According to Grand View Research, Inc. report, the automobile aftermarket industry is evolving fast and is expected to reach more than $590 billion by 2030.
In addition, according to MC+A, there are 70 million auto parts (aftermarket) searches every month on Google.
Digitalization of automotive repair and component sales complemented by advanced technology incorporations in the automobile aftermarket component manufacturing is expected to boost the market growth. While it is a lucrative proposition, the after-sales market is tricky for many reasons.
Let us examine the key challenges affecting automobile aftermarket eCommerce industry.
Key Challenges in Automobile Aftermarket eCommerce
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- Building Trust
Ensuring your customers trust the authenticity and quality of auto parts and accessories sold online can be a challenge. Counterfeit or substandard products can lead to customer dissatisfaction and safety concerns.
- Managing Complex Product Catalog
The automobile aftermarket includes a wide range of products, from engine components to accessories. There are numerous players in the industry across the world who produced various models, with a few of these models in production for more than a decade. Managing and categorizing such a diverse product range is complex.In addition, auto parts require structured information (across multiple attributes) to enable effective utilization – for example, year-make-model information helps search by part functionality. Several data standards are available (like ACES – The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard, PIES – The Product Information Exchange Standard) that are accepted globally or locally.
- Inventory Management
Auto parts companies often need help managing their inventory, as they have to deal with a large number of SKUs and stock levels that constantly fluctuate. To serve such an industry, it can be an inventory management nightmare. Centralized Product Information Management
Centralize product information in ERP or PIM and sync product information across all channels, such as eCommerce, marketplaces, social media, and more. This can help you drive consistency, build trust, reduce product information management overheads, and improve inventory management.Read Inventory challenges eCommerce and ERP integration can help you address for more information.
- Product Discovery & Search
Extensive product catalog and unstructured product information also make product discovery and search a challenge. This is the primary reason customers feel shopping online is a challenge in the automotive industry.One solution is providing an exploded parts diagram to help navigate and find the suitable SKU. To have this feature on your eCommerce store, you need a seamless integration between your eCommerce store and your product information management system (ERP or PIM).
See how an auto parts manufacturer leveraged product information in ERP to drive sales and customer experience. Search by part (year-make-model) is a common feature businesses use in the automotive industry.
- Shipping Options and Tracking
For larger auto parts, shipping is tedious and challenging. Not all shipping operators are suitable for such needs. When dealing with larger auto parts, this information should be tracked in real-time and made available to the end customers. To achieve this, eCommerce players need an integrated ecosystem to bring together the disparate systems. Without such a facility, customer experience is bound to take a hit.
- Upselling & Cross-Selling
Upselling and cross-selling generate revenue. However, not all eCommerce players have the necessary setup to achieve this. Most offline stores drive revenue by recommending parts that gets them better margins. Replicating this means having good product relationship information and an eCommerce setup to take advantage of this.
- Handling Custom Orders
Most B2B eCommerce businesses must offer a certain amount of customization, and the automobile after-parts market is no exception. The workflow needed to handle the custom requests differs from a standard request and is unique to each business.
- Marketing and Promotion
Auto parts companies need an effective marketing engine to promote their products. Integrating with eCommerce platforms can help auto parts companies leverage the marketing and promotion capabilities of the platform to reach a wider audience and drive more sales.
Read How eCommerce is Transforming the Automotive Industry and How Your Business Can Adapt Successfully eBook for more information.
You can leverage popular eCommerce platforms like Adobe Commerce, Salesforce Commerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify to meet your automotive industry needs. While platforms like Shopify are best for B2C needs, platforms like Adobe Commerce can meet B2B and B2C requirements from the same eCommerce platform (for more information, read Why Adobe Commerce/ Magento is good for B2B).
i95Dev has extensive experience in the automotive industry and can help you build a personalized eCommerce store effortlessly. We also offer seamless integration with ERP systems (like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, Business Central, SAP, NAV, AX, GP, Sage 100, Acumatica, Custom ERP systems ) and PIM systems (Pimcore, Perfion, and more).
For more information, visit eCommerce for the automotive industry.
- Building Trust