OEC Blog

Yes, people want to buy from YOU

Yes, people want to buy from YOU

According to Hedges & Company, the auto industry generated over $7.6 billion dollars in 2016 online parts sales – and it will only continue to grow¹. For 2018, the projected number has since risen to $10 billion dollars. With this kind of money spent in online parts sales, you need to make sure you are getting a slice of this pie – and sooner rather than later.

So what’s the first step to getting the biggest slice of online parts sales? Well first, you need to make sure you ARE selling online. If you do not have your parts online yet, there are solutions like CollisionLink, RepairLink, and ConsumerLinkPro that are specifically designed to help you sell more OE parts – online.

If you are already online, you have to understand it isn’t a “if you build it they will come” scenario. Yes, you have to put in some work, but it will give you a substantial return if you put in the effort.

Let me break down how customers are buying online – and why you should be selling there:

  • You can’t ask other people to invest in buying online if you aren’t bought in. Reducing unnecessary phone calls or faxes by increasing your online presence demonstrates to your customers that you understand the efficiencies of online parts ordering and it's worthwhile for your customers to adopt as well.
  • Follow through on what you bought into. Ok, so they've bought in to at least try buying parts online. Now, you MUST deliver. If they purchase from you through a new, different format, they simply cannot receive poor service or a poor product. If they get burned once, it's unlikely they'll ever try again. However, if they experience something refreshingly new and equally as great or even better (product, efficiency, communication and delivery) …they'll be hooked.
  • Don’t let your personality diminish online. The number of shops converting to online ordering is growing at an alarming rate. Whether it be due to financial gain, popularity, to gain competitive edge or all of the above, give your customers what they deserve: quality service with a unique twist. The online options are astronomical; shoppers have seemingly unlimited options at comparable rates. Break away from the pack with a refreshing approach by establishing business relationships with a personal touch, like:
    • Suggest recommendations that fit customer needs/wants based on recent purchases. Not only do customers gain trust and appreciation through this format, they’re far more likely to purchase more in the future.
    • Follow up throughout the entire purchasing process. Be there to help before, during and after a purchase.
    • Apply promotions specific to each customer, or at least your own customers as a group. Reward customer loyalty as your specific dealer’s customer, not generalized as a particular OEM customer.
  • Make sure the (metaphorical) shoe fits. Find solutions that fit your business and your growth model. Do your homework and review all your options. When you find the right solution, you’ll find you're more successful and happier with the quality of work that may sometimes seem monotonous. You always value your customers; be sure to value your work and time too.
  • Make sure you’re seen. No matter if internal or external, from online communications (banners, email, etc.) to word of mouth, stickers/messaging on invoices and even flyers in the salesroom, marketing equals awareness, and awareness equals opportunity.
  • Investing in your online presence is investing in your growth opportunities. It's not just about your current or immediate success. Consider the value and relief of saving time within the hour, day or month. Now accumulate that over a year and years to come. Not only are you saving time and money for better performance and quality, but you can spend that time and money applying ideas and strategies to future growth endeavors.

Most of all, the power to increase your OE parts sales is not solely in online solutions, but in your willingness to try something different and invest in your business vision. What can you do differently today that will improve tomorrow?