Successfully selling OEM parts & accessories online takes a few basic tricks, but it’s definitely doable when your team knows what those tricks are.
A lot of times, it’s as simple as having the right tools and strategies in place. Without these core tools building the foundation of your parts website, it’s incredibly difficult (or even impossible!) to take your online sales to the next level. Let alone launching your website in the first place!
So what is absolutely necessary to start selling parts online and actually see some sales? Read on to find out…
1. OEM Parts Catalog
Technically, it’s possible to sell auto parts online without a catalog. Some dealers will manually create some eBay listings for their auto parts. Except since building and managing those listings by hand takes so much time, the dealer can usually only have 50-60 listings up at a time.
The same goes for selling on an open marketplace like Shopify or BigCommerce. While those are great platforms for other types of eCommerce, it’s much more difficult when it comes to selling parts.
Having accurate parts catalog data means:
- Up-to-date MSRP
- Part labels (hazmat, oversized, obsolete, superseded)
- Part fitment info
- Part weights and dimensions (which makes it easier to estimate shipping cost)
Not to mention how you can sell your entire parts inventory in an instant, instead of individually listing different items! A good eCommerce software will also let you easily exclude certain categories of part so you can just sell what you want to sell.
Don’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping hazmat or oversized parts? No problem! Exclude them in just a few clicks and save yourself the extra work.
2. A system that’s easy to learn and use
If your software is too complicated, you can’t sell at all!
You shouldn’t have to be some kind of tech genius in order to sell parts online. A specialty in auto parts should be all it takes.
That’s a big reason why partnering with a good eCommerce solution matters. Since there is a technical aspect to selling online, a dependable partner can take care of that for you. Sure, you’ll have to learn a few basics like processing and fulfilling orders. But the complicated stuff should be off your plate.
Besides, your time is valuable. A lot of parts department employees have to run the parts website on top of their normal duties. If the website takes too much time, it might not be worth it.
Intuitive, easy-to-learn tools can make a huge impact on how productive you are. An employee using a streamlined system can easily accomplish twice as much as someone struggling to do simple tasks on a more complicated software. Complicated tools are not necessarily more advanced or more powerful. They only cost you valuable time!
Luckily, dealers on the RevolutionParts platform haven’t reported problems like that on our system. Ease of use is one our main focuses, and we’re glad to see our customers appreciate it.
According to a survey of our customers:
- 80% hadn’t needed to hire additional staff despite the growth in their online parts store.
- 71% learned the RevolutionParts platform in less than a week.
3. Parts Website Marketing
Some dealers think that all they need to do is build a website, and buyers will come.
But this is completely false. If that’s your approach, it’ll be incredibly difficult to get shoppers to your site to buy parts!
Without some kind of marketing, you’re dooming your parts website before you can even get your feet off the ground.
Of course, for many parts managers, “marketing” is the lowest priority in the department. So let’s make something clear: you do NOT have to do the marketing yourself!
Work with a marketing agency with specific experience in promoting auto parts. They can run ads on Google and find people who are actively looking to buy parts.
To learn more, check out some of these articles:
- 11 Questions to Ask a Marketing Agency Before you Hire Them
- Top 7 FAQs about Digital Marketing for Parts Managers
- 4 Simple Ways to Jumpstart your Account with a Marketing Agency
Yes, there’s an added cost to pay for marketing services. But the entire point of marketing is to bring in some sales for your parts website! Marketing is a necessary investment to bring success and profit to your online venture.
RevolutionParts has an in-house agency of specialists that can handle marketing for our customers. Click here to learn more!
There’s a lot more to really killing it online, but those are the 3 core foundations you shouldn’t settle on. Our experts have identified a total of 8 Keys to Success, but these 3 are the most vital.
Other features, like a professional website and advanced pricing/shipping tools make a huge different too, but you can still run a website without them. You just might have a lower definition of what “success” is!
If you want to learn more about the other essential keys to successfully selling parts online, you have two options: