Parts eCommerce can generate sales and gross profit for your dealership, of course. But is that the only benefit to opening a digital storefront for your parts department?
As it turns out, there are MANY reasons why selling auto parts online is such a great idea for dealerships. From eliminating obsolescence to increasing absorption rate, parts eCommerce can solve some of the everyday problems of the parts department.
Here are just 6 of the many ways your dealership could benefit from parts eCommerce:
Reason 1: Meeting customer demand
Dozens of stats all point to the same thing: parts eCommerce is the trend of the future. Customers demand it, and your dealership has an opportunity to meet that desire.
Here are just a few of the key statistics:
- There are over 70 MILLION searches online for auto parts each month. (Google)
- 85% of consumers are using the internet to research auto replacement parts. (Auto Care Association)
- Intention to purchase auto parts online doubled between 2011 and 2014. (Nielsen Global eCommerce Report)
- Online part & accessory sales are expected to DOUBLE between 2016 and 2020. (Frost & Sullivan)
In short, parts eCommerce is seeing a lot of growth, and it won't peter off any time soon. If you’re not online yet, you’re losing customers to your competitors who are.
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Reason 2: Practice for the future
The industry is shifting, and smart dealerships know that they need to adapt sooner rather than later. If the stats in reason #1 weren’t enough proof for you, then see what automotive industry experts have to say about it.
Right now the market is still fairly new, so there’s room to grow and make mistakes. In the years to come, parts eCommerce will be more competitive and it’ll be harder to make a profit if you don’t already know what you’re doing.
For Parts Managers, experience in parts & accessories eCommerce can improve their professional lives, too. eCommerce experience can be used as leverage for getting a raise or even opening the door to new job opportunities.
Reason 3: Save customers at the service lane
How often do customers refuse recommended service at the service lane? Their car still needs that fix, so either they plan to take it to a different auto shop OR they’re going to buy the part online and make the repair in their own garage.
If they’re going to buy the part online… that’s a golden opportunity for your dealership’s parts website!
Even though you lost the service sale, getting at least something out of that customer is better than nothing. If you let them know about your parts website (or better yet, give them a business card, flier, or coupon!), then there’s a chance they’ll buy from you online.
The more often that customer buys from you, whether it’s your parts website or your brick and mortar dealership, the more likely they are to think of you first for all their automotive needs.
Sure, you won’t make as much on the sale compared to if they bought from your parts counter. But building that relationship with them improves customer loyalty and will keep them shopping with you for years to come.
Reason 4: Eliminate obsolescence
For some dealerships, obsolescence is a major drain on profitability and shelf space—by destroying those obsolete parts, you might as well be throwing dollars down the toilet.
But with limited space in the warehouse, what other option is there?
Parts & Accessories eCommerce lets you cast a wider net and find ready-to-buy customers who still need those obsolete parts for their vehicles. By selling on a standalone website or eBay, you can expand beyond your local customers and find someone who DOES want that dusty, old, obsolete part.
Reason 5: Meet factory parts purchase objectives
For a lot of auto groups, selling more parts means getting closer to parts-selling incentives. Volume sales make a huge difference in reaching those goals.
For eCommerce, volume sales is the name of the game. Prices have to be competitive and lower than what’s offered at the parts counter, but dealers still make a profit online through the sheer number of parts that they sell.
Reason 6: Improve Fixed Ops absorption
If you’re one of those dealerships that hovers between that 80% and 90% absorption rate (or if you’re trying to hit 110%!), parts eCommerce may just be enough to move the needle in your favor.
Launching a parts website is easy and inexpensive when you partner with the right eCommerce solution. More sales flowing in from your eCommerce site will mean a busier parts department, but efficient back end tools and automated manual tasks can take most of the work off your back.
In fact… a recent survey found that 80% of dealers using RevolutionParts haven’t had to hire additional staff yet to handle the extra orders from their parts website!
The average dealership with RevolutionParts generates between $250,000 and $360,000 each year in online parts & accessories sales. What kind of impact would that number have on your parts department?