If you're not focusing on customer loyalty, you should be...
Listen to this: Engaged customers buy 90% more frequently... and spend 60% more per transaction! (source)
Once a shopper becomes a customer, they know who you are. They trust that you aren't a scammer, and that you'll give them the part they need. Tapping into that pool of past customers can be a great way to build more sales.
1. Answer phone calls and emails
a.) Providing Expertise
With so many auto parts and vehicle makes, it’s understandable that customers get confused about fitment. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of ordering the wrong part and returning it, and you don’t want to deal with that either.
Make yourself available to answer questions by providing an email address and phone number. By helping customers find the right part, you establish yourself as a parts expert.
Customers like to shop with experts! It erases their fear of ordering the wrong part for their vehicle. By being readily available to them, you boost shopper confidence.
Best yet: next time they need a part, they’ll know you can help out.
b.) Phone sales
Plenty of potential customers want to buy a part, but aren’t local and don’t want to shop through your parts website. Some individuals don’t feel comfortable sharing their credit card info online, others are worried about ordering the wrong part, and some people just don’t want to click through a website to find what they want.
So, they’ll call the parts website’s number to place their order over the phone. To customers, this is a great way to talk to a human and an expert on auto parts. It boosts customer confidence and reminds them that a real parts team is running the website.
Not all parts websites process orders over the phone. Opening this new channel for sales will attract customers who prefer that route.
If you don’t have a phone number listed on your parts website, you’re missing out on these sales!
Free Download: 7 Proven Ways to Grow your Parts Business
c.) Building relationships
Remember what we just said about talking to a real human on the phone? While it should be common sense that a person picks up the phone when someone calls, that’s not always the case.
These days, it’s typical to wait on hold listening to tacky elevator music, only to be redirected to a call center where no one knows how to answer your question.
Dealers have told us that some of their best customers first came in over the phone. They were able to build relationships over a real conversation, and so those customers kept coming back to shop there every time.
2. Create a Packaging Insert
After a customer has made a purchase with you the first time, they’re over the biggest hurdle. Now they know who you are, they know they can trust you with their credit card info, and they know they can get the part they need from your parts website.
The trick is getting them to come back!
Keeping your parts website fresh in their mind keeps them from forgetting you. An inexpensive and effective way to do this is with a Packaging Insert.
A packaging insert is basically a slip of paper that you add to an order before shipping it out. This is different than their receipt or order confirmation. While the order confirmation has logistics about the purchase, a packaging insert is promotional.
You can use a packaging insert to...
- Include a discount code to encourage a future purchase
- Ask for reviews
- Grow social media following
- Thank the customer
3. Promotional emails
Customers love coupons and discounts! This is true for every industry, and parts & accessories eCommerce is no exception.
Auto parts margins are slim enough that it’s tough to offer customers much. But even something as small as 5% or 10% can make a difference. You can even set rules, like 10% off on orders over $100, to ensure you’re still getting sales.
As long as you calculate ahead of time what kind of discount you can offer while staying profitable, promotional emails are an effective way to draw in repeat customers. The more you sell and build an email list of past shoppers, the more past customers you’ll be able to reach with one email blast.
With MailChimp, you can easily create a professional email to send promo codes—even if you don’t have any techie or design skills. Check out our step-by-step guide to creating an email template for parts promotions.
4. Abandoned cart emails
It’s surprising how many shoppers find your website, add parts to their digital shopping cart, and then leave before completing the purchase.
These sales aren’t lost! Plenty of things could have happened. Maybe the shopper’s computer crashed, or they got distracted but still need to buy those parts.
This is where an abandoned cart email can add value to your parts website. By setting up a drift marketing campaign, you can have your system automatically send out an email an hour after a shopper left without purchasing.
The email usually says something along the lines of: “You forgot to finish your order! Click here to return to your shopping cart.” The best abandoned cart emails even include pictures about the specific parts the customer didn’t buy.
For RevolutionParts customers, drift marketing campaigns are built directly into the platform!
5. Social media contests and promos
Not to beat the same point into the ground, but…. Coupons!
Coupons, sales, and promotions are exciting times for shoppers. And since a lot of your shoppers are on at least one form of social media (usually Facebook), that’s just another place to reach them. Part shoppers can come across your promotion announcements while scrolling through their Facebook feed.
Running a successful Facebook page for your parts website first requires building up a few followers. You can do this through packaging inserts, email, and adding links to your parts website.
Through Facebook, it’s also easier to run contests and sweepstakes to get customers especially excited. Read more about how to run an effective contest on your parts website.
It’s definitely worth your time to focus on repeat business. You’ve already paid time and money to attract that shopper to your parts website the first time, so there’s no reason to let them go so easily.