Get Your Shop Online in 5 Steps. Here’s How.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely asking yourself if you should venture into automotive eCommerce. Here’s a simple test: Are you a local shop or dealership? If so, the answer is a resounding yes.

Local auto parts retailers are perfectly positioned to capture their market share of the eCommerce business in the automotive industry. Covid has been a proverbial steroid shot in the eCommerce arm, and it’s an industry that’s only going to keep growing exponentially, both in North America and around the world.

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Cellacore was founded on the principles of being the premier Automotive Product Data expert in the global Automotive Industry. We provide enterprise clients with easy-to-use technology solutions and business applications to solve complex business problems.

From ACES PIES data to Automotive E-Commerce solutions to electronic cataloging of product data – Cellacore is your trusted partner in Automotive Product Data and all topics related to eCommerce.

If the prospect of eCommerce sales energizes you, but the process itself seems daunting, keep reading. We want to help you move from eCommerce paralysis to business model success.

Here’s how to get your shop online in 5 steps.

1. Know your niche.

What do you do best? When your customers talk about you, what do they talk about? Are you currently selling Jeep accessories, truck parts, European, performance or JDM?

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. It’s easy to get greedy and overplay your inventory. Instead, go with what you know and what you’re known for. Finding your niche is the golden rule of eCommerce success, but it’s often ignored. Honing in on who you are needs to come way before the eCommerce site.

Get Your Shop Online in 5 Steps. Here's How. | THE SHOP

2. Pick the right technology.

This is huge. This is where you’ve got to do your homework. Ecommerce platform choice matters. We’ve all been halfway down a store aisle before realizing the cart we grabbed has a squeaky or misaligned wheel. Your automotive eCommerce platform is the virtual shopping cart for your product data. You want smooth technology in an eCommerce solution.

BigCommerce SaaS makes it easy to consume ACES & PIES files. Their flexible technology makes sure you’re set to build your automotive eCommerce website on a solid foundation, innovate through creative framework and integrations, all while maintaining the ability to scale and grow your online sales in a way that’s simple and fast.

You need a modern cloud platform that’s reliable and innovative, and BigCommerce gives you just that.

3. Select your products and brands.

Once you select your niche, pick the brands and products you want to carry. Understanding your product makeup is an essential step to success.

The auto parts eCommerce market is enormous. Whether you’re selling automotive aftermarket or OEM parts, you’ll want to choose brands that fit well within your niche and resonate with your customers. The automotive parts in your online store tell a story about who you are. A good business model will include a thoughtful and intentional strategy to determine brands and products long before you create a single product page.

Cellacore makes it easy to ensure that product data, pricing, and fitment are accurate and reliable. They partner with BigCommerce for a seamless experience that is absolutely essential in the enormity of the aftermarket parts landscape.

Get Your Shop Online in 5 Steps. Here's How. | THE SHOP

4. Understand fulfillment.

The next step in the process is to establish what happens after checkout. The customer experience is more than just conversion rate, and it extends far beyond digital commerce. That’s why fulfillment can’t be disregarded as an essential part of the user experience.

If your brick-and-mortar shop already stocks the products you’ll carry online, it may seem like bypassing distributors is a no-brainer. But there’s more to fulfillment than having car parts on hand. Packaging and shipping adds time and resources, and it’s a cost you must count ahead of time.

If you decide to leave fulfillment to the wholesale distributors, be sure to understand their drop-shop programs and your resulting margins. Crunch the numbers and read up on case studies.

5. Have a marketing plan.

The days of “build it and they will come” are gone. You have to market your eCommerce site just like you would a brick-and-mortar store. Enlist someone who understands SEO and social media or learn about it yourself. There’s room in the aftermarket for you, but you’ve got to use marketing tools to drive traffic to your site.

Don’t forget that you can leverage your existing customers to drive traffic. People share what they love, and if you’ve got a base of people who love you offline, they’re going to give you some love online as well. Show them how their customer experience is even better now that you’re in the eCommerce market. You aren’t walking away from your local base to chase after a better market; instead, you’re inviting your local base to join you in an even more robust experience.

So are you convinced? Getting your shop online is attainable with the right partnerships. At Cellacore, we’re here to walk with you through these first five steps, answer questions, and take the fear out of the eCommerce process. Contact us to find out how we can be both your automotive eCommerce solution and your biggest cheerleader.

Click here for a no-risk and no-obligation review of your automotive eCommerce potential, or call us directly at 813-775-4109. You can also book an eCommerce assessment appointment by clicking here. Call us today at 813-775-4109.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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