The automotive aftermarket parts world continues to move with the times, but is your aging eCatalog keeping up? According to the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, as of the first quarter of 2019, more than 60% of the replacement parts purchased by home mechanics or budget-savvy shoppers are being purchased somewhere else other than the big name brick and mortar automotive retailers and dealerships. That means that it is more important than ever that your eCommerce site is ready to welcome every customer landing on a product page. What are the indications that your site may be in need of some upgrades?
A Searchable Site that Delivers Results
Perhaps you have been selling online for years, but the database is aging and belongs to a different era of search engines. Today’s shoppers want to type in a generic keyword and be rewarded with a selection of products that match their needs with a single click. Your meta descriptions must work with the current web bots so that your products actually bring customers directly to your site from their search engine.
Is your eCatalog mobile-friendly? Just over half of your consumers are searching and viewing your eCatalog using a mobile device, so having a responsive website and eCatalog is a crucial first step. And when it comes to automotive part searches, consumers want to find the right part for their specific vehicle. Having your search ACES and PIES-compliant gives your shopper the multiple search opportunities not only by their specific vehicle but also by part number, competitor part number, and by product category. Filterable results are what the consumer wants.
Product Pages That Gain Attention and Sales
Once your customer lands on the product page, do they simply see a text description of the product title and a price? An updated catalog will feature high-resolution images of the part, its packaging, and offer a detailed description of its size, function, and compatible applications. Customer reviews are now driving sales more than ever. Can your clients see how the part performed in real-world situations? Help the client stay on your site and near the purchase button with user manuals and install sheets as well as links to related blogs, tech tips, and your own branded installation videos.
Fast Updates for Current Inventory
The world of aftermarket automotive parts is always changing with a flood of new products arriving at your site almost daily. A robust and flexible data management system is crucial to maintaining your eCatalog without losing your customer in the shuffle. While outsourcing the addition of massive amounts of information may make sense to your day-to-day workload, the ability to adjust information such as the ACES and PIES in real-time is also necessary. If you are waiting for the weekly upload to fix a mistaken listing, price, or part number, you may be losing sales or adding to your headache.
Service that Supports Your Business and Your Customer
While your professional counter person fully understands the vast array of options available in your company database when searching for a battery, bracket, or filter, your casual DIY customer may be suffering information overload when presented with a flood of choices. Yes, today’s consumer wants to be able to click and ship while on the run, but the ability to connect with a real service person through live chat or text is often the difference needed to seal the deal. While upgrading your eCatalog, make sure that you are including a refresh for access to your customer support center at the same time.
Are your numbers for online sales continuing to slip? If you have identified one or more problem areas in your current eCatalog, it is past time to take action and breathe new life into your eCommerce site for automotive parts and supplies.