The auto parts business has seen quite an interesting development in the last decade.
The search interest for the term auto parts store grew over 197% in the last decade.
With the industry size growth rate compounding, the auto store parts business has become lucrative and brings with it a cut-throat competition.
If you’re seeing a dip in your conversion rates, here’re 20 ways to improve your auto parts store conversion rates with examples that will help you turn things around in no time.
Auto Parts Store: 20 Proven Ways To Improve Conversion Rates (+ Real Examples)
1. Make checkout easier (Ditch the ‘create a account’ option)
Customers buy only when the process is convenient. Period
23% of customers abandon their shopping carts for one key reason — they have to create a new account.
While you don’t have to remove the option altogether, providing a guest checkout option for busy customers can significantly improve signups and conversions.
Carparts makes checkout easier by providing Paypal and Google Pay just below the checkout CTA.
Pro Tip — Use a Verified by Visa trust badge which sends higher trust signals because familiarity correlates to trustworthiness.
Create the best-in-class checkout experience. Explore eCommerce checkout process guide
2. Make short checkout forms the norm
Long checkout forms bore customers to death. No one wants to be spending more than 5 mins and you wouldn’t either.
More so, 68% is the average form abandonment rate which means your form conversion rates are heading south.
There’s one (in fact, the only) way to nip this in the bud is to cut down the number of the required fields.
Autofill options can be your go-to strategy in making your checkout forms easy to fill. Now, who wouldn’t want to fill in details using prompts based on their previously submitted forms?
Alternatively, you can provide autofill prompts to enable customers to add their shipping address the same as their billing address.
Moral of the story — The lesser the effort the higher the odds of your customers completing the checkout
Partsgeek does this with elegance.
Pro Tip — Add a price match guarantee trust badge on your checkout page. It conveys a promise that the retailer will offer a refund if the customer finds the product at a lower price.
3. Make site experience memorable (easy navigation over unnecessary aesthetics)
First impressions do matter, at least in eCommerce, it does.
88% of the customers leave your online store if they’ve had a bad user experience. Aimless product categorization is one of the many reasons for the same.
Make site search easier to enable better product discovery. Relevant searches greatly influence 39% of the buyers.
Trending searches, filter options, and carousels all make product discovery easier for your site visitors.
Titan Motorsports uses a vertical ribbon bar listing categories making site search easier for customers.
Pro Tip — Use autocomplete suggestions with pictures so visitors can easily discover products they’re looking for
Give your customers the best user experience. Check out 20 UX principles for higher conversions (Updated 2022)
4. Enable quick access to customer support
Automotive products aren’t self-explanatory. People looking to buy auto parts would be eager to know if a particular auto part is the right fit or look to clear other questions they might have.
But, this won’t lead to a favorable outcome if your customer support ghosts customers.
52% of customers opined to have made an additional purchase after a positive customer service experience.
The money lies in support tickets, so make sure it is replied promptly and issues are resolved on time. While taking timing off, mention the response time so customers aren’t left hanging.
After emails, the live chat bubble needs to be highlighted so customers can ping their queries.
An easy way to draw the attention of your customers is to display a hovering message beside the chat.
Car Supplies Warehouse offers prompt live chat assistance for customer inquiries.
The cost of poor customer service is devastating as customers buy from other brands when the experience is unsatisfactory.
58% of American customers switch companies because of poor customer service.
Pro Tip — Mention the business hours and working days along with the customer support phone number in your above the fold. This conveys important information to the customer
5. Sell to all types of customers (stop budget profiling)
Selling all the latest sports car auto parts is good and helps elevate your social status but not all your customers can afford it.
Silicon Valley CEOs, media moguls, and athletes aren’t the only ones out there. Cater to all types of customers irrespective of their bank balance.
Stock auto parts of all price ranges and sell to all kinds of customers enabling conversions from all customer bases.
Start by calculating the overhead cost of every single auto part and compare it with your competitors. After you decide on the right pricing strategy, provide a filter.
Price has an incalculable influence on purchase decisions. Make it easy by stocking items of all price ranges and providing filters based on pricing for easy sorting.
Advance Auto Parts offers a price filter for customers looking for specific prices.
Pro Tip — You can appeal to all customer segments by providing free repairs. Customer service demonstrates a positive customer experience.
6. Sync customer interests with product recommendations
eCommerce brands have complicated product recommendations. The recipe to build product recommendations is quite simple.
Add a scoop of customer interests to your bowl of product recommendations; ta-da here is your personalized product recommendations.
Unlike other eCommerce segments, product recommendations on an auto parts store are disparate, owing to its nature of service.
