If you’re an auto parts retailer or anyone who sells car parts online, then this article is for you. There is no better time than now to start selling auto parts and accessories. Statistics show that more and more people are searching for auto-part retailers on the web.
The aftermarket auto business is unstoppable. By 2027, it is anticipated to reach $513.1 billion in sales. McKinsey predicts that the industry’s growth rate will be 3% every year until 2030. It is one of the world’s largest industries, along with real estate and oil and gas exploration. Simultaneously, the global pandemic has triggered a major shift towards internet aftermarket sales, particularly due to the continuing epidemic. In the United States, eCommerce revenue in the aftermarket sector has risen by 30%, as compared to 2019.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to get started selling auto parts and accessories in a way that will increase your business and generate more revenue. We’ll cover everything from where to sell car part accessories at retail stores to what’s needed if you want to sell them online. And we’ll also discuss the best ways for retailers and dealerships alike to grow their businesses with ease!
Why Sell Auto Parts?
Selling auto parts is becoming less common, but it can be extremely lucrative if done correctly. Auto parts are one of the most commonly purchased items in the world.
There are several reasons why you should consider selling auto parts:
- The industry is growing at an annual rate of approximately three percent.
- The global pandemic has triggered a major shift towards internet aftermarket sales.
- Car part retailers generate more revenue than traditional automotive service garages.
- Customers usually purchase car parts and accessories before purchasing a new or used vehicle.
What Do You Need To Sell Auto Parts and Accessories?
For auto part retailers to get their operation off the ground, they need several important elements. These will include the following:
- Business Registration – Auto part retailers need to license and register their business with the proper authorities. This will include registering your business name and obtaining the appropriate permits.
- A Comprehensive Business Plan – This will outline your goals, strategies, and tactics for achieving them. Though it may seem daunting, a comprehensive business plan is critical to your success. A business plan needs to include the following:
- An Executive Summary – This is a brief overview of your entire business plan. It should be no more than one page long, and it should summarize your most important points.
- The Business Description – This section will describe what your company does, its target market, and how you plan to compete in the market.
- The Market Analysis – This will provide a detailed overview of your industry, including current trends and future projections. It should also include information about your target market, including demographics and psychographic.
- The Strategy and Tactics section should outline how you plan to achieve your business goals, as well as what methods you’ll use to do so.
- Sales and Marketing Strategy – This section should include how you plan to make sales, who will be responsible for them, and where they’ll take place (online or offline). It should also provide a detailed marketing strategy that outlines your advertising plans, promotional campaigns, public relations efforts, etc.
- Operations Plan – Your operations plan should include how your company will be managed, who you’ll need to run it (employees), and what facilities are needed.
- Financial Plan – This section will outline exactly how much money is required to get started, as well as how you expect the business to grow over time. It also needs to discuss how much revenue is expected and how you’ll keep track of your finances.
- Enough Inventory – This is probably one of the most important aspects of selling auto parts. You’ll need to have a good selection of products, and you’ll need to keep your inventory up-to-date.
- A Website – Even though many auto parts and accessories are purchased through brick-and-mortar stores, it’s still important to have a website. You can use your online store as an informational resource for potential customers, or you can allow prospective buyers to purchase the products directly from you.
Where to Sell Auto Parts?
Dealerships have several options for where they can sell aftermarket car parts. While dealerships are best suited for selling accessories that have to do with their vehicles, dealerships can also be successful at retailing other auto parts and accessories. Parts stores, mass merchandisers, and online retailers are all viable options for offloading excess inventory or expanding the product lines that dealerships already carry.
Brick-and-Mortar Car Part Store
The most traditional way of selling auto parts is through a brick-and-mortar store. These stores must be close to customers, which makes retail areas in larger cities much more appealing than rural locations where the population is sparse and spread out. Retailers can choose how much square footage they want or need based on their inventory needs, but retailers need to keep enough space open, so that customer traffic doesn’t get backed up with merchandise blocking walkways.
Finding affordable commercial real estate in busy places like malls or strip centers requires dealerships to carefully assess their finances before committing to a lease agreement. Some leases are designed specifically for parts retailers, while others may provide additional incentives if manufacturers sell through these locations because of cross-marketing opportunities between product lines.
The major downside of a brick-and-mortar store is the additional overhead costs. Although dealerships can sell through multiple channels, they are required to pay utilities at the store location even if it’s not generating any revenue. Dealerships must be able to produce enough sales volume from their parts retailing business to remain profitable. It has also become less convenient in today’s highly digitized business environment.
Own Car Part Website
A more recent way of selling auto parts is through an online store. This option has the advantage of being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and reaching a global audience. Online retailers don’t have to worry about paying for additional overhead costs like rent or employees because the business can be run out of a home office. The website also becomes the face of the company, so it’s important that it looks professional and is easy to navigate.
There are several things car part websites need to be successful. They must have an extensive inventory that’s updated regularly, as well as images and descriptions of each product. Customers also need to feel confident that they’re getting a good deal, so websites need to offer competitive pricing and free shipping on large orders. Dealerships should also provide several payment options like credit cards, online checks, or PayPal to make the customer experience more convenient and secure.
eCommerce marketplaces are among the most convenient ways for buyers to shop for car parts and accessories. Three major online retail marketplaces have set themselves apart, which will allow all start-up auto part businesses to lift their operations off the ground and even thrive.
- Amazon – Amazon is the largest eCommerce marketplace, and it has made a name for itself in just about every industry. What started as an online bookstore quickly transformed into a platform open to third parties who want to sell their products directly from Amazon.
