Guide: Starting a Car Parts & Automotive Brand on Shopify
Gone are the days when buying car parts meant having to go to your local mechanic shop. Today, virtually anything can be bought online, including car parts and accessories. In fact, sales of automobile car parts and accessories has exploded over the past five years.
Thanks to the upward swing of consumers going online shopping, it’s expected that this category will continue to grow at a rate of 3% p.a. Until 2030, according to survey by McKinsey.
Did you know that internet sales of car components in the United States are anticipated to reach $19 billion by 2022? You might have gone to the local mechanic shop for a new vehicle component in the past, but the future of selling auto parts is very much online.
Now the question is, are you prepared to start a business selling car parts online? Read our comprehensive guide on how to sell car parts online to stay ahead of the competition and equip your business for online sales.
An overview of the automotive car parts industry
The US automotive aftermarket is anticipated to hit $448.9 billion in 2025, increasing at a 3.08% CAGR.
Increased automobile manufacturing, an increase in used car sales, an increase in smartphone users, an acceleration in electric vehicle sales, and increasing urbanization are just some of the factors that fuel market development.
Also, there have been a few significant trends such as an increase in the average age of vehicles, an increase in the number of automotive dealers on online platforms, and the quick development of newer and more sophisticated automobile accessories.
With an established automobile sector, the US market is rapidly expanding. The automotive industry includes vehicle services and parts.
Building Your eCommerce site on Shopify
Selling auto parts to automobile enthusiasts, do-it-yourself car owners, and mechanics may be a high-risk, high-reward venture. The possibilities are endless if you turn it into an online store. If you’ve decided to get into the car parts industry and want to open an eCommerce store, our advice is to take your time and don't rush into it.
The success of your auto parts ecommerce site depends on several factors, but one of the most essential is your eCommerce website and its design.
Several well-known and famous brands are on Shopify, and why wouldn't they be? Shopify is an eCommerce platform that enables anybody to set up an online store and sell products. It is currently used by over 170,000 enterprises worldwide.
Tesla, the electric car company known for its revolutionary automobiles and outspoken co-founder Elon Musk, is another major company on Shopify. The website's clean and clear design complements the look of their items and streamlines the consumer experience.
Depending on the plan you choose, you may have your business up and operating in less than 30 minutes. It has excellent features and options for when you need to boost the success of your business.
If you need help setting up your Shopify store and other Shopify needs like app developments, get in touch with Webinopoly’s Shopify Experts today. Webinopoly is an Award-Winning Digital Agency and are experts in Design, Setup, Development, and Marketing. Our services range from building your Shopify store to theme customization, website development, migration to Shopify, SEO, and marketing.
Steps to Starting a Car Parts and Automotive Brand on Shopify
- Know Your Customers and Find Your Niche
It may appear that the answer to what you should sell is simple and clear: car parts, of course! However, there is a reason why many successful businesses sell what they do. Consider this: do you want to compete with larger fish or do you want to swim in your own pond?
Understanding your target consumers and the items they need and demand can support you in establishing your ecommerce business. You'll be able to target them more precisely, have a greater understanding of market trends in their specialized sector, and be able to tailor the client experience. This enables you to provide your customers with a streamlined and well-structured website that delivers an exceptional user experience (UX), which is a key component of any online business.
Identify Your Target Market
Having a niche lets you focus on a specific market. Choosing to go for the car parts industry has a lot of potential and this is due in part to the fact that there is a vast variety of product niches to choose from and audiences to tap. The car industry is actually so huge that you may find a car parts business in almost every town which means that customers may have countless options to choose from. You would have to make a decision of which portion of this huge market do you want to grab onto. Remember, your target audience has a major influence on how you set up and manage your organization, impacting everything from branding to marketing choices.
Consumers of car parts online come from a wide range of demographics and user groups. It could be mechanics, DIY car enthusiasts, owners of antique and vintage cars or collectors. There are wholesale customers (ones who own local garage shops) and there are retail customers (ones who are just making a one-time purchase).
When developing and creating your ecommerce website, it is equally important to understand your target market. When developing and creating your ecommerce website, it is equally important to understand your target market.
Identify Your Niche
Car photo created by freepik - www.freepik.com
When picking a niche, consider about any areas of interest, knowledge, or passion you could have. Think about any gaps in the industry that you might fill.
