For a lot of parts managers, the world of eCommerce is just plain confusing. We doubt you’re selling online just for the heck of it. In fact, you probably only care about one thing: what does it take to see REAL results online?
If you want to grow real profit online, then this is the article for you. There’s a lot your team can do to optimize your store and get more sales, but it starts with these 3 fundamental keys to success.
Without some kind of marketing, you might as well be yelling into a void. It’s like opening a restaurant and forgetting to put an “open” sign in the window.
Depending on how you plan to sell online, you MUST have some kind of marketing strategy. Here’s just a few:
Use keywords in your listings and parts descriptions
Boosting your parts website SEO is arguably one of the most important marketing strategies. Applying the right keywords in your website title and throughout the content of your site can make your listings show up higher in search results.
A “keyword” is basically a search term that shoppers will use. For example, if you’re trying to promote your Toyota RAV4 brake pads, then make sure to mention that term “Toyota RAV4 brake pads” in your part description.
Don’t want to deal with it? Hire a marketing agency specialized in Auto Parts. They can write part descriptions for you and run Pay-Per-Click advertising on your behalf to drive more traffic to your store. It saves you time, and lets an expert handle the marketing for you!
Showcase your items with photographs
High-quality, professional photographs make your auto parts stand out, and improves your reputation as a trustworthy business. See our articles detailing all the aspects of a good product photo, and how you can take these photos yourself without breaking the bank.
Try your hand at email marketing
Newsletters are an easy way to keep your customer base up to date with what your company is doing, whether it’s your latest blog post or simply offering a coupon for shoppers who abandoned their carts to bring them back to your site. Most importantly, let past customers know about any sales or holiday promotions that are coming up to increase repeat purchases.
Use online marketing tools
There are plenty of tools online to help you boost your efficiency. For example, you can set up a Google Shopping Campaign to help promote your products. Free analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) are also available to help you track your performance and see where to focus next.
Again, this kind of thing is usually best left up to a marketing agency. They have the know-how to get the best results.
Get involved with the online community
Build a relationship with potential customers by interacting with them on social media or relevant forums. Remember: these aren’t just platforms for you to promote yourself. Read up on some Do’s and Don’ts of Forum Marketing before getting involved.
Start an automotive blog
Have you ever considered blogging? Not only does it boost your website’s SEO, but it also can connect you to customers and build customer loyalty. Check out some of the top automotive blogs to get some ideas. Feel free to comment on others’ articles and connect with the blog owners—you can even talk to them about exchanging guest posts to grow your following.
2. Customizable & shopper friendly site
The website is the first thing your customer sees, consequently their first impression of your company and brand. Factors like aesthetics, structure, and organization matter a lot to making this first impression a good one.
Consistency is key. It makes your website—and by extension, your brand—appear organized and professional. Your title, along with the color scheme associated with your brand, will notify the customer that they have arrived at the right place.
A clean website is a trustworthy website. Your storefront should be logical and easy to navigate. Customers that get lost will grow frustrated and take their business elsewhere. Your navigation bar should be clean and direct so that it is not difficult for your shoppers to find what they are looking for.
Some of the most important elements might include:
- About Us
- Order Status
- Log in / Register
- Shipping / Return Policies
- Monthly specials / Sales
Imagine you are a customer visiting your own website. What sort of information would you like to find? Anything important should be only a click away. If a customer can’t find your parts catalog, they can’t make a purchase, regardless of how pretty your website is.
Nowadays, “shopper friendly” doesn’t end at your website. Mobile shopping is taking the world by storm, and you don’t want to be left behind. Make sure your website is compatible across all devices (not just your home computer) like tablets and iPhones. This is the sort of simple feature is an easy way that you can keep up in today’s rapidly evolving online shopping world.
3. Accurate and Efficient Parts Catalog
An online auto parts catalog should have many of the same characteristics as a tangible magazine catalog, except better. What we mean is that it should organized and accurate, but also interactive.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to use an accurate parts catalog. If anything in your parts catalog is inaccurate, the search results might likewise be inaccurate, leading to annoyed customers and increased returns.
Unfortunately, there will always be some glitches with discontinued parts and other issues that pop up. The best you can do is find a solution provider that minimizes these issues and keeps your catalog and pricing up-to-date.
Searching for a part should be easy and user-friendly, so customers can narrow down their search in a short amount of time. At RevolutionParts, customers are able to search by the name of the part and more quickly find what they’re looking for.
You can also write auto part descriptions for certain categories. Not only will auto part descriptions improve your SEO, but also educate customers about their purchase and ensure them that they’ve found the right part.
RevolutionParts parts catalogs offer interactive models and diagrams to help customers track down the correct part, even if they’re not sure exactly what it is. While looking at the diagram, customers will see their selected auto part highlighted so they can mentally place it in relation to the other parts of that system.
There are plenty more things you can do to improve your success with eCommerce, but we hope this gives you somewhere to start. Remember: a positive customer experience is essential. Keep putting yourself in their shoes and asking yourself what you would like to see, if you were shopping at your own parts store.
If you’re not already selling parts online, why not start today? If you don’t know much about eCommerce, that’s okay. With a little work and perseverance, the effort you invest in your parts website will pay off!