search.
Integrate Your Site with Outside Vendors
Connect to Amazon and eBay with the proper plugins.
Manage deliveries of your products to customers.
There are a variety of shipping options available. Shipper HQ, Shipstation, and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) are excellent options.
Don’t Forget Your Store launch checklist
Here is a checklist of things to consider:
Find a Niche
Do you want to have all things for all people or specialties such as rims, exhaust, or Honda Civics?
Some companies rely on the same manufacturers for years. These companies are reliable and easy to provide inventory.
Clearly define the product, every last detail. Add safety information and whether parts are third-party or OEM.
Use Professional Images
Customers want to see their product before they buy. You want real, professional images rather than poor quality to improve your customer experience.
Get to Work
This article has helped you learn to sell auto parts better online. The growth of your business will likely benefit from a multi-channel approach through eCommerce. Customers yearn for brands they can trust. Becoming one of these brands will be the key to success.
If you are looking to continue growing your auto parts business and gaining new customers or starting a new enterprise, let this resource be your guide.