Opening a car parts business is an incredibly profitable business: according to statistics, every 10th Ukrainian buys his own car for about 15 years. Considering that today the quality of cars leaves much to be desired (to put it mildly), opening a business selling car parts, you can become the owner of a "gold mine".
If you are thinking about creating an online auto parts store, then for sure you have been doing this offline business for a long time and you already have a database of established suppliers. If not, and you decided to do it from scratch, we will tell you about the risks and benefits, where to start, how to find suppliers.
There are 3 types of risks in this business: high competition, unreliable suppliers, ill-conceived logistics, which leads to losses.
Many entrepreneurs are engaged in the sale of spare parts today. Anyone who focused on e-commerce 10-15 years ago is now "reaping the benefits" thanks to the promotion of the resource in the SERP. To separate from competitors, you must first study them well, and then make customers a better offer: lower prices or wider assortment, faster delivery times, bonuses and gifts, more convenient service, etc. It is also necessary to fill the site with better and more valuable content.
Most likely, your suppliers will be resellers that depend on other resellers. Due to the long-chain, delivery times are violated. The markup for some spare parts can be quite high, and this is a magnet for unscrupulous would-be entrepreneurs. There is a high risk of contacting scammers who create fly-by-night companies. After transferring money, you can never hear about them. Therefore, it is necessary to check suppliers carefully before paying for an item.
You can go to a manufacturer of analog parts in China. To do this, you need to either spend your own time searching, communicating, or contact an intermediary in China who will deal with the search and dispatch. You should also immediately worry about a reliable carrier that will deliver parts from China and provide customs clearance services. The latter service is provided by customs brokers and logistics companies as a complete package of services.
To be sure of the quality and reliability of auto parts, you can contact official dealers, but today not every motorist can afford to order original spare parts, which means that the reach of potential customers is significantly narrowing.
The peculiarities of this business also include the need for spare parts in the warehouse. When a car breaks down, the owner wants to fix the problem as soon as possible, because he loses time and money. Nobody wants to wait until the part arrives from China (usually it takes about 7-10 days), the client starts looking for spare parts in another store. It is unprofitable to order everything for a warehouse - you can never guess whether this part will go away or not. But over time, the owner of the auto parts business knows exactly which parts are "running", it is a matter of time and a thorough study of the market.
The sale of spare parts via the Internet is an important business and development, but if all the risks are turned on and the robot can benefit from the owners, you can get a good income, it’s good, it’s good to clean it up on a quiet life. In the world of Internet shops, customers can buy cars from all regions and places of Ukraine. Expanding assortment of goods on auto topics, it is possible to adjust the sum of the average check.
The main problem of the client offline: the need to wander around the city and auto disassembly in search of the necessary spare part. If you create a high-quality and convenient online service, the prospects for this business are huge.
If you manage to establish cooperation with direct suppliers, you can focus on the type of b2b sales. In one online store, it is possible to implement several sales models due to the creation of several customer groups and several types of price lists. In SoloMono online stores, you can configure the display of different price tags for different customer groups in the admin panel.
There is another sales model - dropshipping. It was designed for small business development and allows entrepreneurs to minimize risks. The dropshipping sales system frees you from the need to rent a warehouse and purchase spare parts.
Of the advantages of online sales of spare parts via the Internet, it is possible to note savings in renting premises and hiring sellers, although the presence of a consultant in an online auto parts store is encouraged.
Before you open your online auto parts store, you should study the demand. To identify demand, services such as Google Keyword Planner (free if you've ever run an ad campaign), Google Trends (free), Serpstat (shareware) are suitable.
It is necessary to analyze demand according to the following criteria:
• type of spare part;
• car brand;
• the type of breakdown.
As for the choice of the target audience, your customers can be owners of cars, trucks, passenger cars, SUVs, and special equipment. You can also divide your target audience into drivers of foreign cars and domestic cars. In 80-90% of cases, target customers will be men who:
• decided to repair the car on their own;
• work at a car service;
• resell auto parts to their customers.
The creation of an online store of spare parts for foreign cars will be more profitable, since, nevertheless, the car fleet of Ukraine consists mainly of Europeans, Koreans, and Chinese. You can start with 3-5 of the most popular car brands. As the site is filled and promoted, you can add other car brands.
You can choose a narrow specialization, for example, sell only optics and spare parts for them, or focus on tires, wheels, and suspension elements. This is a good start-up strategy when the owner himself pays more money and attention to one direction and search engines rank better small and highly specialized stores.
You can make an online auto parts store yourself if you have an extra year or two in stock before the start of sales. If you do not have programming skills, then first you need to understand how to install the engine on the hosting, connect the necessary plugins and modules so that the store is functional enough. You can create an online auto parts store yourself using Word Press, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart, and others.
The main requirements for the platform when creating an online store:
• high speed of work when loading tens of thousands of goods;
• the ability to create several groups of clients;
• personal account for each user;
• the ability to create a complex catalog for the search for auto parts;
• the ability to connect warehouse accounting programs (if your business requires it);
• readiness of the platform for SEO promotion.
There are 2 more options for creating an online store selling auto parts: website development from scratch in a web studio or a ready-made solution. In the first case, web developers will create an adapted online store for the requirements of your business. This option usually takes several months of work (depending on the web studio) and requires an investment of several thousand dollars. Subsequently, if you want to implement some new functions, only this web studio can do this (a third-party specialist may not understand the code that others wrote, and most likely will not want to). The cost of rework can also be high.
