E-commerce has changed the way several business sectors operate and this is true for the automotive sector too. Automotive e-commerce has seen an upward trend and sales have surged in the past five years. Online purchase of cars and their parts in the U.S. has doubled from 32% to 61% in the past two years.
Automotive merchants are embracing the omnichannel strategy for selling, wherein customers can use the company’s brick-and-mortar shops as well as digital channels for purchases. Statistics clearly show that the market for automotive e-commerce is expanding and has a lot of potential.
Automotive e-commerce enables buying and selling products in a matter of seconds even in remote locations. Companies like Ford have given their automobile e-commerce websites and social media presence more prominence than ever by restructuring their websites, emphasizing practicality and prioritizing digital ads.
Setting up a Killer E-commerce Store for Auto Parts
Automotive e-commerce platforms have a unique set of obstacles because of the variety of automobiles on the market, the difficulty of matching the right cars with the appropriate products and ensuring prompt delivery of huge, expensive parts.
If you run or plan to operate an automotive e-commerce store, keep some of the following points in mind to engage your customers.
1. Visual Appeal to the Home Page
Merely having a website is not enough. The site must be structured and carefully designed too. Custom web solutions are the answer to any business, product or service, as they provide a consistent experience across platforms. According to a study, 94% of the negative remarks e-commerce stores receive are due to the design of the website.
Additionally, over 84% of respondents thought that the visual appeal of the website on the mobile version was important because the majority of people today access websites through their smartphones. Some features that can help your e-commerce store to become successful are:
- Avoiding a cluttered website with too much information.
- Increasing brand recognition opportunities by incorporating an attractive logo on your website.
- Use high-quality images as everyone is too busy to read pieces of text. Make everything imaginable using images or videos. This helps users retain the website’s information.
To maintain consistency, you can include pictures and videos that match the product in your brick-and-mortar store. As first impressions are always significant, it is important to pay attention to the visual appeal of the home page, which can help drive sales in return.
2. Intelligent E-commerce Website Search
An e-commerce search tool is an effective marketing strategy that increases sales, hence providing smart search software is crucial. As smart technology is unquestionably gaining ground in the search engine domain, AI-powered search tools are being used in e-commerce applications. As soon as the user types a query into the search box, the search engine should be able to recognize his intent and deliver the appropriate search results.
Intelligent searches help to quickly and accurately provide real-time insights and link data sources. With the help of virtual agents and intelligent search, you can:
- Save time and money
- Increase productivity
- Enhance revenue
- Make correlations across many data sources, including social media (tweets, LinkedIn), customer reviews, e-commerce reports and maintenance logs, to quickly and precisely disclose significant insights
- Allow clients to become independent
3. Product Advertising
Making your products visible to buyers online and highlighting key features is another vital aspect to improve e-commerce sales. Customers spend time online analyzing multiple dealers before visiting your store.
Automotive marketing helps connect prospective shoppers with the right dealers and brands. They enable access to relevant car technology and customize the purchasing process to reflect the shifting consumer preferences. Advertising continues to be a crucial medium for communicating organizational messages and building client relationships.
As search queries are the first step, you have to work towards establishing your online presence through inbound marketing and utilizing the right SEO strategies to ensure your brand visibility at the top of search results. Along with traditional marketing strategies like billboards and radio commercials, you can target clients with adverts using digital marketing technologies. You can even offer incentives to potential customers who are in your competitor’s parking lot by using geofencing software.
Location-based marketing strategies like geo-fencing involves the use of GPS, radio frequency or cellular data to create a virtual boundary. The backend infrastructure of your e-commerce stores can be prompted to send strategic messages, in-app notifications, push notifications or emails based on your customer’s location to update them about specific offers and rewards.
4. Year, Make, Model Lookup
The year-make-model lookup’s objective is to develop a micro search function that allows visitors to enter the year, make and model of their vehicles, parts or accessories using a straightforward drop-down menu and then view a list of the auto parts and accessories available for the specific option.
The year-make-model search provides a standard and quick approach to filter products specifically for your clients. Its endless search dropdowns offer reliable ways to swiftly locate precise products from a sizable product database.
You can make filters available on every product page of your store for buyers to view the most relevant option. Filters for the make of the vehicle could be Audi, BMW, Porsche, etc., while examples of models for each make could include A5 and Q3 for Audi, X5 and M3 Sedan for BMW, etc., and lastly the year for each model. You can go a step further by adding the engine values as well.
Registered customers Customers who have registered can store their vehicles in the account to avoid using filters every time they visit your store.
They won’t have to use filters the next time they visit your store to find the parts for their autos. You can add filters like the make of the vehicle (Audi, BMW, Porsche, etc.), models of each make (A5 and Q3 for Audi, X5 and M3 Sedan for BMW, etc.) and lastly the year for each model. You can go further by adding the engine values as well.
5. Return Policy
Getting left with an undesired part is one of the main worries customers have when purchasing auto parts online. More than 50% of consumers believe that return policies in online stores are difficult to understand. This is because the majority of online shoppers have been disappointed by a tricky online return policy, making them suspicious of the language used in the policies.
Here are some best practices to make your return policy better for your customers.
- You need to explain the obligations that a customer has when he orders the incorrect part. For instance, how soon they have to return it, what they can’t return and when returns aren’t accepted.
- You also need to explain that when there is an error made by the warehouse or if an incorrect part is shipped, what they must do to get the right parts.
- If a consumer has to fill out a lot of paperwork to get refunds, your process requires improvement. You can aim at making everything online and as simple as possible.
- If you are unable to take back a specific part you need to explain this very clearly on your policy or product page.
- Make sure that your staff carries the right attitude when dealing with returns. A weak interaction with the consumer can have a negative impact. The staff needs to be courteous while dealing with returns.
You now know how to build a fantastic web store for auto accessories or parts. Some of the top e-commerce auto part websites are Cadrid.com, Autozone.com, Advanceautoparts.com and Napaonline.com. Despite challenges and fierce competition, the automotive business offers several benefits. By selecting the right automotive e-commerce platform and including the above key elements, your online automotive business can reach new heights and see exponential growth.