Selling Online: 6 Tips for Your Auto Business
In 2018, $10 billion dollars were spent on online auto part purchases- a 16% increase from 2017. Selling auto parts online is a lucrative business that will only continue to grow as online shopping becomes more integrated in Americans’ everyday lives. Online stores can be great ways to make money, but can come with some challenges too. If you’re operating an online store (or looking to open one) and feeling stuck, here are some tips to get you going.
Make sure your homepage is visually exciting. Use a large banner featuring your logo on the homepage and use the space to promote any sales or promotions happening. Doing this will engage online customers who are looking through your store to decide if they want to purchase anything. Additionally, make sure your online branding (your logos and colors) match your in-store branding. This helps local customers easily identify your brand and give you some legitimacy.
Provide photos, descriptions, and reviews for everything you sell. Because your online customers may not be able to view your products in person, it’s important to provide them as much information about the product as possible so that they feel like they’re making an informed decision. This means including photos for every product (multiple, if possible), clear and well-written descriptions, and encouraging customers (both online and in-person) to leave reviews for the products.
Offer promotions, especially during the launch of your site. If you’ve just started your website, a great way to get your local customers excited about it is by having exclusive online promotions that you can promote in-store. Things like “10% off everything plus free shipping!” can be great sales to run, as they draw customers to your website and provide an initial boost of sales. You can also offer promotions regularly on holidays or weekends, when customers are more likely to be off work, browsing the internet in their free time.
Promote your website on your social media. If you have social media accounts, make sure you’re promoting your online store! This can be done with a link in your bio or profile, with posts every once in a while highlighting it, or by doing both! Connecting the two will give them both a stronger online presence.
Organize your inventory. Set up your shop so that customers can search by brand, price, and category. This means faster navigation for your customers and more sales for you. Additionally, consider offering a search function where customers can search by the make and model of their vehicle to find what parts work for it. This also creates an easier customer experience, which can encourage sales and brand loyalty.
Provide exemplary customer service. One of the biggest drawbacks customers may experience from buying online instead of in-store is the perceived lack of a knowledgeable salesperson or employee to guide them in their purchase. Make up for this by providing salespeople that can be reached on the phone throughout the day and promote their presence and availability throughout your website, so that customers can contact them for guidance and questions. Also provide a ‘Contact Us’ form where customers can reach out with questions or complaints. Respond to these submissions quickly! Within 24 hours is ideal. All of these will make your customers feel valued, heard, and more comfortable with buying things from your online auto store.
Together, these tips can help propel your online store forward! By using these techniques to draw your customers in, encourage them to purchase your products, and provide them with great customer service, your auto business can succeed in an increasingly online world.
Sources: X Cart, Miva