Now is the time to sell auto parts online as the sector continues to rise at a growth rate that shows no signs of slowing down. While the outlook for new-vehicle sales is bleak, the future of the automotive aftermarket is looking positive, with a predicted $433 billion in car parts and accessories sales by 2021.
And according to Hedges & Co., US online sales of auto parts and accessories are expected to reach $19 billion by 2022. The automotive digital marketing agency’s study also reveals that digitally influenced sales in the auto parts market are predicted to grow to a whopping $162.4 billion in 2022.
Because of the optimistic outlook for the automotive industry, particularly online sales of auto parts and accessories, it’s clear that the sector offers investors many opportunities. However, high returns are only guaranteed when participation in this highly competitive sector is approached strategically. In this comprehensive guide on the challenges of selling auto parts and accessories online in 2020, we will talk about everything it takes to stay relevant and remain competitive in today’s automotive parts and accessories marketplace.
Top eCommerce Platforms for Selling Auto Parts
When it comes to selling auto parts online, two auto parts eCommerce platforms in the auto industry outperform the others – eBay and Amazon. A staggering 70% of all car parts in the US are sold on the eCommerce websites, Amazon and eBay. With 183 million unique visitors each month, the eCommerce powerhouse Amazon is seeing sales of automotive parts increase at a growth rate of 15% per year.
Compared to the Amazon marketplace, eBay doesn’t receive as many unique visitors; however, it still welcomes an impressive 96 million unique visitors each month. Beyond boasting the most active buyers and unique visitors, eBay and Amazon both have sections dedicated to automotive eCommerce, making the auto parts shopping experience easy for both sellers and consumers.
How to Become an Auto Parts Seller on Amazon
To start selling on Amazon, you must apply as a seller and meet the following requirements:
- Must be on the professional selling plan.
- Must have compliant product images
- Must list all major brands with universal product codes (UPCs).
- Must warrant all certified, refurbished Automotive & Powersports products with the manufacturer or re-manufacturer.
- Must have reviewed the Automotive & Powersports Part Finder and Fitment Data page
How to Become an Auto Parts Seller on eBay
Selling auto parts on eBay is similar to selling any other product on eBay. Because eBay already has a massive catalog for auto parts and accessories, the software allows you to list parts using the ePID or MPN. Therefore, if your product already exists in the eBay catalog, most of the eBay listing information will be automatically pre-filled with the following:
- Product Title
- Description and specifics
- Product images
- Weight & Dimensions
- Parts fitment data
What Car Parts Sell the Most?
Knowing what auto parts and accessories perform the best online will allow you to stay competitive. Let’s take a look at what auto parts perform the best on eBay and Amazon, so you know what products to sell.
When it comes to best sellers on Amazon’s automotive sector, the following categories come out on top based on product analysis and sales reports:
Exterior Parts and Accessories – With new car sales on the decline, more car owners look for ways to improve, customize, and upgrade their existing vehicles. For this reason, exterior parts and accessories are the best sellers when it comes to the online auto parts marketplace. The following are some in-demand exterior parts and accessories on Amazon.
- billet grille upgrades
- chrome trim
- tonneau covers
- nerf bars
- wind deflectors
- front lip/side skirt lip kits
Interior Parts and Accessories – Instead of buying new vehicles, car owners are also upgrading their interiors with the following.
- shifter knobs
- dash kits
- floor mats
- window tints
- seat covers
- universal molding trims
- seatback organizers
- gel enhanced seat cushions
- garbage cans
Lighting and LED Products – LED lights and replacement headlights are some of the best-selling lighting products for vehicles on Amazon.
- LED lights for various applications, such as:
o brake lights
o running board lights
o license plate lights
o instrument cluster and gauge lights
o marker lights
o trunk lights
- Replacement headlights for upgrades like:
o halo lights
Other Auto Parts and Accessories – While the following don’t perform as well as exterior parts, interior parts, and lighting products, they still generate generous sales.
- Air Filters
- Battery Accessories such as:
- jump batteries
- Car Covers
- Car Tires and Rims
- Stickers such as:
- replacement Emblems
- Keys and Keyless Entry Fobs
- Manuals and Literature
- Performance Chips and Programmers
- Shocks and Struts
Thanks to eBay Motors, the branch of eBay’s dedicated entirely to automotive sales, eBay sellers have a sales channel to sell car parts online that was designed to enhance customer experience. On eBay, online shoppers have a marketplace full of features that make buying auto parts and accessories easier. When it comes to best-selling auto parts and accessories, eBay is similar to Amazon but with a few differences. The following are the most in-demand exterior parts and accessories on eBay Motors.