You can utilize online tools like Google trends, a search trend tool that indicates how frequently a given search term is put into Google's search engine compared to the site's total search volume.
Google Trends is amazing at gathering data from the most popular search engine on the planet and without doubt, a lifesaver for those in eCommerce and dropshipping. By showing you what trends are rising or declining, you get a valuable insight as to how often products trend, and can give you an edge over competitors.
It's incredibly convenient and quick to use, and its filters and features allow you to track everything from YouTube statistics to Google Trends comparison. You may also sort the data by demographics, comparable topics, and queries to better grasp Google trends. Most importantly, you'll be able to utilize such data insights and leverage Google Trends to grow your online shop company.
Another “tool” you can use to check for certain products, is Amazon’s trending products. When you visit Amazon.com, you can select the “All” tab in the upper left corner of the navigation bar to display an in-depth menu that includes “Trending”, “Digital Content & Devices”, “Shop By Department”, “Programs & Features”, and “Help & Settings”. The very first pick in the “Trending” section is “Best Sellers”. This link gives you access to a powerful tool for spotting Amazon trending products.
The Amazon Best Sellers page is updated hourly depending on sales. It shows you the Top 100 selling products by category which you can click on to get more specific information and keywords.
Even if you don't intend to proactively pursue Amazon trends, you can still benefit from your understanding of them. Perhaps one of your products might be a nice complement to or a combination with a popular Amazon product. Understanding seasonal trends may help you sell and create existing and future products. Identifying Amazon trends, in any event, is an excellent research tool for improving your business's forecasting capabilities.
- Mingle and learn from your target consumers
We highly recommend meeting with some local mechanics or car enthusiasts, whoever it is that you’re targeting, before settling on what particular niche to go for to reinforce your research on your niche and target market. They may offer insight into the kind of automobile components that are difficult to locate. This might aid in your decision-making process, and who knows, you might even end up making it your goal to fill that need.
Consult them on the sort of user experience they expect. What are the sources of their dissatisfaction? Have they made any previous online purchases, and how did they find the process? If they haven't, what's keeping them from doing so? Ask them more questions, such as what would compel them to make a purchase. Is it the cost, the quality, the convenience, or something else? This research can assist you in understanding how to provide the greatest customer experience possible.
- Looking for suppliers and obtain samples
To get your car parts business off to a good start, you'll need to consider several techniques for obtaining parts. You may choose to consider the following, depending on the demands of your consumers and your available capital:
- Wholesalers: There are a plethora of internet businesses that work directly with manufacturers and sell wholesale to retailers. To get started, go to Google and look for their contact details.
- Drop shippers: When it comes to dropshipping, you purchase items only when a consumer puts an order and pays for the merchandise. The parts are then shipped directly to the customer by the supplier. You keep your costs low since you're not tying up money in inventory or paying for storage space. Some manufacturers also provide this service, so you should look into it.
- Auctions: Attending auctions is another way to discover used and hard-to-find car parts. You'll also be able to discover what customers want and network with individuals who share similar interests. You may also look out online auctions such as eBay.
- Car Clubs and Meetups: These individuals are knowledgeable about automobiles and can assist you in understanding what your customers want.
- Magazines/Online Community Pages devoted to vehicles and drivers: Several magazines are devoted to cars and drivers. All of them have categorized areas where you may buy parts.
Once you've settled on your suppliers and the price points you need to meet, start contacting them for pricing estimates. Check each supplier's minimum order quantity to see whether it is feasible for your company.
Before placing purchase orders, we strongly recommend you to order a few samples of the items you've chosen (PO). Once satisfied, you might even be able to request to add branding or have a certain style of packaging to differentiate you from competitors.
If you’re good with the samples, branding and packing, send purchase orders to the suppliers you've chosen, and double-check that their products pass quality control. As you are probably aware, quality is critical in the consumer mindset and may easily influence product reviews and brand reputation. Furthermore, double-checking for quality may save you a lot of money in the long run and aids in the avoidance of difficulties such as product recalls.
- Build a professional looking Shopify website
You can begin constructing your ecommerce site while your manufacturer or suppliers prepare. This is the point at which you must choose a design that is suitable for you.
