In 2021, the Online Automotive Parts and Accessories Sales industry is estimated to generate $519.6 million in revenue. You can sell car parts online without any technical expertise or a large financial commitment, whether you already have a physical store or are starting from scratch. Due to this positive outlook for the automotive industry, especially online sales of car parts and accessories, it’s clear that the industry presents many opportunities for investors. High returns, on the other hand, can only be assured if strategic participation in this highly competitive sector is taken.
Through this comprehensive guide we’ll show you how to sell auto parts online the right way – just follow our five easy measures!
Know What You Are Selling; Categorize Your Products
While it might seem that the solution is straightforward, there is a complicated equation at work behind what we sell and why we sell it. Do you want to participate in the broader automotive industry or focus on a particular product? Knowing what items you want to sell will help you better organize your eCommerce website and provide your customers with a smooth and well-structured website with a positive user experience that generates conversions rather than bounces.
You need a niche to sell auto parts online and make a long-term, sustainable company out of it. A niche allows you to concentrate on a specific market – for example, you might specialize in a specific make or model, or only sell a certain car component (like lights or air filters).
Here’s how knowing your products and categorizing them can give you a headstart in your business- let’s say, selling external products like bumpers, grills, hubcaps, etc is your niche. These external parts, in contrast to internal parts, often necessitate large shipping boxes and are less delicate. If you want to sell these products, you should think about the shipping requirements like the effect of weight on shipping expenses, etc.
On the other hand, internal parts like spark plugs, transmissions, cylinders are usually more delicate and must be properly wrapped with plenty of bubble wrap before being shipped. Knowing what types of products you are going to sell beforehand allows you to devise proper packaging, shipping, and pricing strategies.
Source Your Products
Then you must ask yourself, “Where am I going to get my car parts from?” You have a few choices but first, it’s important to note that no matter where you get your car parts, you must make sure they’re genuine, dependable, and of high quality. Customers’ faith in you and your goods is critical to your business’s success.
- The first option is to source your products from a wholesaler. A wholesaler sells goods to consumers in large quantities at a discounted price which means you can buy in bulk and benefit from selling at a higher retail price to your customers. If you’re selling directly to individuals rather than companies, this might be the most lucrative option for you. Dropshipping is a service provided by certain wholesalers under which you put your customers’ orders with the supplier, who then processes, packages, and ships the goods to the customer directly. All you have to do is get orders through advertising and promotions.
- The next option is to source car parts from the manufacturer. Buying automotive parts directly from the manufacturer ensures good quality and is especially useful if you’re focusing on a specific car model as some car companies rely on different manufacturers for their car components. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer also eliminates the middleman, in this case- the wholesaler, which means you will be able to find cheaper rates as you’ll avoid the wholesaler’s markup. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer allows you to sell auto parts online both as a wholesaler and retailer, so choose whichever you find more profitable or sometimes even both.
- Finally, you can also source car parts yourself by collecting unwanted vehicles, dismantling them, and segregating usable or sellable parts.
Know your target market
Your target market has a significant influence on how you should set up and run your company, influencing everything from branding to marketing strategies. Will you be selling to individuals looking for a replacement component for their own vehicle(B2C)? Or would you be selling to mechanics who want to buy in bulk and resell to their own customers(B2B)? If you have answers to these questions beforehand then congratulations, you are on the right track.
- Sales consistency, lower prices, and higher volumes are all benefits of B2B selling, which could lead to increased sales for your business. B2B places a greater emphasis on product awareness and willingness to gain the confidence of other companies. Since there are more people involved and the client is making a larger commitment by selecting you as their car part supplier, it takes a lot longer to close a deal.
- One advantage of selling direct to consumers is the potential for faster delivery times for smaller orders which can have a huge impact on gaining customer’s trust. You’ll need to invest in good marketing and branding if you want B2C. Customers make emotional buying decisions based on factors such as web design, product images, and brand recognition. Hence you might have to put a lot of effort into branding and advertising if you choose a B2C sales channel to sell auto parts online. Tools like google analytics can help you analyze your user demographic as it allows you to track your audience by age group, gender, region, interests, and more.
Choose an eCommerce Platform to Get Orders And Sell Auto Parts Online
Now that you know what you’re selling and to whom you’re selling, it’s important to figure out where you are going to sell your products i.e. your selling channel. Consumers are no longer buying goods in a single platform since price comparison, convenience shopping, and even location-based shopping are all options. Hence a multichannel approach to sell auto parts online can turn out to be more beneficial.
- You need to create your own online store if you want to really show off your car parts, create your own brand, and control your own marketing. You have complete control over your branding, inventory, and even how well your goods rank in SERP with an eCommerce website of your own. Setting up your own eCommerce shop allows you to better communicate your brand and form more direct relationships with your customers. Customer relationships lead to loyalty and repeat business, and customer retention is much less expensive than customer acquisition.
- Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are other options to consider. Consumers are motivated by low prices and will always search for the best offers, whether it’s on eBay, Amazon, or other eCommerce platforms. Although not everyone is a bargain hunter, the majority of people are price-sensitive, and a few dollars can make or break a deal.
High-quality pictures seem more professional and trustworthy, attracting more interest if you’re selling car accessories and parts on eBay or Amazon. Another thing to bear in mind is that the buyer experience is interrupted and the chance of shopping cart abandonment increases when the eCommerce site or auto parts online store does not provide year/make/model, also known as fitment or compatibility.
The good thing is that you don’t have to choose between eBay, Amazon, and your own eCommerce website. Today, eCommerce builders like Shopify, Wix, and others include multichannel integration through which you can connect your online store to Amazon and eBay.
Set your shipping strategies
Auto parts are notoriously difficult to transport. as they are bulky, heavy, and oddly shaped. Depending on the business model, distribution channel, and goods you market, you might have to rely upon different shipping methods.
- Fulfillment by Amazon(FBA) is Amazon’s own fulfillment service under which you send your goods to Amazon and pay for them to be stored and shipped on your behalf.
- Another option is dropshipping where the supplier stores goods for you; you then give customer orders to the supplier, who packages and sends the product to the customer directly. This means you won’t have to think about product packaging, finding a courier, or determining what kind of shipping your goods need.
- Finally, there are courier services like USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL which are all supported by Shopify and other eCommerce builders.
We hope the guide was instructive enough to get you started with your first online auto parts business. Using these tips you can not bring your business to the spotlight but also hopefully generate lucrative revenue.