- eBay Motors – is the second-largest online marketplace focused exclusively on automotive products. This makes it a great place for car part retailers to sell their products because there’s already an audience of buyers looking for car-related items.
- Walmart Marketplace – Walmart Marketplace is a division of the Walmart empire dedicated to third-party sellers. Although it may not have as large an audience as Amazon or eBay, this marketplace has a loyal customer base. It offers competitive fees, which can save retailers money over time.
All three marketplaces offer extensive reach, competitive pricing, and convenient payment options to help dealerships grow their businesses quickly and efficiently. To be successful on these platforms, dealerships need to have high-quality images and descriptions of their products, as well as accurate inventory counts. They should also offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount to attract more customers.
Choosing one eCommerce platform over another depends on several factors like geographic location, product selection, pricing flexibility, frequency of sales volume, among other things. Retailers should consider giving each marketplaces service a test run for about six months before committing to selling exclusively through them long-term. It is to see if the business model works well with their unique inventory needs and budget constraints.
How To Grow Your Auto Parts Business
Once you have all of the steps up and running, it’s time to think about ways of growing and improving your auto parts business. Generally, brick-and-mortar automotive aftermarket businesses will have to create their website and join one or more online marketplaces to be successful.
Car part retailers can also improve their business through various marketing techniques, such as online advertising (Google AdWords and Facebook Ads), email marketing, or even print media. Additionally, it’s important to keep track of your inventory and sales numbers so you can identify what products are selling well and adjust your stock levels appropriately. Other methods of growing your auto part business include the following:
Create a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Regardless of where you set up your online auto components store, you’ll need to invest time and money into a marketing strategy. There are several ways to increase your awareness so that visitors can discover you and click over to learn more:
- PPC Advertising: PPC is a form of internet advertising that stands for Pay Per Click. This sort of marketing is costly, but it generally generates an immediate increase in visitors to your business. Remember that you won’t have unlimited funds to spend on advertisements since this is the case.
- SEO: SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a method of generating organic traffic to your store without the need for sponsored advertising. If you want optimal optimization, you can hire an SEO specialist or learn the fundamentals yourself.
- Social Media: Although social media sites are getting more crowded, it is still a good idea to participate in the most significant ones, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. When potential customers search for your company online, they want to see that you consistently update your presence.
Differentiating Yourself from the Competition
To remain competitive, auto-part retailers have to stand out from the crowd. In other words, you’ll need a strong brand identity and overall professional appearance for customers as well as search engines. This includes spending time on your website design to be aesthetically pleasing but also user-friendly (meaning easy navigation).
You should also consider creating an eCommerce blog where you regularly publish content relevant to your business interests or industry knowledge. You can post information about new products or write reviews of certain pieces of equipment. However, this isn’t required if you don’t want to do more work than necessary. The main idea is simply keeping visitors engaged with useful topics surrounding what they’re interested in – parts and accessories for cars.
The most important thing you can do is increase your visibility with local customers. This means retailers and dealerships must obtain a physical address where people can visit, shop around, or even speak with someone on the phone.
Provide Your Customers with Flexibility and Convenience
Auto part retailers must provide customers with a great experience to increase sales and stick out from your competition. The more effort you put into this process, the better results you’ll have since satisfied shoppers are likely to tell others about their experiences at your business.
This means that you should invest in effective inventory management software, so everything is accurate and up-to-date when potential buyers visit your website or store. You can also proactively go after sales by contacting car owners who have been looking around but haven’t decided on what they want just yet.
Additionally, make sure any employees working behind the counter know how products work together as well as possible installation instructions for certain parts, if applicable. In short, always keep your customers in mind and their convenience at the forefront of your business practices.
Ask for Customer Reviews and Feedback
It’s important for retailers to keep track of what their customers think about the products and services they offer. This will allow you to identify any problems, make improvements as needed, and stay ahead of your competition.
Asking for customer reviews is simple: email after every purchase asking them how they like/dislike a certain product or feel about shopping at your store in general. Ask if there was anything that could have been done differently during the experience and more.
In addition to these suggestions, be sure to monitor online conversations surrounding your company on social media, review sites, forums, or anywhere else people are discussing cars and auto parts. This is another great way to find out what customers think about your business and identify any opportunities for improvement.
Although it can be time-consuming, receive feedback on a regular basis, so you know exactly where the strengths and weaknesses of your business lie.
Fitment data is an important aspect of online car part retail that is often overlooked. This is the process of verifying that a particular aftermarket or OEM part will fit a customer’s vehicle. The problem with not having this information readily available is that it can lead to returns, affecting your bottom line. To prevent this from happening, auto part retailers need to have accurate and up-to-date fitment data for as many vehicles as possible. You can do this by partnering with companies that offer such services or building your own database.
Fitment information can also be used in other ways to increase sales. For example, suppose a customer comes into your store looking for a part, but you don’t have it on hand or can’t get it within their timeframe. In that case, you can check to see how likely they would be willing to purchase something else that fits their needs instead of having them choose another retailer who can provide the part they’re looking for.
This is where the importance of a good relationship with your customers comes into play. If they know you’re always willing to help them find what they need, even if it’s not something you carry in stock, then they’ll be more likely to come back in the future.
Selling auto parts can be profitable if done correctly. By following the advice in this article, retailers and dealerships can increase sales, stick out from the competition, and provide an excellent customer experience. Keep these things in mind as you go about growing your business! Need help? Contact us today!