Conversion Optimization

20 Reasons Your Auto Parts Store Has LOW Conversions (+ ways to fix)

20 possible reasons why your automotive store is recording low conversion rates—and what you can do to fix it

20 Reasons Your Auto Parts Store Has LOW Conversions (+ ways to fix)

The automotive and auto parts industry is a $58 billion industry in the world today with online retailers contributing to 16% of its growth. This has made the market very competitive and that’s why your conversion rates are very important in beating the competition.

The first step in staying on top of the market is identifying any possible leaks in your conversion process. Once you find out the reasons for a low rate, you’ll be able to generally boost your sales and revenue.

In this article, we’ll be highlighting 20 reasons your automotive and auto parts store has been maintaining low conversions and easy ways you can increase them.

1. Your customers cannot checkout without creating an account

23% of customers abandon their shopping carts because they are forced to create a new user account. Now while we understand that you need more people to commit to your automotive store, it is essential you focus on the end goal here: conversions.

So you don’t have to entirely take out your sign-up form. What you should do instead is provide an option to checkout as a guest. This way, your store will still get signups and convert those who just want to checkout as fast as possible.

Popular guest checkout options are digital wallets like PayPal and Amazon Pay. 

In our example below, Carparts offers a PayPal and Google Pay guest checkout option just underneath the CTA that leads to a customer creating an account.

example of guest checkout option by Carparts

2. Your checkout forms are exhausting

Customers don’t like filling out long forms. In fact, the average number of form abandonment is 68% which means your checkout forms aren’t converting as much as they should. 

In order to increase the number of conversions, you get from your checkout forms, cut down the number of required fields and other requests across these forms.

One way to start this is to offer to help through auto-fill options where customers get a prompt based on their previously submitted forms. Another method is to suggest a prompt that asks if customers should use their billing address as their shipping address as well. This way, they save that extra time it would have cost to actually type out the same address all over again. 

See how PartsGeek does this.

example of time-saving checkout forms to improve conversions


3. Your customers find it hard to navigate through your store 

88% of customers will leave your store if they have a bad user experience. This can stem from having too much content or placing categories at random. Your store should have a clear navigation system that’ll serve as a map for your customers.

Customers interested in purchasing an item almost immediately should be able to do so without having to go through a load of news articles or extensive guesswork.

Design either a side panel or navigation bar to help customers easily navigate through your store. Here’s an example from Titan Motorsport.

example of navigation bar to improve ecommerce conversions


4. It’s not easy to reach your customer support for inquiries

As an automotive store, customers will have inquiries about your solutions. They’d want to know if a specific part is the right fit for their car or they’d need your advice when they are stuck. So what then happens when your live chat bubble isn’t prominent or it takes a long time before your customers get a reply?

52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.

So to rack up more sales, ensure your email tickets are responded to promptly. In scenarios where you’d have to take some time off, clearly state  when you’ll be back to respond to their emails. Also ensure that your live chat bubble is very visible on your product pages. You can even have a hovering message to get their attention there. 

Here’s how Car Supplies Warehouse offers prompt Live chat assistance for customer inquiries.

example of live chat by Car Supplies Warehouse


If you don’t channel your resources towards building standby customer support, your customers will find a dealer who is ready to have these conversations with them.

5. You’re not attending to everyone’s budget needs

While it’s nice to offer the latest deals and show that you’re available to provide the latest car models in the market, chances are not everyone in your customer base can afford that. This is why you should spend time finding the right pricing strategy for your auto parts store.

There will be some customers who can only afford lower-end items and there are some that’ll be focused on more high-end parts. Ensure you service the needs of all budget ranges in your store. That way you can maximize conversions from all customer levels.

You can do this by calculating the overhead cost of each item and comparing it to some of your competitors. Once you’ve chosen the right pricing range for each product, provide a filtering option.

You need to make it easy for customers to find stock items in their budget. This is why many eCommerce stores have an option to sort by price. In our example below, Advance Auto Parts offers a filtering technique for users who would want to shop specifically by price.

example of price filter to improve conversions


6. Your recommendations are not personalized towards customer interests

Unlike other eCommerce stores that offer recommendations based on what other customers are viewing, the automotive industry has to do more because of the nature of its service. Relevant product recommendations account for 26% of eCommerce revenue.

Now customers in this industry aren’t similar based on interests. In fact, every customer has their unique preference when it comes to cars and car parts which could range from fancy interiors to a car that can save gas.

