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​Why Dealers Should Sell OEM Parts Online

Retail ecommerce is a newer area for dealers and, as we all know, change can be hard.

Dealers often ask if selling OEM parts online to consumers is worth the effort. It’s an understandable question. Retail ecommerce is a new area for most dealers and, as we all know, change can be hard. But change can also be a good thing. Selling parts online is a good thing too.

Here are a few reasons to make the change and sell your OEM parts online:

Capture a New Audience

A main reason to sell parts online is to establish a new customer base, and a new revenue stream, outside of normal wholesale. You already have a captive audience with your collision and mechanical parts. This system is firmly in place because you have local body shops and repair shops that are already buying parts from you. But what about the general public that needs or wants OEM parts.

There are literally millions of customers out there searching for car parts online. Turning these potential customers into YOUR customers means increased revenue for your dealership. The great thing about this new customer base is they can be located anywhere in the country. You’re no longer competing just locally. Now, you can position yourself to compete locally, regionally or nationally. With various pricing trends in different parts of the country, you’ll want to tailor your pricing to each market – sell nationally, price locally.

So, who is this new customer base? It's the “direct-to-consumer” market segment, comprised of DIY (do-it-yourself) and DIFM (do-it-for-me) customers. DIFM sales are growing fast as consumers discover they can save money by ordering parts themselves.

eCommerce is Growing Rapidly

According to research from Hedges and Co., a leading industry research firm, online parts sales surpassed $10 billion in 2018 and continue to grow.


Dealers are Letting the Aftermarket Dominate

The aftermarket has captured over 90% of B2C sales because most dealerships haven’t effectively competed in this space. Consumers have ordered aftermarket parts because dealerships haven’t made their online presence known, nor have they made it convenient for consumers to buy OEM parts online. However, modern ecommerce solutions are making it much easier to sell parts online. As a result, dealerships can now easily make their presence known in the ecommerce space.

Is it easy to sell parts online?

The answer is not a simple yes or no.

Before modern technology and ecommerce platforms, selling in this space was extremely complicated. You needed a deep understanding of web development, industry trends, search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

Today, most of these issues are easily resolved when you use the right ecommerce solution.

That being said, you can’t treat your retail ecommerce technology like a ‘set it and forget it’ solution. Top online performers are very engaged with their marketing goals, pricing and shipping adjustments, and keeping current on industry trends. If you are serious about selling parts online, use a solution like ConsumerLink Pro to streamline your efforts and time, and keep up-to-date on industry trends to maximize sales. Click here to learn more about how top-performers sell parts online.

Can you make money selling parts online?

If you do things the right way, the answer is unequivocally yes. You can make a lot of money. Some ConsumerLink Pro dealers are selling over $20,000 of parts per month online. Other dealers are not as successful because they haven’t followed the trends or adjusted their marketing plan, and haven’t optimized their pricing and shipping rates.

Click here to learn why developing a marketing plan is critical when selling parts online.

One more thing to keep in mind

Selling online is a great opportunity for your dealership to sell more parts, but you have to go into it knowing it’s going to be different from the wholesale business you’re used to. Different is not a bad thing, different just means a new mindset.

While you’re selling the same parts from the same inventory, competing online instead of within your local market brings a unique set of challenges you may not have faced before. In the end, if you partner with a trusted ecommerce solution like ConsumerLink Pro, selling online is a great opportunity to establish recurring part sales in a new market segment!

Online parts selling platforms can be the difference between struggling to hit your numbers and delivering consistent results.
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