Come to think of it, relevant product recommendations constitute 26% of the eCommerce revenue.
Since customers in the auto parts industry aren’t similar based on interests. The preferences of customers could vary based on type of car, accessories, and the like.
To make highly relevant product recommendations and upsells, ask for details such as preferred features, brand, car, and model to build your recommendations engine. This is AI in its true sense.
Ask specific questions using a rating scale or a checkbox.
Case in point, Kies Motorsports has a checkbox that ensures customers see highly relevant product recommendations. It has checkbox filters for product types, brands, and engine code.
By knowing their preferences and interests, making personalized product recommendations is easy.
Pro Tip — Always make product recommendations based on the last browsing activity based on region. Product recommendations based on region drive more sales.
Create product recommendations that customers love. Explore Product Recommendations: Strategies, Examples, Do's/Don'ts
7. Match customer experience with past behaviors
While recording user behavior on one channel or device, you miss out on syncing customer behavior across multiple devices.
As a result, you end up missing out on key behavioral insights.
Assuringly, 98% of Americans switch between devices in a typical day.
A holistic customer experience can be offered by providing a ‘Save to Cart’ option so customers can easily resume where they left before. This makes it easier for customers to buy instead of having to search.
Viewing the cart requires creating an account. Convey the benefits of creating an account by offering a compelling incentive.
Advanced Auto Parts offers rewards, benefits, and conveys to customers that every purchase means a lot to them. Creating an account syncs their purchase history enabling the brand to offer personalized product recommendations.
Pro Tip — Send newsletters offering early bird offers and loyalty discounts. Pre-orders are a great way to build excitement and curiosity.
8. Make your site secure (add security trust badges)
Cybercrime has become rampant and unsuspecting customers become victims of phishing and credit card theft.
This has become of concern as customers are more skeptical of an eCommerce site’s credibility.
This is where security trust badges come to the rescue. These help in assuring prospective customers that your site is trustworthy and secure to part with their credit card information.
SSL encryptions and Verisign security badge are good for starters.
Placing security badges on high-converting pages — such as the homepage, checkout page, and order confirmation page sends strong trust signals.
Here’s how PartsGeek uses the Secure Trust Badge on its footer across all pages.
Pro Tip — Use an AES 256-BIT SSL secured trust badge on your checkout page. This is the strongest encryption as it is virtually impenetrable (even a brute force stands no chance)
9. Make checkout hospitable (Offer incentives and discounts)
Discounts may seem nothing out of the ordinary but it still has a greater influence on purchase decisions.
As we speak, 93% of US customers cite discounts and offers as an important factor while deciding to buy from a retailer.
Incentives and discounts on the checkout page nudge customers to hit ‘Pay’.
Understandably, if you can’t offer discounts owing to financial limitations, you can partner with incentive programs in your community. For instance, military relief and covid relief are common.
You can choose to provide discounts to a particular audience. Kies Motorsports offers military and first responder discounts on its checkout page.
With this initiative, Kies Sports demonstrates its gratitude to honor military personnel and first responders for their service.
While discounts increase conversions, they also help in fostering customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.
Pro Tip — You can provide discounts to healthcare workers by asking them to fill out a verification form
10. Make your delivery window transparent
Customers always buy products if the shipping time is short. Have you made it clear on your product information pages about the delivery window?
While most auto stores fail at this, you can learn from this.
Using geo-location can help you identify the location of the users. This helps in determining the delivery window. With predictable delivery dates, customers would be willing to purchase the product.
Make the delivery window convenient. Give options to choose from so your customers can pick a convenient time to receive the delivery.
CarParts does it well on its product page.
Pro Tip — Offer free shipping on minimum orders. Cross-sell car accessories that are reasonably priced
11. Pictures sell (Click more pictures of auto parts)
A picture conveys a thousand words.
This adage is nothing but the truth since 59% of customers consider visual information more important than text information.
Since compatibility is non-negotiable, customers can make better decisions if they can see more images of the auto parts.
Imagine, you’re a used auto parts dealer, customers would want to see more pictures of an engine, you’re selling because they want to see if it's genuine.
If it doesn’t meet their expectations or as you claimed, they’re going to feel cheated.
Click pictures of all auto parts from all angles so it's persuading. Show the interiors, tire, engine, and the like.
Short on space?
That’s not going to be a constraint. Kies Motorsports uses a carousel image to display images on its product page.
Pro Tip — HD pictures either 720p or 1080p work best.