To ensure that you offer relevant upsells and recommendations, request for details concerning their preferred features, brand, car model etc. and use that to train your recommendations AI engine. It could be a few questions they can answer, a rating scale or a checkbox.

A great example is Kies Motorsports. They have a checkbox that then ensures that customers only see relevant recommendations.

Example of personalized recommendations by Kies Motorsports


By learning about their interests and preferred shopping behavior, you can show them auto-parts that’ll convert them from window-shopping to actual purchases.

7. You’re not syncing your customer experience based on past behaviors

98% of Americans switch between devices in a day. Now while you’re recording user behavior on one channel or device, you’re not syncing customer behavior across their multiple devices. So, you end up missing some behavioral insights.

To ensure that you provide a holistic user experience, offer a save to cart option so that customers can easily pick up from where they left on your website. With this, you can also save time by reducing the number of times a customer has to find an item in your store.

Now, picking up from their cart means they have to create an account. So it’s important you convey the value you plan to offer for this extra step. 

In our example below, Advanced Auto Parts offers rewards, more benefits and lets customers know that every purchase matters so they should sync their purchase history by creating an account.

Example of account syncing for higher conversions


8. You have no site security or evidence of one at least

Many websites experience several cybersecurity attacks. From phishing to stealing credit cards or financial details.

With this information, it’s only natural for customers to be wary of sketchy websites and that’s where trust marks come in handy. You always have to assure your customers that your website is safe for them to go ahead with a purchase. Do this by showing your SSL encryption and security badges like Verisign.

Strategically place these security badges across important areas such as the homepage, checkout page, and order confirmation page. See how PartsGeek uses the secure trust badge on their footer across all pages.

Example of website security by PartsGeek


9. You’re not offering any discounts or incentives at the checkout

93% of U.S. shoppers cite discounts and offers as important factors when deciding whether or not to purchase from a retailer or brand due to this, many automotive stores offer incentives as that final nudge to help customers complete a transaction.

So in your store, offer discounts to customers. If you cannot offer a discount due to certain financial limitations, partner with incentive programs in your community. For example, there’s a military incentive and COVID-relief. You can also choose to select audience criteria for these incentives. See how Kies Motorsports offers a military and first responder discount on their checkout page.

example of incentives at checkout to improve conversions

Do note that offering discounts isn’t just helpful in increasing conversions on your checkout page. It also comes in handy when it comes to increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value.

10. It’s impossible to deduce what the delivery window will look like

Everyone looks forward to receiving their package and that’s why they find out how long it takes to be shipped. Now across your automotive store, do you have any pointers that talk about a delivery window? 

Right from the moment a customer lands on your store, you should use geo-location to target them. This is how you estimate a delivery window as well. When you’re able to predict possible delivery dates, it encourages the customer to go ahead with purchasing the product.

You can also offer to change the estimated delivery date so that customers can pick a more convenient time to receive their order. See how CarParts does it here;

example of estimated delivery date to improve conversions
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11. You’re not showing enough pictures of your automobile parts

59% of customers consider visual information more important than textual information. And based on how important it is for an automotive part to fit just right, customers need to see the gritty pictures of car parts.

If you’re into selling used car parts, pictures are also very important because what if the engine doesn’t look as new as you claimed it was? Your customers are going to feel cheated. So take images of every part from several angles. Show the tires, interior, engine, and other important areas. 

Now, remember to add these images in a carousel so that it saves space on your product page. Here’s how Kies Motorsports does it

Example of automobile parts pictures by Kies Motorsports

12. There’s no warranty or protection on your products

Customers like to be safe when shopping for auto parts. 67% of customers generally survey your return and warranty policies before making a purchase. So if you’re not clear with this, chances are, they will leave your store.

Ensure you provide warranty insurance on your cars and car parts. If you can’t afford to cover this, provide a protection upsell for a little extra to encourage them to go ahead with a purchase.

This way, if a potential customer is hesitant about the durability of your products, they have a little insurance to fall back on. Ensure you clearly state what your insurance or warranty covers so customers can know ahead of time. See how CarsParts offers a protection plan for each product for an extra cost.

Example of automobile parts warranty

13. There’s no nudge to get them to add items to cart

Visitor-to-sale conversions is 2-3% on most eCommerce stores and that’s because there’s really no nudge that’ll get customers to make an instant purchase. So a high volume of visitors just come to window-shop.

