While the auto parts market was already actively shifting towards a more serious online presence, the 2020 pandemic really kicked things into full gear and showed both businesses as well as consumers the true benefits of eCommerce.
Many shops ended up putting a lot of effort into their online stores, and some newcomers to the market decided to adopt an online-only model for their business. And now, as the dust is settling, we’re starting to see the full impact of all of this – and it looks like these changes are here to stay.
If you want to see strong results from your auto parts business in 2021, it’s important to pay attention to your eCommerce front, and possibly even prioritize it over everything else.
This might require some significant changes on your part, but the long-term benefits can more than makeup for the extra effort. Finding a good auto parts eCommerce solution and tailoring it to your needs can already boost your performance by a lot.
All signs are pointing towards a future where many people will prefer to do their shopping for auto parts online, and if you already have an established, working system for that, you’ll have a significant edge over your competition.
Your site must obviously look sharp and professional to make the right impression in the first place. But it goes beyond that if you want to have the best chance at attracting customers and retaining them.
The auto parts market tends to lean heavily towards an active utilization of visual presentation to get the job done. This means that you should invest in high-quality images, polish the site’s overall looks, and ensure that customers have plenty to look at.
Many popular auto parts sites focus on utilizing real photos alongside computer-generated graphics, and this approach is likely going to stay relevant for a while.
Make sure that you’re investing in high-quality images on both of those fronts, and if you’re not working with a competent photographer with good equipment, now is the time to start.
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This extends to the visualization of your actual products. Simple pictures no longer get the job done – customers expect more advanced approaches nowadays. 3D graphics that can be freely rotated are no longer considered a luxury, they are slowly becoming the norm across the board.
They can be more expensive to implement at first (especially if you need to convert a large inventory to that style), but the benefits definitely make that a worthwhile investment in the long run. You may need to contract a good 3D modeler to get the job done right.
This will play a particularly important role for products where visual appeal is the main selling feature. Cosmetic parts should be presented in a way that the user can freely inspect them from all sides, particularly with regards to smaller details.
If you can incorporate functionality that allows users to preview a specific part in use in a car of their choice, this can go a long way – though it’s admittedly even more complicated to implement.
Customers are becoming increasingly more willing to pay extra for a premium experience in this market, and you should leverage that fact to its full potential. Targeted marketing and a customized approach to the presentation of your content can go a long way to creating the right impression.
This can be accomplished if you integrate your eCommerce store with your CRM solution, which can provide you with lots of valuable reference points that you can use to fine-tune the experience of each customer.
This can go a long way if implemented in the form of customized chat messages about specific products or even specific features of those products. Try to create campaigns that are aimed at specific market segments and see which ones give you the biggest increase in customer responses.
Voice search is another aspect of the web that was initially seen as a gimmick and a trend that would likely not stick around for long but has instead started to solidify its presence on the market. You can gain a lot from ensuring that your site is optimized for voice search, which sometimes may not even require too many changes.
Make sure to test things properly before finalizing the design, because voice search can often lead to some surprising results when you don’t have appropriate quality control for it.
If you’re not sure how to go about this, it can be a good idea to bring a consultant on board to guide you through the process and help you make sure that you’re doing it the right way. The cost of their services will be offset by the extra traffic you’ll generate by a good margin.
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And of course, let’s not forget mobile users. They are becoming a major force in the online space these days, and you can’t afford to ignore them.
A relatively recent approach to sites with advanced interactive features basically has your site operating as an app, with the full functionality that this brings to the table – but it’s accessed entirely through a browser, without the requirement to actually install any specific app.
This can be a powerful feature that can help people navigate your products with much more comfort and confidence, while also saving you the trouble associated with managing an app on the different platforms you’d be expected to provide it for.
If you play your cards right, you should be able to set up a successful auto parts shop that requires no physical presence, which in turn can be a great opportunity to save money and grow faster.
This can sometimes even include factors like your inventory, which can make you much more flexible than other shops on the market which don’t invest resources into their online presence. And given the current trends for 2021, those might not stick around for too long anyway.
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