OEC Blog

Reclaim High Growth DIY Market With Online Parts Sites

Reclaim High Growth DIY Market With Online Parts Sites

If you thought DIYers represent a “dying breed” as they seek lower prices and more convenience with aftermarket retailers, think again!  This traditionally smaller market segment is starting to soar as online OEM parts websites make parts purchases easier and less confusing.

Indeed, online DIY parts sales represent the fastest growing market segment jumping to close to $2.5 billion in 2014 (Source: IBIS research).  Add to that, 35% of all automotive parts & accessories sales occur online.  Leading-edge dealerships are “seeing the light” and reclaiming this business with 24/7 parts websites that can attract, educate and cater to self-serve DIYers.  Even better, parts websites can reduce time-consuming phone calls and costly returns.  And the timing couldn’t be better. The availability of economical, full-featured parts e-commerce solutions makes it easier than ever, for dealers to capture this growing market… and profit.

Take back your DIY business with these pointers on researching and implementing the right kind of parts website for your operation.

Reduce Parts Complexity

The goal of any e-commerce site is to make the consumer purchase easy, self-sufficient and worry-free.  This is no easy feat with automotive parts when an estimated 50% of automotive part numbers are year/make/model-specific, with many part numbers going down to specific sub-models and/or engines and transmissions.

So look for parts websites, such as ConsumerLink® from OEC, that offer the following fail-safe filters to help even the most novice of parts buyer successfully identify and purchase the correct part:

  1. Integrated OEM Parts Ordering – Previously available only to franchised dealerships, parts websites can now offer the most comprehensive, current parts information.  Complete with all parts supersession information and updated monthly, an integrated OEM parts ordering system represents the “gold standard” for self-serve parts websites.
  2. VIN Decoding – An absolute essential for accurate parts selection, VIN decoding will help consumers quickly and easily narrow their parts search.  Savvy websites even provide consumer help in locating the VIN.
  3. Parts Illustrations – Diagrams enable buyers to identify a needed part by matching it to the illustration while also pointing out any additional required parts, such as assemblies. More advanced websites offer hot links providing part pricing and add-to-cart functionality within the diagram.

These features allow a DIYer to self-serve without the need to contact the dealership for assistance.  This is especially important since 30% of all parts purchases are made in off-business hours.

Flexible Pricing that Preserves Gross Profit

Not surprisingly, the key driver for a DIYer is the price of the part. While many offer a variety of pricing formulas, look for price protection formulas that adhere to a desired gross profit percentage.  Also look for the ability to add promotions to the website and/or promotional codes that can be selectively given to target buyers.

Low Maintenance, High Impact

Last, but not least, look for parts websites that are automatically updated both with the dealership’s inventory and OEM parts information, while also offering the ability for customized dealership branding.  This integrated approach reduces maintenance while offering current, dealer-branded reliable information for maximum customer impact.

Bottom line, you’re competing against aftermarket retailers for the DIYer’s dollars.  Reclaim this market by offering both superior quality OEM parts supported by 24/7 consumer-friendly, e-commerce storefronts.