Getting your parts department up and running online is an important step in modernizing your business model. While some dealers are utilizing some form of eCommerce, many are taking their first big steps into utilizing eCommerce to expand their parts and accessories business.
For eCommerce beginners, this is a giant undertaking. Getting your parts department ready to deal with the changing landscape of online retail is essential to your dealership’s success.
So, how can you ensure that you get your parts department off on the right foot?
Set Realistic Expectations
You can’t grow without knowing where you want to get to. Setting expectations for your parts department will help them ensure that they reach their goals. So be sure to define those goals crystal clear.
What are you hoping to accomplish in one month, three months, six months, or one year? What are your sales growth goals? What are your customer acquisition goals? What are your customer service goals?
Take all factors into account that directly impact your team. Listen to their feedback and concerns. If they see a goal as unrealistic for their department to attain, scale back on it until you reach an objective reflecting their reality. Start small and work your way up to larger goals. You may also find that you will need to adjust your goals as you go.
Train, Train, Train!
Train your parts department effectively. Get down to the nitty-gritty of your training materials. Don’t just give them a once-over.
Have each team member go through the steps on their own when using new tools and software systems. Give them SOPs that are easy to understand and available 24/7. Once they’ve got the basics down, it’s time to give them the reins.
Ask them to train each other on specific tools or steps. If they can explain it, then they can do it. Do weekly or monthly check-ins to make sure they’re keeping up with these new systems and following SOPs accordingly. If you can equip your team with the knowledge to lead online sales growth on their own, you can help grow your parts business and provide employees with the chance to advance their careers and leadership skills.
Get Your Department Set Up Right
Your department should be set up properly to handle the business that comes through online sales. You need to ensure that you and your team are set up to handle online orders as efficiently as possible. What does that entail?
If possible, designate computers to only handle online orders. These computers are the hub for inventory tracking, shipment tracking, emails, customer service chatbots, and more. It’s important that only your online orders are handled through these designated stations. Separating your online business from your in-store business will help you maintain sales growth.
Having a fulfillment station might be a good idea if you ship orders beyond people in your local market. This should house materials to help you package, secure, and label items to be shipped out.
Having your parts department laid out in an efficient way can help you focus on multiple revenue streams without being overwhelmed.
Incentivize Your Employees
To get your parts department ready to sell online, sometimes the best way to motivate your team is to incentivize them. Find ways to get employees actively involved and engaged in their goals.
You can do this in a variety of ways. You can offer individual rewards, employee recognition, team rewards, catered lunches, and much more. Establishing an incentive ahead of time can help reinforce what it is they’re working towards.
Create Healthy Competition: Introduce friendly competition among team members by setting targets and offering rewards for top performers, motivating them to excel in their roles.
Personalized Incentives: Tailor incentives to match individual preferences and motivations, ensuring that employees feel valued and appreciated for their unique contributions.
Goal-Oriented Rewards: Align incentives with specific goals and milestones related to the eCommerce strategy, reinforcing the importance of achieving these objectives.
Show Appreciation Through Perks: Provide perks like catered lunches, extra time off, or other meaningful rewards to express gratitude and boost employee morale.
Celebrate Achievements: Celebrate both small and significant achievements along the way, recognizing the collective progress made towards the eCommerce goals.
Incentivizing your team effectively can significantly enhance their motivation, engagement, and commitment to preparing the parts department for a successful eCommerce venture.
Above all, be enthusiastic about it. Be optimistic about these new opportunities. A highly infectious positive attitude will keep you and your team motivated as you ramp up your new eCommerce approach.
Here are some ways to share your enthusiasm with your parts team:
Cultivate a Positive Mindset: Encourage a positive outlook among your team members, highlighting the benefits of the eCommerce strategy and how it aligns with the dealership’s growth.
Lead by Example: Show genuine enthusiasm and confidence in the new approach, inspiring your team members to adopt a similar mindset.
Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements and progress made along the way, reinforcing the team’s enthusiasm and commitment.
Foster a Collaborative Environment: Encourage open communication and idea-sharing among team members to keep the momentum going and maintain a positive atmosphere.
Remember, being enthusiastic and optimistic can be a driving force in keeping everyone motivated and dedicated to making the eCommerce strategy a success.
Get Started On The Right Foot
Getting your dealership prepared for online sales expansion doesn’t have to be tough. Take the time to learn the new processes, teach them to your employees, test, strategize, and test again. You can grow your business effectively even with just a few hands.
Don’t believe us? Get our free guide on how you can grow your eCommerce business even while understaffed. You’ll get in-depth insights into the power of parts eCommerce practices and ways to retain dedicated employees for longer.