This is why you need to explore scarcity tactics across your product pages to help induce the fear of missing out. You could use either a limited discount, show how many items are in stock or show how many other visitors are currently adding items to cart.

See how PartsGeek shows how limited the product is by showing how many are currently in stock. Through this, customers will be more inclined to purchase it before it goes out of stock.

Example of add to cart incentives


14. There’s too much going on in your product pages

When there’s too much going on your pages, your customers are likely to get overwhelmed by the amount of actions they have to take on that same page. Your product pages should be simple, have a lot of white space and have just one single call to action.

Your call to action should also be clear and noticeable in one glance. 

As you can see from our Obsessed Garage example below, once a user lands on this page, they are immediately attracted to the skid plates. The visible blue blocks allow them to know that there’s an ongoing sale and that they should add to cart.

example of clean product pages



15. Inadequate or mumbled up product descriptions

Your Customers might be interested in the details and specifications of a car or part but you should know that they also have a short attention span. Which means they will spend their time on other demanding priorities. 

So when optimizing your product descriptions, cut out the long text and stick to bullet points. This makes it easy to scan through the specs and have a clear understanding of it at a glance. 

Also, use a lot of white space so it isn’t a chore to read through. See how Auto Zone clearly highlights their product descriptions and specs in a very scannable format;

Example of optimized product descriptions
Hey, you'll love this: 14 Simple Tips to Draft Highly Persuasive Product Descriptions

16. Your customers cannot find any reviews or social proof

49% of your customers find word of mouth very credible. This is why user-generated content does so well because people tend to respond highly to referrals and recommendations. On your automotive store, how well do you show off your existing customers or content around them?

To build trust and convince your visitors into making a purchase, show off your reviews and case studies. You can get reviews from verified buyers and ensure that these reviews are relatable. Add what brand of car they used that part for or which exact model they bought. If you can, give room for image uploads.

See how Auto Zone shows what car model reviewers use.

When your prospective customers see this, they tend to resonate with these reviews and be more inclined to purchase. 

17. Editing orders are super hard on your store

When an order is already in a customer’s cart, they can decide to edit the order by adding, subtracting, or picking an entirely new product. How easy is it for your customers to carry out any of these actions in your store?

Your checkout page should make it easy to accommodate these edits instead of redirecting them to the previous page. Remember the goal is to increase conversions not to encourage customers in abandoning their cart.

You can use dropdowns to allow customers to select a different color or type. Also, use the positive and negative icons to increase or decrease order quantities like Carid’s easily editable checkout page below.

Example of order editing option by Carid


18. You don’t offer resources to increase customer loyalty

50% of US consumers have left a brand they were loyal to for a competitor that better met their needs. These needs aren’t just about the product. It also consists of customer service and helpful resources.

How can you incorporate this? Create a resource section that answers questions about the product before they even ask it. Your resources section could contain information about how to fix the spare part, how you can configure it, storage and guide, or even warranty information.

See how detailed Carid’s product resource section is. They even go the extra mile to offer helpful video tips.

Example of product resources by Carid


19. Your website isn’t optimized for mobile

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, 50% of users will use it less even if they like the business. So yes you’ve been optimizing your website but have you taken time to optimize the mobile version. 

Here’s how you can do this

  • Test your mobile site speed using Google page speed insights
  • Test for screen sizes and be sure that all pages fit well into various screen sizes
  • Check for image resolution and see if the images are fit-to-screen
  • Test if all links work just right on your mobile version
  • Ensure forms are mobile friendly too and that they don’t zoom in when a customer is trying to type in details

Note down whatever your results are and then proceed to optimize those that fall short.

Hey, you'll love this: 12 common traits of high-converting mobile product pages

20. Customers experience zero post-purchase communication

50% of your customers experience buyers remorse where they regret their purchasing decisions. This can hinder the return rate for first-time customers. 

Take advantage of post-purchase communication to get them excited about their purchase and make them comfortable in returning. Start by creating a parcel tracker or details of their shipping to make them excited about the package.

You can make their email receipt a little witty like in the example we have below, while also throwing in some discount offer for their next purchase. In all, make them feel good about their buying decision.

Example of post-purchase communication
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The Bottom Line

Low conversions on your automotive store can be a result of any of the issues discussed above. However, before you begin the optimization process, you have to first identify what particular challenges are affecting your store. And it cannot be based on a hunch.

Start by conducting a 360-degree analysis of your current automotive store shopping experience to find specific insights. Get started with a free audit from Convertcart today.

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