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How to take advantage of the growing DIY market

How to take advantage of the growing DIY market

According to a recent Hedges & Company study, the e-commerce auto parts industry is set to top $10 Billion in 2018, boasting a 16.3 percent increase from 2017. And these DIY retail sales are growing at an annual rate of 3.6 percent. 

Now more than ever, it’s important to have an online presence, and ideal to have a streamlined buying experience to ensure you have happy, returning customers.  

So how do you provide online shoppers a cutting-edge online retail solution and take back your DIY business? We’ve got a few pointers to help you implement the right parts website to make your e-commerce solution better than ever.

Reduce Parts Complexity

The goal of any e-commerce website is to make the consumer’s purchase easy, self-sufficient and worry-free. The competitive landscape includes big players such as Amazon, who provides 24/7 access to an easy and familiar buying experience. Shops have seen a growing trend of customers asking to order parts from Amazon, and then have the parts delivered to the shop doing the repairs. Whether this is a viable (and good) process, is still up for debate.

Automotive parts sales is much more complicated than your traditional online product purchase. An estimated 50% of automotive part numbers are year/make/model-specific, with many part numbers assigned to specific sub-models and/or engines and transmissions. Although Amazon may be a familiar experience for the customer and in some cases, lower price point on parts, they don’t have the knowledge like your parts department.

When considering an ecommerce solution such as ConsumerLink Pro, consider the following:

  • Current parts information, including parts supersession information, so you can be confident you customers are completing the repair to the manufacturer standard.
  • Pricing information directly from OEMs to accurately price parts to achieve margin goals. Price accuracy allows you to adjust pricing aggressively to compete with the Aftermarket when necessary.
  • VIN filtering for your customer to narrow down and find the correct part for the repair.
  • Illustrated diagrams for your customer to identify the correct part and any additional parts they may need. Having complete information up-front saves time with parts ordering.

Use Flexible Pricing

Customers using mobile apps and online platforms to shop are highly skilled at researching competitive prices. The Millennial generation is leading the way with the vast majority using smartphones to research parts online, a study showed that nearly “$138 billion in auto parts and accessory sales” are being influenced by the internet. They are also reaping the benefits of the “always on” environment of online shopping; placing orders around the clock, from other online sites, while brick and mortar stores are closed.

The increase in price researching and access to competitor information has led to an even greater emphasis on pricing structure. Consider targeting certain buyer markets with promotional codes, but make sure to apply price protection formulas to ensure that you are protecting your bottom line and also staying competitive in the marketplace.

Think Mobile

The younger generations of buyers were raised using technology, leading them to be more tech savvy than older generations. According to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey, U.S. mobile retail sales are projected to account for 48.5% of retail e-commerce sales. This shift has already had a tremendous impact on the shopping experience for automotive parts. When moving your parts business online, don’t overlook your mobile strategy.

Providing a website that works with all types of devices including mobile could be your difference maker to capture the new generations of customers. Top app features to consider: search functionality, product reviews, and high-quality product images.

DIYers have even more options available at their fingertips with mobile-friendly parts purchasing solutions, and are willing to do the research to find the best price, above all else. All of this may be a bit overwhelming, but keep it simple, provide the best experience, and you can win their business and become their trusted partner.