Dealerships looking to thrive in today’s fast-changing market should turn their attention toward the parts department. By investing in the parts department, you can create a more robust revenue stream, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately, drive the overall success of your dealership.
One way to do this is with a parts eCommerce strategy. The online automotive retail market is one of the fastest-growing markets, and consumers are increasingly shopping online instead of in brick-and-mortar stores. This means if you want to grow your dealership, the best strategy is through the parts department.
There are four opportunities your parts department can take when establishing its eCommerce strategy to help accomplish this.
Opportunity #1: Expand Customer Base with Online Selling Channels
One of the most significant advantages of an eCommerce strategy is the ability to reach a broader audience. By establishing a user-friendly and well-designed online store, your parts department can cater to customers in your local area and across the country.
You also have a variety of options when it comes to where you sell auto parts. With the addition of third-party online marketplaces, like Amazon or eBay, it’s even easier for dealers to get auto parts in front of more customers—no matter where they live.
Having multiple selling channels to sell parts and accessories benefits your parts department. It helps your parts department expand its customer base beyond its local market. An expanded customer base can significantly increase sales and contribute to the growth of your dealership.
Plus, if you are looking to scale your parts department, selling parts online can be done even with a small team. Most dealers selling with RevolutionParts don’t need to add more staff until they generate more than $30K in monthly parts sales. As your parts department increases sales, you can bring on new staff as needed and grow the size of your parts department.
Selling online also helps your staff grow as professionals by offering the opportunity to acquire new skills. These skills range from order management to pricing, product listings, and product photography. It’s a win-win.
Opportunity # 2: Invest in Digital Parts Marketing to Reach More Customers
It’s not enough to list products on a website or an online marketplace and hope for the best. Every online seller needs to invest in high-quality digital marketing. Digital marketing helps significantly amplify your parts eCommerce efforts, driving more traffic to your online store and increasing sales.
A strong parts marketing strategy should directly promote your available inventory, engage with your customers, help you build an active return customer base, and establish your dealership’s brand image. Achieving success in these areas depends on the tools your parts department uses and the quality of your messaging.
Elements of a strong parts marketing strategy include:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) implementation
Utilizing these tools can help boost parts sales and give your dealership a wider reach. By incorporating digital marketing as a key component of your parts eCommerce strategy, you can effectively reach more customers, boost sales, and contribute to your dealership’s overall growth.
In addition to growing sales, implementing a parts marketing strategy can also help employees build valuable skills in the parts department. Employees that help monitor your online parts sales can learn essential marketing skills. They can even help train new hires or help find employees with existing marketing skills that will add to the parts department’s value. This can help reduce employee turnover by giving employees a work environment where they can grow.
Opportunity # 3: Enhance the Customer Experience
Scaling your parts department means focusing on the customer experience. Today that means providing an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly way to buy parts online. An eCommerce strategy that prioritizes customer experience can help your parts department differentiate itself from competitors and create a positive impression on both new and existing customers.
Here are some ways you can enhance the customer experience online:
- Personalize the shopping experience by making part and accessory recommendations based on what that individual customer is shopping for.
- Make sure your online parts Web Store is easy for customers to navigate, search for products, and complete their purchases. This includes clear product categories, well-organized menus, and a responsive design that works well on both desktop and mobile devices.
- Provide up-to-date order tracking on items your customers purchase.
By enhancing customer experience and satisfaction in your parts eCommerce strategy, you can create lasting relationships with your customers, leading to repeat business, positive word-of-mouth, and increased revenue for your dealership.
Opportunity #4: Build Your Local Wholesale Customer Base
Your dealership doesn’t have to strictly go national to effectively scale its online parts sales. In fact, it pays to have a solid online presence within your local market, especially among your wholesale customers. Growing your online wholesale customer base is beneficial to your business and your employees.
It can bring more profit to the parts department and create strong relationships between the two. It can also encourage employees to expand their network within the industry. Giving employees more chances to develop skills and make new connections means they’re more likely to have higher job satisfaction.
How can dealerships effectively build their wholesale customer base within their local market? One effective strategy is to have a same-day parts delivery system in place, making it easier for wholesale customers to receive their orders after purchasing them online. It also helps your staff improve their customer service skills and helps establish better relationships with your wholesale customers.
Watch Your Parts Department and Parts Sales Grow Together
By seizing these eCommerce opportunities, your parts department can contribute significantly to your dealership’s growth and success. Embracing eCommerce is no longer optional; it’s a necessity for dealerships looking to stay competitive and capitalize on the rapidly evolving automotive market.
Staffing shortages have become common in the auto industry, but you shouldn’t let this hinder your ability to scale the parts department and grow your dealership’s success. Download our ebook, “Combat Staffing Shortages in the Parts Department,” for insights into how you can leverage eCommerce tools while understaffed.