You’ve decided to build a web store for your Parts Department (or maybe you’re still just toying with the idea). Either way, you’re probably wondering: How am I supposed to do this? How does this even work?
There’s no single answer to ensure a successful parts web store. One thing’s for sure… your online presence will need more than just a professional web store to launch your Parts Department into a new decade. Just as the success of an auto dealership showroom depends on the efforts of all team members, so do the same principles of hard work and teamwork apply to a successful digital parts store.
The modern shopper expects an easy buying experience and fast shipping. In today’s world of same-day and next-day shipping options, your department better be prepared to respond to orders in a timely fashion (think two to three days) if you want to secure repeat customers.
Your goal as an online retailer is to provide your customers with an omnichannel customer experience, meaning that a customer should be able to have multiple points of access while shopping. For example, if a customer wants to order a part from your online store but have it shipped to your store’s physical location that should be an option. If the customer wants to start shopping on a mobile device but then switch to a desktop that should be an option, too. If a customer has a question about a part then the customer should be able to contact a service advisor through a variety of means. Online chat? Check. Email? Check. Over the phone? Check. In-person? Check.
In order to help your online parts store run efficiently, your team members need to know what is expected of them. Your parts advisors are responsible for more than product knowledge. By training your parts advisors to be more sales minded, you are training them to create a more enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.
Keeping in communication with customers is key, such as through email or through social media. Following up on a parts quote provides an opportunity for upselling (purchasing an upgraded version of the product) and cross-selling (purchasing items related to the product). Both of these sales techniques provide solid ways to increase sales for your parts department and improve your customers’ shopping experience.
Don’t neglect the smaller ticket sales: Accessories. A customer may come to your website looking for an OEM rear bumper cover, but while there they might pick up a cargo tote and some floor mats, too. In order to secure these additional sales, your web store needs to include the following:
Search functions need to be smooth and user-friendly. This means detailed product descriptions with easily-found keywords. Going back to the example of the rear bumper cover, a search of your web store should allow the customer to easily pull up that specific item. A customer can’t find his desired item if parts aren’t listed with important search keywords.
Besides user-friendly site search functions, your web store needs to be easy to navigate and have quality images. If the customer has to spend too much time combing through a clunky website that’s filled with subpar images or no images at all, you can bet the customer’s not going to spend additional time on those extra accessories.
There’s a lot that goes into running a successful online parts store. Sure, RevolutionParts can handle all the “techie” stuff like setting you up with a professional web store, integrating your manufacturer catalog, and setting up payment gateways but it’s up to you and your parts team to commit to making the program work. It takes a little leg work in the beginning but once you hit your stride, selling parts and accessories online is a cakewalk!