Exterior Components – Whether in the form of aftermarket parts and accessories upgrades or replacements, the following exterior components are both in high demand.
- replacement grilles and upgrades
- steel bumpers
- side mirrors
Lighting Equipment – The following lighting replacement and aftermarket upgrades continue to perform well on eBay Motors:
- fog lights
- light bulbs
Wheels and Tires – Wheels and tires sales are where eBay differs from Amazon. Wheels and tires are often purchased alongside suspension parts such as:
- struts lift kits
- leveling kits
Other Automotive Parts and Accessories:
Aside from wheels, tires, suspension, exterior, and lighting components, there are other categories that generate millions in revenue for eBay. These include:
- A/C Compressors and A/C control systems
- Air Filters
- Alternators and Generators
- Car Battery Accessories, such as:
- jump batteries
- Clutch kits
- Crate engines
- Cylinder heads
- Dash kits and upgrades, such as carbon fiber dress-up parts
- Decals, Stickers, and Replacement Emblems
- Disc Brake System Parts
- EGR System Components
- Exhaust System Parts, such as:
- cat-back systems
- Floor Mats
- Fuel Filters and Fuel Pumps
- Ignition System Parts, such as:
- timing kits
- spark plugs
- plug wires
- Keys and Keyless entry fobs
- Manuals and Literature
- Performance Chips and Programmers
- Seat Covers
- Shocks and Struts
- Vintage car parts and accessories
The Importance of Compatibility/Fitment
Whether you are selling aftermarket car parts, Powersports products, OEM replacement parts, or private labeling, fitment is essential to your auto parts eCommerce website and online listings. Fitment, also referred to as compatibility, refers to the vehicle year, make, model, and engine that your parts and accessories fit, and it can expand to trim/submodel, motor, and so on.
Whether you’re selling auto parts and accessories on eBay, Amazon, or your own website, not optimizing your product listings with fitment filters could mean a lot of lost opportunities for your business. For your auto parts business to remain competitive, you need to ensure potential customers find your product listings when they search for the specific parts you offer.
One of the questions most frequently asked by people looking for parts for their vehicle is whether the part will fit. Therefore, being discovered as an auto parts online business is only half the battle; your success as an online parts seller depends on your ability to ensure your customers find what they are looking for.
When buyers search for the part they need, fitment data will allow your compatible parts to appear in their search results automatically, improving their buyer’s experience and eliminating any doubts as to whether the part will fit the intended vehicle. Confirming the part fits not only increases customer confidence, but it also reduces the risk of the customer demanding a costly return.
Clear, accurate fitment data also helps your listings get a boost among search results, expanding your visibility and reaching more buyers. Fitment filters maximize your search exposure, increases visibility, and help you reach more buyers.
The average car part is compatible with about 32 vehicles. Therefore, not having accurate and complete fitment data added to your product listings means not meeting your business’s potential. For every part that lacks fitment, you miss out on a potential customer who may not realize your part is compatible with their vehicle. For example, someone with a Hyundai Sonata or Toyota Sienna may not realize that the parts they need for their car are compatible with other brands. This means they don’t necessarily have to purchase auto parts and accessories based on brand.
Amazon and eBay Best Practices for Selling Auto Parts & Accessories
Whether you are an Amazon seller or focused on eBay sales, simply listing parts and accessories even if they are in high demand, will not guarantee tons of sales. To boost the effectiveness of your listings, we’ve put together a list of several best practices.
Whether it’s eBay, Amazon, or other eCommerce solutions, consumers are driven by low pricing and will always look for the best deals. While not everyone is a bargain hunter, most people are price-sensitive, and a dollar or two can either make or break the deal.
Pricing competitively will take research on your part. Study and analyze your competitors and know what they are charging for products identical or similar to yours. See if these prices change over the course of the seasons or are ever discounted. Do the math and determine if you can price your products slightly below or above your competitors.
Another strategy when it comes to competitive pricing is to offer incentives such as discounts for a minimum order or free shipping. Free shipping simplifies the shopping process as it reduces the number of steps the customer has to go through, and it reduces the risk of shopping cart abandonment. Covering a customer’s shipping fee doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making less; the trick is to price your product so that shipping is already included. eBay recognized just how much customers love free shipping offers that the search functionality includes a filter for it. Therefore, offering to cover the shipping cost whenever you can increase your listings’ views.
Optimized Product Listing Headlines and Descriptions
Clear and relevant product descriptions let potential customers know they’ve come to the right place. When you optimize your listings, you increase your exposure on search engines and the eCommerce platform where you sell.
To optimize your product headlines and descriptions, identify the keywords potential customers may use to search for the specific auto part or accessory you sell. Choose only about 3-5, and be careful not to keyword stuff. A bulleted description of the product makes it easier to read. It also helps to test two variations of your product titles and descriptions to see which one performs better.
