|Most dealerships have already learned how to use the Internet to help their customers compare, select and purchase their new cars and trucks. The savviest dealers have gone beyond the showroom to find additional profits on the shelves of their parts departments – through direct sales of parts and accessories to customers online. These dealers have found that expanding their online commitment to the backroom can improve financial performance and expand relationships, as customers increasingly turn to the Web to buy parts and accessories.|
Today, parts and accessories are being sold online by manufacturers, dealers, distributors, retailers, liquidators and small businesses run by entrepreneurs. According to Forrester and Shop.org’s The State of Retailing Online 2006 report, the automotive and automotive parts industries online were worth more than $13.1 billion of revenue in 2005, and projected revenue growth from 2005 to 2006 is 22 percent.
Dealers are finding real success listing closeouts, overstocks, returns, scratch-and-dents and large wholesale lots online. Many have found a simple and profitable venue after they’ve exhausted their return credits but still have closeout and excess items remaining. They are quickly turning aged inventory and components that otherwise would have languished for months in the parts and service department into easy sales dollars. At the same time, they’re attracting new customers who return repeatedly for parts and accessories and thereby become prime prospects for vehicle sales as well.
All told, selling parts and accessories online lowers overhead expenses, increases revenue and turns over inventory much more rapidly than previously expected. Dealerships in particular have gained extraordinary results selling online, leveraging third-party sites like eBay Motors to reach millions of prospective customers and drive up profits. The results speak for themselves – at any time on eBay Motors, there are approximately one million parts and accessories available for sale, and a part or accessory sells every single second.
Making the Most of Your Online Merchandising
The key to building successful online sales is developing your own unique combination of the three things your online customers want most: an established and professional seller, knowledgeable and accessible customer service, and thorough and available information.
Meeting these basic demands of online buyers is the first step to profitable online sales. eBay Motors recommends that every dealer take care to use the same marketing and branding efforts online as they would on the sales floor. If possible, dedicate a person or team to manage online sales and provide the necessary customer support.
How Your Buyers Search
Most buyers find the items they want by entering terms into a search engine, either on the site or a general search engine such as Yahoo or Google. Consider the following points when writing descriptions for online listings:
Good photos are critical to your listing. To attract the highest volume of buyers and the highest prices:
Buyers online are searching for as much information as possible. Providing many details in your listing’s description will help establish you as a knowledgeable professional, build consumers’ trust and reduce the number of questions your customers will ask before committing to a purchase. In addition to make/model/year, include the item’s condition and other details in short paragraphs or bullet points, pointing out specific dollar savings or exceptional product features.
Your Options When Selling Online
A number of selling formats are available on eBay Motors, each of which fit different buyer needs.
· The traditional auction listing format allows prospective buyers to bid on each item, selling to the highest bidder.
· A “Buy it Now” listing allows the seller to offer each item at a fixed price.
· A “Best Offer” listing allows buyers to send offers to the seller, who can then select the best offer and complete the sale. Best Offer also allows buyers and sellers to negotiate and reach a price that is acceptable for both.
Clearly state your policies for:
Regardless of the type of online sales channel you choose, expanding your parts and accessories business on the Internet is a fast and profitable way to maximize your sales. Selling parts and accessories online can become the front door for lead generation, maintaining customer relationships and substantially higher profits.
Vol 3, Issue 10
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