Shopify provides a number of eCommerce themes, both free and premium, that are specifically created for this sector. Although you can easily set up a business in about 30 minutes, we urge that you take your time with this one.
While Shopify offers over 70 free and paid themes and includes many of the features necessary to launch a business, it does have several limitations. Most Shopify themes come seem as generic, especially to online shoppers. It demonstrates that there is no brand personality or that the company is unwilling to make the effort to build one. You'd grow bored if you saw the same theme over and over. You could even forget what website you're on, which is something you don't want to happen to yours.
You'll need to consider whether to hire a Shopify Expert or take on this responsibility in-house. If your store requires unique capabilities and functions, custom design, or just support with setup, our Webinopoly experts can lessen some of the stress associated with website development and help you get up and running faster. For further information, please contact us here.
Following the launch of your website, you'll want high-resolution images and content. Keyword-rich material will inform your customers about your products while also helping to boost your search engine results.
Include detailed descriptions.
Define the product to the last detail in your description. You want to earn the trust of your customers, and you can't do so if you withhold facts from them. Customers typically study items before purchasing them online, so it would be great if you provided all of the required information. Indicate the material, size, function, and inclusions. Include any questions that a consumer could have.
Make use of professional photographs.
Customers want to see how things appear before they buy them. In an online business, they can generally identify the difference between professional and poor photography. Professional images will enhance your customers' online experience with your auto parts shop. It also helps to be able to show them various perspectives and closeups. You may also try to display a picture of the product in use. Most manufacturers offer photos of their products but we would recommend you to make use of your samples and do a proper photoshoot so that your photos are uniquely your own and better suit the branding that you’ve built.
- Plan your marketing campaign and launch your website
When it comes to promoting your online business, it can be difficult to know where to begin. When you have a tiny following, you might think that blogging and maintaining social media might seem meaningless but it is a worthwhile investment.
Here are a few ways to get started in promoting your Shopify store:
'Influencers' are persons or websites that have a sizable internet following and have a significant ability to drive sales towards certain products. One tweet or Instagram post about your items may generate a rush of traffic to your website and help you establish that initial audience. Make a list of industry influencers and send them a friendly email. You might want to look for influencers that are well-known in the automotive industry and who are frequently included in vehicle communities, publications, and blogs. It should be noted that influencers may demand a fee to promote your goods in some situations. This price may reach into the tens of thousands of dollars for influencers with over a million followers.
When it comes to online selling, you can't ignore social media. Check with your target audience to see where they spend the majority of their time online. Certain social networking applications, such as Facebook and Instagram, are common choices, but because you're selling auto parts, a specialty that isn't usually a visual product or is strong on aesthetics, Facebook may be the way to go. Instead, you may reinforce your Facebook content with Instagram advertisements.
Investing in paid advertisements on social media might help you promote your Shopify business. While unique material may only take you so far, putting a little money behind your content will help you reach a far bigger audience. Conduct research on how to set up Facebook advertisements and best practices for promoting your Shopify store using paid social media advertising. We recommend allocating a budget for initial testing, as there is no one-size-fits-all formula that works for all businesses.
The culmination of these campaigns should be your website launch. By investing in even a few of these strategies, you should be able to drive traffic to your new Shopify website and get some sales in. Make sure that you’ve tested out your website before launching. Step into your customer’s feet and try ordering a product to see how seamless it all is or work out any kinks before launch.
We hope the information in this article has helped you understand how to sell car parts online. When it comes to eCommerce, customers demand convenience, but they also want to be able to trust the brands. These points should be taken into account when deciding how to go about selling car parts on the internet.
Once again, here's a simple checklist to help you get ready for your new Shopify site selling automotive and car parts:
- Find your niche
- Identify your target market
- Mingle and learn from your target market
- Look for multiple trustworthy suppliers
- Get samples of the products your selling
- Invest in marketing and social media
- Build an amazing Shopify website
- Launch your store!
Today, Shopify is one of the easiest ways to make your goal of owning an online business a reality. It may appear overwhelming at first, but you will quickly master it. If you need assistance or are seeking for the best agency to apply these marketing techniques, as well as create and design your Shopify store, look no further than Webinopoly.
Webinopoly is a multi-award-winning digital agency specializing in design, setup, development, and marketing. Our services include everything from creating your Shopify store to theme customization, website development, Shopify migration, SEO, and marketing.
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