Top 6 Benefits of Adding an eCommerce Sales Channel to Your Parts Department

Adding online selling channels to your parts department is a great way to generate new revenue, which can go on to also benefit the entire dealership. This is one of the biggest reasons for selling online, but is it the only benefit? 

As it turns out, there are MANY reasons why selling auto parts online is a great idea for dealerships aside from just driving more revenue. From eliminating obsolescence to increasing absorption rate, parts eCommerce can solve some of the everyday problems of the parts department.

Here are 6 ways your eCommerce can benefit the parts department, its staff, and the dealership.

#1: Meeting Customer Demand

eCommerce is the new norm for today’s consumers. The automotive industry has already taken steps to meet these buying behaviors. Customers demand it, and your dealership has an opportunity to meet those demands. If you want to increase revenue and keep customers coming back, you must provide them with the experience they want. 

Take a look at these valuable insights:

    • It’s estimated that around 230 million people browse and make purchases online in the U.S. (Statista)
    • 85% of consumers are using the internet to research auto replacement parts. (Auto Care Association)
    • 74% of online parts buyers use search engines when shopping for auto parts online, while 73% of them use auto parts retailer websites. (Hedges & Company)
    • Online auto parts and accessories market grew from 16% per year to around 30% in 2020. (Businesswire)

Auto parts eCommerce is continuing to see growth. If you’re not online yet, you’re losing customers to your competitors who are. Not only will meeting customer demand help you increase revenue, but not meeting it can lose your department business.

#2: Cultivate Vital Skills For the Future

The industry is shifting, and smart dealerships know that they need to adapt. More people are shopping online, and this trend is not likely to reverse. Every year, more and more people trade in-person shopping for online ordering. Auto parts are no different, meaning dealers that are not selling parts online will lose business.

For Parts Managers, experience in parts and accessories eCommerce can improve their professional lives. The right eCommerce experience can be used as leverage for getting a raise or even opening the door to new job opportunities.

#3: Save Customers At The Service Lane

How often do customers refuse recommended service at the service lane? Their car still needs that fix, so either they plan to take it to a different auto shop, or they’re going to buy the part online and make the repair in their own garage.

If they want to buy the part online, that’s a golden opportunity for your parts web store!

Even though the dealership lost the service sale, getting at least something out of that customer is better than nothing. If you let them know about your parts web store, then there’s a much higher chance they’ll buy from you online.

The more often that customer buys from you, whether it’s your parts website or your brick-and-mortar dealership, the more likely they will think of you first for all their automotive needs.

Building a relationship with the customer improves loyalty and will keep them shopping with you for years to come. For the parts department, this is key, as return parts buyers are one of the biggest sources of revenue, and it costs less to retarget them than it does to acquire a new customer.

#4: Eliminate Obsolescence

For some dealerships, obsolescence is a major drain on profitability and shelf space—by destroying those obsolete parts, you might as well be throwing dollars down the toilet.

But did you know that eCommerce can help you get rid of the obsolete inventory AND maximize your return on them?

Parts eCommerce lets you cast a wider net and find ready-to-buy customers who still need those obsolete parts for their vehicles. By selling on a standalone web store or through online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, you can expand beyond your local customers to find someone who DOES want that dusty, obsolete part.

#5: Meet OEM Parts Sales Incentives

For a lot of auto groups, selling more parts means getting closer to parts-selling incentives. Volume sales make a huge difference in reaching those goals.

When selling parts online, volume is the name of the game and the best way to drive more revenue. Prices have to be competitive, but dealers still make a profit online through the sheer number of parts that they sell. When you focusing on the volume of parts you sell, you can end up making more of a profit than if you were focusing on those large margins.

#6: Improve Fixed Ops Absorption Rate

If your dealership is lucky enough to have reached a 100% absorption rate, then congratulations! But if you haven’t, selling parts online can help you move the needle in the right direction by bringing in more revenue for your dealership. 

Launching a parts website is easy and inexpensive when you partner with the right eCommerce solution. More sales flowing in from your eCommerce site will mean a busier parts department, but efficient back-end tools and automated manual tasks can take most of the work off your back.

In fact, we found that 80% of dealers using RevolutionParts haven’t had to hire additional staff yet to handle the extra orders from their parts website. 

The average dealership with RevolutionParts generates about $30,000 a month in online parts and accessories sales. What kind of impact would that number have on your parts department?

Expand Your Parts Sales with eCommerce Solutions

Adding online selling channels to your parts department can help you increase revenue, improve operations, and lower obsolescence. If you want to learn more about how to modernize your parts department, download our free guide, “Creating a Digital Parts Department.”

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