You can create an online spare parts store based on a boxed CMS, which has all the necessary functions. We offer you to create an online spare parts store right now by choosing the required set of functions. You can test the oSc SoloMono platform free of charge for 14 days to make an informed decision.
Answering the question of how to open an auto parts store correctly, we will immediately stipulate that any business project requires drawing up a business plan, which will take into account financial costs, payback period, and business profitability. From the very beginning, it is necessary to estimate the cost of the project, perhaps it makes sense to immediately create an LLC with the contributions of shareholders or attract investors.
We have already talked about what points you need to pay attention to first of all when creating an online store. For more details, see the article "How to create an online store in 2021 and not go bankrupt."
Consider what financial costs exist at the initial stage of creating an online auto parts store:
1. Payment for a good hosting (namely good, whose servers will withstand a heavy traffic load), payment for a domain (the price depends on the domain zone - com.ua and .ua are the most expensive)
2. The costs of creating an online auto parts store from scratch or buying a ready-made solution
3. Payment for the services of a content manager, SEO copywriter, graphic designer who will fill the site with quality content
4. Payment for the services of an online consultant
5. Costs of SEO promotion
The design of a website for the sale of auto parts should be discreet, with a minimum of colors and a maximum amount of free space. Icons in the same style, nice and modern fonts will make a good impression.
Before creating an online auto parts store with SoloMono, choose one of the 6 minimalist designs on the Templates for Online Stores page. Each theme is universal and suitable for selling spare parts over the Internet.
When creating an online auto parts store in Ukraine, at the initial stage, it is important to devote a lot of time and attention to the development of a catalog. To do this, you need to analyze your competitors. The catalog can be developed based on existing car brands or car systems (as shown in the example below).
Additionally, you need to connect the search for spare parts by catalog number, car brand, or vin code. To do this, the CMS integrates a universal catalog for the selection of analog spare parts - TecDoc. This information product was developed by the German company TecDoc Informations System GmbH and to this day is one of the most convenient solutions for finding spare parts for most car brands.
You can leave a request to our programmers for the integration of the TecDoc service or the development of an individual solution for the search for auto parts. This is how we implemented a search for one of our clients.
When you plan to sell auto parts over the Internet, you should think about the comfort for each group of customers, namely for individuals and legal entities. Even at the stage of choosing a CMS, you need to understand which payment systems are connected in the online store. For individuals, payment can be made from a bank card to the company's current account, for legal entities - by transfer from a current account to a current account according to the invoice. If a business is registered on a sole proprietorship, payments can be accepted directly to a bank card.
The following payment methods are connected in SoloMono online stores:
• Payment to the card;
• Payment upon receipt;
• Cashless payments;
If you need to expand your business and go outside the country (for the sale of auto parts to non-residents), you can connect one of the listed international systems to receive money transfers.
Before opening an online auto parts store from scratch, you can do this using keyword search tools. In an already operating store, this is even easier to do.
SoloMono online stores are equipped with detailed sales reports
Sales reports for a specific period of time and customer reports are also available. This will make it possible to form a list of the most popular products for the entire period of the store's operation, as well as identify a list of the most loyal customers.
Experienced entrepreneurs shared that the hottest products are: side mirrors, front and rear lights, fog lights, bumpers and grilles, tires and suspension parts - shock absorbers and struts, alignment kits, caps. From running parts, it is also possible to note compressors and air conditioning control systems, all types of filters (air, fuel, etc.), batteries, chargers and Jump cables, fuel pumps, distributors, generators, and other important parts of the ignition and engine system, brake systems parts, clutch kits, comfort accessories and decorations such as seat covers, decals, and replacement emblems. To increase the average check, you can add auto chemistry products.
To create an online auto parts store is only half the battle, the rest of the investment, effort and time should be spent on SEO promotion. Precisely on SEO, as you will get the most target customers from organic search.
Seo promotion begins at the stage of choosing an engine when the owner pays attention to the fact that the CMS is prepared for the promotion of goods. Next, SEO specialists develop a catalog, sections of an online store, and a semantic core for the entire web resource is being assembled.
After the development of the catalog, the site is filled with content – description, and goods. First, it is better to fill in the texts of the most important pages of the online store (categories of the 1st and 2nd level, pages with payment and delivery, returns, guarantees, about the company, home). Fast loading of goods on most CMS is done by importing goods.
On the SoloMono platform, bulk loading of goods is carried out in several ways:
• Import of CSV / excel file;
• YML import;
• Import of goods from the Prom.ua site (if there is a store on Prom.ua)
After uploading products, immediately check the box for product activity in Google Feed. In the future, you can promote products in the Google Shopping block.
The second way of promotion is placing an online store in various catalogs and on message boards. This method has several advantages: building the link mass (only if the resources on which the links are placed are of high quality) and increasing traffic through referrals.
Contextual advertising can also be attributed to the promotion methods, but given the competition, the promotion will be expensive. Besides, if you do not have significant advantages over strong players or USP (unique selling proposition), then the cost of contextual advertising will most likely not pay off.
Social media ads can also generate decent traffic growth. You can promote yourself in social networks in several ways: by creating a business account and building a subscriber base, or by using an advertising campaign with a transition directly to the site. It is not necessary to have a business account. The second method will work well if advertising specialists create a high-quality, catchy creative since only a valuable offer can make a user leave his favorite social network.
Selling auto parts via the Internet is one of the most promising and profitable areas in eСommerce. The journey from building an online auto parts store to launching first sales will not be easy, but this game is definitely worth the candle. The choice of a reliable, convenient, and functional platform for an online store will help to simplify and reduce the cost of the entire process.