Are you making these image mistakes? Common Image Optimization Misconceptions in eCommerce (+ Solutions)
12. Offer warranty and protection (eliminate buyer’s remorse)
Who doesn’t have qualms about products before buying them? As an auto parts dealer, warranty and protection are important in nipping buyer’s remorse in the bud.
Believe it or not, 67% of customers read the returns and warranty pages before making a purchase.
Fail to do these, your customers are to churn every second.
First things first, offer warranty insurance on your car and car parts. If you can’t afford this, a protection plan will be compelling enough to get them to buy.
A backup plan provides confidence in life, then an auto parts store protection plan does the same for your customer.
Here’s a caveat — Mention the things that will be covered under the warranty or protection plan. This ensures that customers are well aware of the risks.
CarsParts provides a protection plan for every product at an extra cost.
Pro Tip — Offer a 90-day return policy and lifetime replacement to reduce risk aversion
13. Use persuasion tactics to increase ‘Add to cart’ rates
Visitor-to-sale conversion rates stand at 1-4% in the majority of the eCommerce stores. Your auto parts store is no exception.
That’s due to the lack of nudge convincing users to make an instant purchase. Needless to say, your site visitors may be high in volume but low in conversions.
That’s where scarcity tactics can be your Mjolnir. Use it across product pages, cart cages, and checkout, and there is no reason why it won’t work.
FOMO tactics such as limited discounts, items in stock, and how many visitors are adding items to the cart create urgency.
Partsgeek demonstrates scarcity by showing how many items are currently in stock. This sure as hell will drive customers to buy before it goes out of stock.
Pro Tip – When a visitor adds an item to the cart, mention the line ‘We’ll hold it for an hour’, this is persuasion at its best
Thank us later: 17 Unconventional Ways To Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment
14. Make your product pages crisp
Your product pages should be crisp and leave out the details that aren’t necessary. Use bullet points and convey information succinctly.
Your product pages must be simple, have enough white space, and have one CTA.
Your CTA must be dominant and easily visible at a glance.
Here is an example from Obsessed Garage, once a user lands on this product page, their eyes are glued to the blue skid plates.
The blue color in the CTAs catches the attention of the users conveying the sale.
Pro Tip — Add a sticky CTA button that appears every time the user starts to scroll
Want to know the secret to creating high converting product pages? Check out the product page guide for examples, best practices, and more
15. Make product descriptions your salesman-in-disguise
Product specifications are important to a customer but short yet crisp product descriptions work well in persuading customers.
Your product descriptions must act as your salesman in disguise. Use bullet points to hook attention, problem-solving abilities and benefits to engage, and FAQs to close the deal.
White space is easy on the eyes. Ever thought about why the white paper is staple stationery?
It makes reading easy.
Take a look at how Auto Zone highlights product descriptions and specifications to make it skimmable.
Pro Tip — Get creative with your product descriptions and stop using manufacturer product descriptions
Write product descriptions that people love to read: How to write product descriptions for mobile: 22 proven ideas (with examples)
16. Use social proof to drive conversions
Since the advent of mankind, word-of-mouth recommendations have credibility like no other.
In the present day, 49% of the customers consider word of mouth to be highly credible.
Customer reviews and testimonials send trust signals to your site visitors about your brand credibility.
92% of the customers are highly likely to trust non-paid recommendations than other forms of advertising.
Reviews only sell if they are genuine. Show verified reviews and ask your customers to mention the problem, type of car, etc so your site visitors are convinced.
AutoZone shows the car models reviewers use.
Reviews mentioning specific models drive customers to buy.
Pro Tip — Allow options for images so customers can post reviews with visual proof.
Find out how increase conversions with social proof. Check out eCommerce social proof: What, why & how (with proven examples)
17. Make editing orders easy with one click
Customers have to sort through products according to specifications and end up adding items to the cart that don't meet their requirements.
Adding or removing cart items can be made easy with the one-click options. This affects user experience and leads to dropoffs.
Visitors who experience usability issues are highly likely to buy from your competitors.
70% of the customers abandon their carts solely because of poor user experience.
Provide a dropdown to add or decrease orders like Carid's checkout page.
Pro Tip — Use a save for later or add to wishlist option to ensure customers can view them later
18. Use product information to build loyalty
Customers don’t always leave simply because their needs weren’t met.
Poor customer service plays an equally important role in site visitors leaving.
Reiterating, 50% of loyal US customers (you read that right) choose a competitor who better meets their needs.
An eloquent way to provide helpful resources is to create a resource section containing FAQs, know how, and other vital information.
DIY guides to repair, install, and configure spare parts solidify and reinforce your customer retention efforts.
Carid has a product resource section providing comprehensive information about each product.
