BigCommerce is a powerful online platform that helps retailers list and sell their products online. This eCommerce solution works across several industries, but automotive parts stores enjoy some distinct advantages when they utilize this tool. The aftermarket auto parts industry is rapidly evolving as customers change their approach to car care. Knowing your consumers and meeting them in their buying journey is critical to closing the sale. In the past, automotive retailers have had a surprisingly small presence in the online marketplace. This is rapidly changing, however, and BigCommerce is poised to help. 

Though there are many ways that you can approach your online retail site, there are several compelling reasons you should care about BigCommerce as you’re selling in this space. Read on to learn why this is one of the best options you’ll find for your auto parts store. 

Auto Parts Sales Are On the Rise 

Auto parts sales have increased steadily in recent years. While sales were $23.3 billion in 2012 and $36.1 billion in 2015, they were projected to reach $57.4 by the end of 2019. Meanwhile, sales for new automotive vehicles have largely plateaued. There were 94 million new vehicle sales in 2016, 96 million in 2017, and 95 million in 2018. Today’s shoppers are looking for ways to extend the lives of their vehicles rather than replace them. Also popular are parts that allow drivers to customize their rides with added performance, personalization, and functionality. 

These trends present a valuable opportunity for aftermarket parts retailers. Shoppers are seeking specific products, and sellers who are properly positioned can meet them where they are, presenting the perfect solution for a driver’s needs. BigCommerce is a retail platform that’s designed specifically for this segment of the automobile industry, making it easy for retailers to plug in their inventories and get started in this lucrative space. 

Shoppers Start With an Internet Search 

A quarter of all automotive searches are related to parts, services, and maintenance. A growing number of shoppers are looking for automotive products via a web search before they bother looking for them in the store. There are many compelling reasons for this trend. Finding the right part for a particular vehicle can be a daunting task. Auto parts are organized into categories, subcategories, and child categories as you filter down through the numerous specifications. A similar product won’t do when you’re shopping in this category. It’s essential that you get the perfect fit. 

Fortunately, platforms such as BigCommerce make it quick and easy for shoppers to perform the online research that they’re interested in. BigCommerce offers a year-make-model search add-on that helps consumers find the perfect product for their specific vehicle. This eliminates the hassle of sifting through confusing content. Within a few clicks, the shopper can identify exactly what they need to buy. 

More Than Half of Purchases Happen Online 

Research from UPS indicates that 56% of online automotive parts and accessories shoppers make their final purchase via the internet. This means that your buyers aren’t just using your website as a research tool, they’re also sticking with your page through to the completion of the sale. With a tool like BigCommerce, you can serve the shopper’s needs at every point in the buying process.  

You can customize your front-end presence to offer detailed information on each product and make sure that your customers know exactly what they’re getting. You can also build in suggested products for easy upsells. If installation typically requires additional complimentary parts or specialized tools that are available through your store, you can suggest these directly on the product page, helping customers get everything they need in one purchase while increasing your total sales with fuller carts. 

Your Competitors Are Online 

The UPS study indicates that 95% of online automotive e-commerce aftermarket consumers compare products and prices before making a purchase. With a growing number of auto parts retailers creating an online presence, it’s crucial to get into this space. The right software and setup can help you stay competitive in the areas where it matters most. According to consumers, these are: 

  • Price (52%)
  • Product availability (45%)
  • Selection (37%)

It’s not enough to be the first site that customers find when they’re looking for auto parts. You also need to present the best option. BigCommerce is worth caring about because it provides you with all the features and functionality you need to do so. You can set your price point, highlight product availability, and make it easy for shoppers to browse your parts selection. A search that might feel overwhelming in a crowded brick-and-mortar environment becomes neat and simple when you build out your website with the right platform. 

An Internet Presence Enhances In-Store Sales 

Moving to an internet database for auto parts works for both online retailers and those maintaining brick-and-mortar stores. Individuals who purchase auto parts online choose ship-to-store 55% of the time. You shouldn’t overlook the value of setting up a site with BigCommerce just because you’re maintaining a physical storefront. You can integrate the features of this platform with your local store to best serve your shoppers’ needs. 

By enabling ship-to-store, you can minimize shipping costs, streamline the purchasing process, and build another opportunity for upselling into your sales strategy. When customers come into the store to pick up their purchases, you can have a selection of complementary parts or tools ready to suggest. A knowledgeable sales staff can discuss the installation process and other needs with the buyer while they’re in the store. This setup lets you connect with your customers both online and in person, so you’re enjoying the best of all worlds. 

BigCommerce is uniquely positioned to help auto parts stores succeed in the online marketplace. If you’re selling aftermarket automobile parts without a website, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to reach potential customers. Explore the functions and features of BigCommerce to find out how you can start enhancing the shopping experience and drawing new buyers in to become loyal long-term customers.