High-Quality Product Photos
High-quality images look professional and more trustworthy and, therefore, get more attention. If you’re selling car parts and accessories on eBay, Amazon, or both, ensure your product photos meet the platforms’ requirements.
To take the best photos, get the lighting right. You don’t need professional or expensive lighting equipment, especially since natural sunlight offers some of the best lightings. Use a solid background and clear it of clutter that may distract the buyers from the product. Capture multiple angles that will allow potential customers to see the product in its entirety. Uploading photos that are at a medium resolution not only result in excellent picture quality that is zoomable, but it also means faster loading time when viewing.
Provide Clear, Accurate, and Complete Fitment Data
Customers demand effortless shopping experiences. And when the eCommerce platform or auto parts online store doesn’t provide year/make/model, best known as fitment or compatibility, the buyer experience is disrupted and the risk of shopping cart abandonment goes up. The customer needs to stop and determine whether the part is compatible with their vehicle.
While some customers will take the time to contact the online seller to verify the part’s compatibility, others will not trouble themselves and simply choose to move on to another seller who provides clear and accurate fitment data.
The Importance of Seller Reputation
Buyers often choose to purchase from established businesses with good reputations. They want to transact with online auto parts shops that others consider trustworthy, have a good history with their customers, and fall in the ranks of other established online retailers.
One of the best ways to improve your reputation and visibility as a seller is by gaining and maintaining Top Rated Seller Status on eBay. Not only does becoming a Top Rated Seller get you recognized as a trustworthy source, but your business enjoys many seller benefits such as discounts. To achieve Top Rated Seller status, you need to have at least 100 transactions and $1,000 in sales with US buyers over the past 12 months. And providing excellent customer service is one of the best strategies to get you closer to becoming a Top Rated Seller.
Buyers can be impatient and will expect their questions and inquiries to be answered quickly. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to keep potential customers waiting too long. When people who have urgent needs for specific auto parts or accessories don’t get the answer they need right away, they will likely look elsewhere and seek other auto parts retailers. So not only will poor customer service cost you a sale and lead you further from top seller status, but it also doesn’t do your seller reputation any good.
Another way to strengthen your seller reputation is by not giving your customers any reason to be disappointed. Offer fast and secure shipping and same-day delivery whenever possible. You should also have a clear return and refund policy.
Make sure you manage your inventory closely. By monitoring changes in stock levels and updating stock quantity as soon as possible, you avoid embarrassing situations when you have to cancel a sale after realizing you no longer have the item. When you let your buyers down due to bad shopping experiences, you risk receiving low ratings and bad reviews, which will impact your feedback score and your reputation.
Marketing Tools and Strategies Used in Auto Parts Sales Today
“What is the best auto part website to buy car parts” is one of the first questions consumers ask and search for when looking for auto parts online. Therefore, it’s key for you to not only sell on the right platforms but to know where you have access to the largest auto audience to market to. The right marketing tools and strategies help drive traffic to your listings, generate online sales, and ensure you are profitable. Here is a quick marketer guide on ways you can stand out:
Google AdWords – Google AdWords help drive traffic directly to your site by reaching customers who are searching for the products you offer. Target your Google search ad by keyword, location, and device. You can even use negative keywords to hyperfocus your targeting.
Price Match Guarantees – When you offer a price match guarantee, you lessen the risk of losing a potential consumer because they believe you already offer the best price.
Reviews and Testimonials – Positive reviews help strengthen consumer trust, resulting in more sales. Just remember that offering incentives for reviews and testimonials are controversial and may come with consequences.
The best way to get reviews is to ask past customers for their feedback. Not only does asking for their feedback show that you’re keen to improve your services, but it also shows customers you’re happy to engage. Discounts for future purchases or added bonuses for their next order would be excellent ways of thanking them for providing you with valuable feedback.
Optimized Landing Pages – Paid ads such as Facebook ads are a great way to get people to your site or listings. However, these ads will only be effective if they lead to optimized landing pages. A good landing page can increase conversion rates and should include a headline with the part name, show an image of the part, a clear description, fitment details, and visible CTA.
Social Media Marketing – Facebook offers ‘auto inventory ads,’ which will expand retargeting and be available on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network. It will allow you to target users who have visited car-related pages, apps, and sites across the web. By knowing who is already looking for cars and parts, you can target your ads and content marketing based on behavior and the likelihood of someone needing to buy an auto part in the future. For more information to become a successful auto parts online seller and the importance of fitment data, myFitment is here to help boost your sales. Visit our homepage at https://www.myfitment.com or call us at 855-4FITMENT.