You’ve decided to become an online auto parts seller. During the initial research, you realize there are several paths you can take – you can choose to join an online marketplace or build your own website and brand. Or you can do both! So, between all the major online auto parts platforms (eBay Motors, Amazon, Walmart, and more), why choose Amazon for car parts?
Everyone has heard of Amazon. Statistics show that around 63% of global online shoppers first visit Amazon to search for the product they want. That is an overwhelming majority! There’s no doubt that most of the worldwide population turns to Amazon as their first online buying destination.
There are plenty of benefits of becoming an Amazon seller, some of which revolve around that huge customer base, and some of which don’t.
Here are a few valid reasons why you should choose Amazon marketplace as the host of your auto parts store.
Pros of Selling on Amazon
- Vast Customer Base
The latest reports state that Amazon receives around 214.8 million unique visitors per month. By becoming an Amazon retailer, you get instant access to this huge customer potential.
Developing your website, investing in marketing campaigns, and independently strengthening your company’s brand and customer base may take ages. By choosing Amazon, your automotive parts are in front of millions of people in a blink of an eye!
- Huge Revenue Potential
With the above-mentioned numbers tied to this online sales channel, it is easy to understand the enormous potential for revenue and volume in online parts sales. In 2020, the Amazon car parts, accessories, and car care products department brought in over $10.3 billion in revenue for its retailers. Out of these, $1.9 billion came from OEM replacement parts alone.
These numbers are mind-boggling. Even if you tap into 0.01% of this revenue, you’d still be earning six figures a year from your business!
- Easy Set-Up
Building your website requires coding and design knowledge, optimization for search engines, planning, and more. If you’re not skilled in any of these areas, you will likely need to hire professionals to help you get ahead of the competition.
You don’t have to worry about any of that when setting up your Amazon store. All you need is accurate fitment data about your auto parts, high-resolution pictures that fit the Amazon rules and guidelines, and you’re all set! If you’re unsure where you want to take your business yet, working out the kinks and establishing your brand separately from Amazon can come later.
Cons of Selling on Amazon
Despite the promising potential of having an online store on Amazon, there are some drawbacks that you should also consider before making a decision.
- Astounding Competition
Precisely because of the benefits listed above, many people want to sell vehicle parts and accessories on Amazon. This makes for a tremendous amount of competition. Pretty much anyone can become a seller on Amazon, as long as they meet the platform’s requirements for entering the gated Automotive & Powersports category (and most people do).
To remain competitive and distinguish yourself, you need to keep your prices competitive and your fitment information impeccable. There is no room for error; no room for incomplete or inaccurate fitment data. You cannot risk your customers getting the wrong part or not finding the information they’re looking for and moving on to a rival store instead.
- The Customer Is Always Right
In sales, in general, the customer is right for the most part. On Amazon, the customer is always right – almost without exceptions. If any dispute arises between you as the seller and a buyer, Amazon will likely rule in the buyer’s favor. They can always find new sellers, but they need to retain every single customer they can get.
If an ordered part arrives a day later, it will hurt your business. If you don’t mark a part as out of stock, it will hurt your business. If a customer claims that your product listing is misleading, even if it’s not, it will hurt your business.
Keep in mind that the conditions of selling on Amazon can be brutal at times. Not everyone can handle them, so be prepared to grow tougher skin as an Amazon retailer.
What Kinds of Car Parts Sell Best on Amazon?
To maximize your chances of succeeding on Amazon and potentially getting a space in the coveted Buy Box, consider selling the type of car parts that are the most sought-after. Here are some suggestions of what you can focus on:
- Parts that meet the needs of an average car owner, not a dealership or professional mechanics. Customer-seller interaction pre-purchase is usually very low on Amazon. If a customer needs expert advice on which part to get, they likely won’t contact you before they make a decision. Try to stay away from products that an average person doesn’t know much about.
- Lightweight items that aren’t too pricey to ship.
- Consumable items that wear and tear and require frequent replacement.
- Easy-install parts that don’t require technical expertise or specialized tools.
- Components that are compatible with a wide range of vehicles (makes and models).
- Avoid emergency items – parts that need urgent replacement if they break down. If a customer is looking for an emergency starter, alternator, or battery, they don’t have time to choose the best deal. They want to get the right part as soon as possible – if your store is not that big yet, they might not even get to it. (In contrast, brake pads are typically not an emergency item, which is why they are a stand-out item category on Amazon.)
Is Amazon the Right Marketplace for Your Auto Parts Business?
After everything is said and done, existing online platforms for retailers are not a bad choice. Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others can get your business off the ground by introducing you to huge customer pools.
At the same time, if you are serious about your organization and want to see it thrive and succeed, you cannot limit yourself only to these marketplaces. We mentioned how developing your website and brand is a time- (and money-) consuming process. However, for rising above the competition, it is a must.
Most successful Amazon sellers don’t have to be experts in the automotive aftermarket industry. They only need to have a superficial knowledge of the topic. It is far more important that they know all the ins and outs of the marketplace. The top sellers are excellent at navigating all the Amazon rules and policies. They know how the tools work, how to create perfect product listings, maximize feedback from their customers, and similar.
If you want your business to survive in the long run, you need to build strong foundations for it outside of Amazon as well. Even if your store starts doing well on Amazon, it may not continue on that trajectory forever. Sooner or later, a moment will come when your company will stop selling parts on an online platform. When that happens, you want to have an established brand outside of the marketplace that will keep you going forward.
The year 2020 saw a global shift in commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, in-person shopping became inconvenient and even dangerous for one’s health. Online shopping took over as the norm for most households across the world. The same is true for the auto parts market – the automotive aftermarket eCommerce industry is experiencing a boom like never before.
Selling aftermarket auto parts on Amazon seems like a clear choice – huge potential for revenue, an enormous customer base, and a set-up that doesn’t require too much effort on your part. Indeed, this is a sales channel unlike any other. If you know which car parts to focus on in the sales process, it is only a matter of time before the customers come to you.
That being said, there are some disadvantages of selling on Amazon. The competition is high, and you risk getting negative feedback from dissatisfied customers that will hurt your business. While Amazon and other online platforms are good starting points, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of growing your own brand. Investing in a website that will offer more information and support to your customers is a smart move.
There are no rules that say your store has to be limited to only one sales channel. Branch out and take advantage of as many avenues as you can!
If you have any questions about setting up a shop on Amazon, feel free to contact myFitment. We would be happy to help you choose the right online marketplace for your store and get your business going in no time!