Pro Tip — Use bite-sized tips and cut down jargon in your product information guides.
19. Jump on the mobile optimization bandwagon
A sizable majority of your customers use mobiles for shopping and that’s old news.
But, have you developed your site to become mobile responsive?
Predictably, 50% of the customers will use your website considerably less if your website isn’t optimized for mobile.
If you missed your ship earlier, you can jump on the bandwagon and prioritize mobile optimization.
There’s still time and with these tips, you can make progress over time:
- Test your mobile site speed using Google Pagespeed Insights
- Examine your screen sizes and verify if they fit all screen sizes
- Work on image resolution by checking if the images are fit-to-screen
- Test repeatedly if your links are working well on mobile devices
- Cross-check if the forms are mobile-friendly. Customers should be able to fill out firms without unnecessary zooming as they type.
In a nutshell, do a website audit by teaming up with your developers.
Pro Tip — Compress your website images to improve your loading speed.
20. Say hello to your customers post-purchase
After-sales service is a critical component of customer satisfaction. Say hello to your customers and ask for their feedback.
Ask about their experience, in case of a negative one, issue a replacement or refund.
50% of your customers experience buyer’s remorse the minute they regret their purchase decisions.
Your relationship with customers post-purchase determines how well first-time buyers return. Returns policy should be explicit and build excitement by having a delivery tracker.
Pro Tip — Start a referral program and ask your customers to create a video narrating their experience as a customer. Add this to your Thank You page and see the magic unfold.
Auto Parts Store 101
1. How do I set up an online auto parts store?
Setting up an auto parts store requires brick-by-brick research. Here’s what you can do:
a) Talk to mechanics and auto enthusiasts
Talking to these segments can help you know insights from their diverse experience about the pain points, and their experience of buying online (or they do buy online.
Ask what influenced them to buy — was it the price, warranty, returns, or customer support?
This can help you determine what kind of auto parts you want to deal in. Is it cars, trucks, or luxury vehicles?
b) Do your homework on existing players in the market
See how your competitors are pricing their products on Amazon, eBay, and other third-party websites. See if it’s economical for you to follow their model.
Check out the customer reviews, site search experience, and eCommerce journey.
Use tools like Similar Web and find out their top sources of traffic, audience overview, and social media traffic.
c) Contact suppliers for quotes
After you’ve decided on the price, contact the suppliers on Amazon or other websites and see if the quotes are economical. The minimum order shouldn’t hurt your pockets.
d) Directly source from the manufacturer
Send purchase orders to the manufacturer and examine the auto parts for quality. Quality is a non-negotiable element in the consumer mindset.
This saves you money and backlash if the auto parts don’t last long.
e) Build your online store
Building an online store needs an eCommerce site that needs to have functionality that offers a positive customer experience.
From themes and colors to UI and UX, you need good eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
Validate if you can integrate APIs into the eCommerce platforms you’re planning to choose.
Payment gateways need to be streamlined and not cause problems to customers while making payments.
Now, connect your site to Amazon, eBay, and other major eCommerce sites and start shipping.
Here’s a comprehensive video on the same by Adella Pasos, entrepreneur and business coach.
2. How can I promote my auto parts?
a) Create high-value content
Start by creating informative videos on customers that can solve common auto parts problems. Here is a video from Autozone explaining what to do if your car won’t start.
b) Add price badges to draw customer attention
Kies Sports adds price badges on its header which elicits a response from site visitors.
With the line **PRODUCT PRICES EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN 2022**, it creates a sense of urgency to act because expensive auto parts burn a hole in your bank balance.
c) Use entry pop-ups
Your visitors may not always know what to expect. This is an opportunity for you to nudge them with pop-ups with discount offers.
BuyAutoparts uses a welcome pop-up offering $20 off on orders above $150.
Because You’re New Here….. evokes interest when a site visitor sees this. This persuades them to take action.
3. Are auto parts stores profitable?
The US automotive aftermarket industry is valued at $342 billion and is expected to reach $372 billion in 2024.
Auto parts retailers have seen an average profit margin of 13.5%.
So, auto parts stores are profitable but high competition means you won’t have it easy.
4. How do you increase sales of spare parts?
Here’re a few ways to increase your sales in spare parts-
- Offer steal deals for popular and high-volume parts like spark plugs, filters, and oil at attractive prices.
- Provide one-day shipping. Napa Online provides one-day shipping for more than 1,60,000 products
Why does it work?
Reducing the order delivery window can convince customers to buy from you instead of other dealers.
- Provide price guarantee, 90-day returns, and lifetime replacement. CarParts mentions the same in its above the fold header.