If you sell auto parts online, you can increase online sales using website enhancements like gift idea suggestions and wish lists. Assuming you’re using search engine optimization (SEO) or pay per click (PPC) advertising, it’s a great way to maximize sales from the shoppers already on your website. These ideas will let you capture more auto parts and accessories buyers and keep them on your site. Read on for more ways to attract customers and make sure their experience on your website allows them to shop and spend painlessly.

Selling in the automotive aftermarket during the holiday season isn’t the same as selling in other channels. Much of the online auto parts business is vehicle-specific, part type-specific or part function-specific. Selling automotive parts—either maintenance or replacement parts—requires some savvy and understanding the auto parts products. If a shopper is unfamiliar with auto parts, purchasing a gift for a spouse or significant other who is an auto enthusiast can be intimidating. This is why you should make the buying process as easy as possible for the non-enthusiasts that want to shop on your site.

Shoppers not familiar with the automotive aftermarket aren’t likely to know whether an engine is SOHC or DOHC, whether a car has disc or drum brakes in the back, or even where to find the VIN to determine the year and engine size of a vehicle. However, if you’re a vendor dealing in e-commerce, these customers are a lucrative part of the holiday selling season.

This is where providing gift idea suggestions and a wish list feature on your site will increase sales.

online marketing of gifts

Suggesting universal gift ideas to customers is a great way to help non-enthusiasts shop on your website and leverage the SEO and PPC traffic you’re already getting.

Using gift ideas and other ideas to boost your auto parts SEO

Gift idea suggestions will simplify the online buying process for the non-enthusiast customer, which makes it easier for them to buy from you.

Universal products are good products to suggest as gifts. These are items that are not specific to a vehicle’s year, make, or model and don’t have any fitment requirements. They are products any consumer can buy regardless of the extent of their knowledge of auto parts.

Some product ideas include wash and wax items, car show accessories like coolers or tents, tools, apparel, collectibles, or garage organization products.

Remember, universal fit products are products that fit [almost] anything, like a generic square floor mat, or fit nothing, like car wax.

You can further streamline the purchase process for the non-automotive savvy customers by flagging specific items within product categories or price range. For example, directing their attention to products with classifications like “Car Care Gifts,” “Gifts Under $25,” or “Gifts Under $100.” Gift personalization is also popular with many gift givers. Consider offering personalization of collectible products, autographed copies of items, limited editions, and gift certificates. The option to offer personalize products makes gifts appear more special, and increases the appeal for both the online gift buyer and the recipient.

Upsell to increase auto parts sales on your website

A good way to increase your average sale is implementing cross-sell—buy this with that—and upsell—buy this instead of that—options to your site.

Cross-selling works by suggesting items that are related to the customer’s original product choice. For example, if a customer is buying rear brake shoes you would suggest the brake hardware kit, drums, brake parts cleaners, wheel cylinders, or any other number of related items they can buy along with it.

selling auto parts online

Allowing customers to share wishlists of products they want makes holiday shopping much easier for enthusiasts and their spouses.

You may already be familiar with upselling where you offer good, better, and best options to the customers. Make sure you explain the value of upgrading to the better or best options by including the items’ benefits, like “less brake dust,” “longer life,” or “comes with a 2-year warranty.”

A wish list is a great way for the automotive enthusiast to let friends and family know what to buy. Allowing them to create a wish list of vehicle-specific products they can in turn share with family and friends will help ensure a happy holiday for both the giver and receiver.  On their wish list the automotive enthusiast can specify the part or accessory that is right for their vehicle and direct everyone to your website to buy it.

Keep these ideas in mind when you are preparing for the holiday season and also consider them year-round!

If you need help getting your digital marketing ready for the holiday season, give us a call at Hedges & Company and we can provide an analysis of your digital marketing and put you on a path to success.

If you are looking to upgrade your website and maximize your customers’ shopping experience, contact our friends at WebShopManager. They’ve developed hundreds of automotive websites and can put a turnkey site together for you.

Attending the SEMA Show or AAPEX this year? Be sure to use the hashtags #SEMAShow #AAPEX2013 #SEMAomc.

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