It seems straightforward, but there are a few key ingredients to creating a successful online auto parts store. It’s not as simply uploading your product catalog and expecting customers to find what they need and make a purchase. The really successful online parts stores focus on a handful of key website features that aid customers in their shopping experience, which in turn yields big revenue for the store.
In any eCommerce store, car parts in particular, customers are far more likely to try to find what they’re looking for by typing part numbers or keywords into the open search than they are by browsing through categories or brands. Having a fast, accurate, high-performing search tool on your web store is critical. With our EchoRPM platform, we leverage ElasticSearch, which is a rapid database querying engine with settings to define how results should be grouped, ranked and presented according to how closely the details match the searched term. Fast, effective search results will lead to more sales and conversions.
For aftermarket automotive parts, matching your parts catalog to a year-make-model-option database is a necessity. Many customers start their car parts shopping endeavor by plugging in their vehicle’s info to filter their view down to only the parts that fit their car. For your business, supporting this feature can require a lot of work. Our EchoRPM web engine comes pre-filled with eBay’s robust year-make-model-option database, and our bulk-import utility makes getting your product catalog formatted to match up with this vehicle data a cinch.
Repeat business is often the largest driver of revenue for online parts stores. Catering to returning customers is an important part of any web experience. Online shoppers are savvier than ever, and they know the difference between an easy, intuitive shopping experience and a clunky, time-consuming one. Allowing customers to save their selected vehicles to their account and then retrieve/view parts for those vehicles on subsequent shopping experience will deliver exactly the ease and quality of shopping experience they’re looking for.
While the primary goal is to encourage shoppers to buy directly from your website, that doesn’t mean you should neglect potential sales from other channels. And by other channels, we’re talking eBay. eBay Motors is one of the largest aftermarket auto parts marketplaces on the web. By cross-posting your product catalog to eBay, you can double your opportunity to get your products in front of shoppers. Our EchoRPM eCommerce package includes the ability to automatically post your products to eBay Motors directly from your website back-end.
In the aftermarket automotive and specialty parts industries, it’s important that you have well-informed customer service people at the ready to field questions from prospective buyers. We recommend staffing an online Live Chat on your website, if possible. The returns on being online and ready to quickly respond to customer’s questions are immeasurable.
If your web store successfully focuses on these five things, you’ll be delivering an excellent customer experience that will both lead to increased sales as well as reinforce the quality of your brand.