7 Tricks for Speeding Up Inventory Turn at your Parts Department
All those parts on your shelves are wasted potential. They’re not bringing ANY benefit to your dealership by just sitting there!
Fast, consistent inventory turnover makes your parts department a lean machine. But how can you get shoppers to buy more parts?
This article: 7 proven tricks to improve inventory turn at the dealership.
1. Optimize your parts counter and dealership showroom
Out of sight, out of mind… right?
If shoppers don’t even know certain accessories for their vehicle exist, how can they buy it?
Help customers find what they don’t know they want. Do this by setting up a fancy display at your parts counter or setting up an accessory selling kiosk (like what Insignia Group does).
You should make it as easy as possible for shoppers to SEE the cool things you have for sale.
2. Investigate which parts sell fast, and which parts sell slow.
If you’re not tracking inventory trends, it’s time to start!
Tracking your current inventory turn rate can give you valuable insight to where you’re getting held back.
By tracking fast and slow moving parts, you can adjust what you order accordingly. Order what you know you can sell!
3. Sell on an Online Marketplace (Amazon and eBay)
The easiest way to sell more auto parts is to sell your parts in more places.
New selling channels help you reach a LOT more potential shoppers. Especially when you talk about the internet, because suddenly you’re promoting parts to people across the country.
The thing about eBay and Amazon — people are there to buy! They’re searching, and they’ve got their credit cards out.
Why can’t YOU be the one to sell them the part they need?
That said, eBay and Amazon are more competitive than your parts counter. You can’t price at MSRP. You have to use a cost+ pricing strategy.
You’ll get less profit from individual orders, but you’ll make up for it through sheer volume. MILLIONS of people are browsing eBay and Amazon every day. More people will view your online listing than walk through your department’s front doors.
Bonus: Amazon and eBay are especially good for moving aged and obsolete inventory!
4. Review your pricing strategy
On the same note as the last point, pricing could be holding you back.
MSRP is a nice, safe place to price, but it doesn’t help you undercut your competitors. ESPECIALLY if you’re thinking about your online pricing strategy.
We always recommend Cost +, set up in a matrix so your prices are balanced across the board.
Cost + can still be profitable! We can’t stress that enough. With a lower price, you’ll attract MORE customers, and you’ll make up the profit through volume.
Take this example:
Even though the sale price is lower, it will attract more shoppers leading to higher volume sold. The volume makes it a more profitable option in the long run!
5. Offer rewards to employees who meet goals
As they say, you can attract more bees with honey!
Instead of pressuring employees with goals, offer a reward instead. It’s a good way to boost team morale and encourage them to upsell on their own.
Goals can be on an individual or team basis–or both!
The reward doesn’t have to be a huge paycheck bonus.
- Cater lunch for the team
- Give out brand merch! (T-shirts, hats)
- Parts Employee of the Month award
- $10-$25 gift card
6. Require a deposit for special orders
If you’re like most dealerships, a good chunk of your warehouse space goes to “forced” stock. That is, special orders that shoppers placed but never came to pick up.
Requiring a deposit makes a shopper more invested in their order. They’re more likely to actually pick it up if they’ve already paid for a portion of it!
And if they still don’t show up… at least you don’t turn out empty handed!
7. Run volume-based promotions
Shoppers LOVE discounts. A lot of times, they’re willing to spend more money if it means qualifying for one!
Encourage your shoppers to buy more parts with promotions that they only qualify for if they buy something extra.
- $10 off any order over $250
- Buy 1 get 1 half off
- Buy 3 get 1 free
- More ideas here: 5 Types of Coupon that will Drive Sales to your Parts Website
These deals are especially useful if you promote items that are usually sold together anyway. For example, the “buy 2 get 2 free” deal always works great for tires.
Take some time to brainstorm which other parts or accessories are usually sold in pairs!
Volume sales are the key to improving inventory turn. Even if it means sacrificing a little profitability, selling lots of parts can make up for it. It might even help you meet manufacturer selling goals in the long run!