The eCommerce retail market is booming! Since 2020, the shift to all-online shopping has become today’s consumers’ most popular way to shop. Today’s consumers are more likely to shop online than in brick-and-mortar stores. In 2021, there were more than 264 million digital buyers across the United States. That number is expected to grow to 284 million digital buyers by 2026.
With this in mind, the automotive industry needs to make major pivots to diversify its current business models and include eCommerce as part of its primary revenue source.
Dealerships, especially, will need to adopt this change. Fewer people are buying new cars, resulting in fewer sales at the dealership. As more people hold onto older models, more customers will search for auto parts to maintain their vehicles. A shift to focus on parts eCommerce as the new main revenue stream.
So what is parts eCommerce?
Breaking Down Parts eCommerce
Parts eCommerce is the process of selling auto parts through online channels. One common misconception of Parts eCommerce is that it just means selling parts on your dealership website, but there is so much more to it! It also means selling on your own dedicated, mobile-friendly parts web store separate from your dealership’s website and online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
54% of dealers sell parts online, with the majority selling through their dealership website. This is great for local customers, but your parts department needs to adopt additional selling channels if you want to reach a national audience.
Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are a great way to start selling to a national audience without managing a parts web store. Amazon is a great selling channel for accessories, while eBay is a great place to offload obsolescence. Both channels come with an established customer base and built-in buyer confidence.
Dealers who are ready to maximize revenue and take full control of an online parts business should focus on establishing a parts web store. This allows you to build a business that is separate from your dealership, where you can reach more buyers through marketing.
Of course, you don’t have to choose just one selling channel; if you choose to sell on all three to generate online revenue, the RevolutionParts platform allows you to easily manage all selling channels on a single dashboard.
Right now, the automotive parts eCommerce industry is booming.
According to Hedges & Company, the online parts market totaled $19.2B in 2022 and is expected to reach $35B by 2030. In addition, a recent report from RevolutionParts found that 74% of OEM parts shoppers prefer to shop online vs. in-person, as it offers consumers an easy, convenient shopping experience. Needless to say, the eCommerce market is the fastest-growing retail segment in the world.
A Snapshot of eCommerce at US Dealerships
Below are recent statistics gathered from over 100 dealers across the US. We asked them what eCommerce looked like at their dealership, and here is what we found out:
Inventory Sold Online
Discover more about the state of US Parts Departments in our 2023 Parts Department Insights Report.
How to Get Started
Getting started in the parts eCommerce game might seem challenging, but with the right steps, you can get on the fast track to a booming parts business.
#1. Define your eCommerce goals – Before you begin, decide how much responsibility you are ready to take on, where you want to sell, and who you want to sell to. Do you want to start by selling online to your local market, or are you ready to dive in and run your own parts web store to sell nationally?
#2. Research your eCommerce options – Determine what eCommerce solution works best for you! There are many ways to start an online business. You can build it from scratch or hire experts to do it for you. Look for platforms with the tools you need and want to make selling parts online easier, like RevolutionParts. We create your web store, provide easy-to-use tools, and support you on your journey – snag a demo to see more!
#3. Set up your eCommerce platform – Once you decide where and how you will sell online, it is time to take steps to get your online selling channels set up to sell parts. RevolutionParts makes this process easy.
#4. Equip your team with the know-how – Train them with the skills they need to succeed! Be sure you choose an eCommerce platform that provides support and training for you and your team.
Want to see the power of a parts eCommerce plan in action? Take a look at Justin Atkin’s story of All Star DCJR! He and his team grew their parts department into a multi-million dollar business online!