Auto parts shoppers search for parts in six main ways:
- by part type, including year/make/model modifiers,
- by year/make or model, including trim or slang terms for models,
- by part function,
- by part symptoms, including year/make/model modifiers,
- by brand name, or
- by part numbers.
OEM parts marketing is different from marketing automobiles and here’s why:
More auto dealers find selling car parts online an attractive way to grow sales at the dealership.
Online parts sales not only opens up the entire world as a marketplace, the profit margins are attractive, too. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), dealership profits from selling new cars is dropping, while profits from fixed operations including parts sales are growing. Google Partners recently quoted NADA that new car sales have a profit margin of 6%-8%, while car parts has an average profit margin of 20%-30%.
Automobile dealers selling parts online need to be aware that selling car parts online, and marketing the dealership online, are two completely different things. Here are important reasons why pay per click (PPC) search and search engine optimization (SEO) for OEM replacement parts is unique, and why it requires a different skill set from your digital marketing agency.
Consumers search for OEM car parts online differently than cars
Consumers search for OEM car parts in a few unique ways, which is completely different than the search process for buying a new or used car or truck. This is just as true for OEM replacement parts as it is for aftermarket parts.
Each of these search patterns are unique and complex, and in fact, we’ve made a lot of discoveries over the years just on how consumers search using OEM part numbers. When you start looking at part types, symptoms, etc. it gets even more complicated.
When setting up a marketing campaign it is important to show up for these search types, whether you’re focused on paid search (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO).
When working with an agency – whether it’s us, or any other agency – have the agency explain their approach to these search types to you.
Also have them explain if they manage Google Merchant Center feeds for clients and how their approach to Google Shopping ads fits with these various types of searches.
Talk to a Premier Google Partner about the search process (we admit, we’re a little biased here…)
We are proud to say we’re a Premier Google Partner agency, one of only 2,000 worldwide and the only Premier Partner dedicated to the auto parts business. There are several great Premier agencies serving auto dealerships, but none specialize in car parts ecommerce sites.
What’s the big deal? Premier Partners not only have to qualify by meeting criteria for best practice and customer service, they (we) have access to market research, technical help and new beta advertising programs from Google. If you see the Premier Google Partner logo on an agency’s website, that logo is required by Google to link back to the Google Partners profile page for more information.
We suggest when speaking to any agency ask if they’re a Premier Google Partner and ask for examples of how that can help you.
Independent market research and case studies on OEM car parts search show how it’s unique
We treat data, analytics and market research very seriously. In fact, we consider market research to be our foundation.
Since we started Hedges & Company in 2004, we’ve surveyed literally hundreds of thousands of consumers to find out why and how they shop for and buy car parts and truck parts online.
Because we have this analytical and fact-based approach, we can usually hit the ground running with new accounts. We also use this to create custom campaigns for clients because in the auto parts business, “cookie cutter” accounts just don’t work. Consumers search for Honda OEM replacement parts differently than they do for GM or Ford parts.
We have a lot of market research on our blog, feel free to look around while you’re here!
Ask any digital agency about the OEM parts search process and their other digital marketing services, including email marketing
When considering any agency, ask about other marketing services such as email. We’re a full-service email service provider (ESP) with a completely white-label solution. In fact, we’ve delivered as many as 100 million emails in a single year! We also provide prospect/conquest email marketing, postal mailing lists pulled from a masterfile of over 170 million vehicle owners, all categorized by year/make/model, and we also do Vehicles in Operation (VIO) analysis.
Finally, please look over our digital marketing services here, and if you have any questions, let’s talk!