Auto parts eCommerce website development process

Brian Bojan Dordevic
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Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

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If you own an auto parts business, you probably know how difficult it can be to keep up with the competition during the digital age. As more and more people order auto parts online nowadays, in order to thrive in the competitive auto parts industry market – besides offering the best possible prices and having the latest and greatest products in your store, you also need to have a visually appealing and functional website that will make your products available 24/7 for potential customers. Auto parts eCommerce website development is a complex task, and if you opt for the DIY approach and use auto parts website builders, you might quickly get stuck.

Choosing an auto parts theme and clicking the launch button within your auto parts website builder is not enough to create a high-converting online store that provides an amazing shopping experience for customers. That’s why, in this article, experts from our web development company in Chicago will give you a complete insight into the successful auto parts eCommerce website development process.

Table of Contents:
auto parts eCommerce development process illustrated

Benefits of Using eCommerce in a Digital Era

In a world where people are constantly on the go and want everything at their fingertips, eCommerce has become the go-to way to buy products. Not only does it give customers the convenience they crave, but it also allows businesses to reach a wider audience. Here are some of the benefits of creating an online store for your auto parts sales company:

  • Less maintenance cost compared to physical stores
  • Reach a wider audience
  • New marketing opportunities
  • Providing customers with various payment methods

Benefits of Automotive eCommerce Stores

The internet has had a profound effect on the automotive industry too. By investing enough resources and following specific website dos and don’ts when creating your auto parts website design, you can expect to taste the following benefits in the future:

  • Customize the shopping experience for your customers – With the right auto parts eCommerce website development approach, you’ll have full control over your website’s look and feel. You can use it to provide your potential customers with unique features that no other website within your industry offers. You can also use an eCommerce website to track customer behavior and preferences and then use that information to tailor the shopping experience to each individual. By providing a customized shopping experience, you can build customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Make your products available 24/7 to potential customers – By building an automotive eCommerce website, you will allow your customers to shop for your auto parts whenever they want, without having to wait for business hours.
  • Stay ahead of the emerging trends – To stay ahead of the competition, automotive companies are always looking for new and innovative ways to reach their customers. One of the newest and most effective ways to reach automotive customers is through eCommerce stores. You must adapt on time to avoid losing customers.
  • Improve your brand image – Creating a professional and organized online space for customers to browse and purchase products can help you build trust with your target audience and create positive associations with the brand.

Types Of Auto parts eCommerce Websites

When it comes to auto parts eCommerce website development, there are two main types of websites – B2B and B2C. As there are many differences between B2B vs. B2C website design, before you start building your automotive eCommerce website, it’s important to know which auto parts you want to sell and to whom. Not only will this allow you to select the right auto parts theme depending on your target audience, but it will also have a determining impact on all the choices you make during the auto parts eCommerce website development process.

B2B websites are designed for businesses that sell auto parts to other businesses, while B2C websites are designed for businesses that sell auto parts to consumers. Both types of websites require different development processes and a careful choice of eCommerce platform.

B2C Auto Parts eCommerce website development

B2C Auto parts eCommerce websites often focus on creating a more immersive experience for the consumer. That can include things like adding videos and images to product pages, as well as providing more detailed descriptions. The checkout process is typically streamlined and designed to be as quick and easy as possible.

B2B Auto Parts eCommerce website development

For B2B sites, the focus is often on creating a site that is easy to use for businesses looking to purchase auto parts in bulk. The checkout process for B2B sites is also generally more complex, as there are often more options for shipping, payment, and returns. It is a good idea to offer custom prices on your B2B auto parts website.

Whether you opt for B2B or B2C business model, we recommend using an open-source eCommerce platform called WooCommerce instead of utilizing no-code auto parts website builders and the free auto parts themes they offer. While a second solution might sound less expensive, it can be very ineffective. On the other hand, a professional WooCommerce website design agency will help you shape your digital environment to please the target audience and support your business aspirations. This way, you can achieve a much bigger return on investments in the long run.

OEM,OES, and Aftermarket auto parts

 

Which Auto parts do You Want To Sell on your eCommerce platform?

If you want to sell auto parts online, it is important to know which auto parts you want to sell before starting the eCommerce web development process. That will help you determine the type of website you need to create, the type of products you need to sell, and the target market you need to reach. Creating a successful online auto parts store would be challenging without this information. So let’s check the difference between three common business models in the automotive industry:

Original Equipment Manufacturer

An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto parts website is a site that specializes in selling parts that are specific to the make and model of a particular vehicle. These auto parts are usually made by the same company that made the original pieces of equipment for the vehicle. Since these are often the only solution for car owners, OEM parts are often more expensive than aftermarket parts, but they are also usually of a higher quality.  

Original Equipment Supplier

An original equipment supplier (OES) is a company that provides components or systems to a car manufacturer or assembler under contract. For example, Ford might use parts from an OES to build their vehicles. Typically, an OES is selected by the carmaker based on quality, price, and availability and has an ongoing relationship with the carmaker. Some original equipment suppliers are also Tier 1 suppliers, meaning they provide components or systems directly to the carmaker, while others are Tier 2 or lower, meaning they provide components or systems to a Tier 1 supplier.

If you opt for this business model, you’ll need a website that specifically targets other businesses – a B2B auto parts website.

Aftermarket Auto parts – Selling Auto Parts from Other Brands

Aftermarket auto parts are car parts that are not made by the original manufacturer of the vehicle. These parts are made by other companies and can be used to replace or upgrade original parts on a vehicle. Aftermarket parts can be found for almost any type of vehicle, and they are often much cheaper than OEM parts. If your business mainly sells aftermarket auto parts, you need to focus on individual customers’ needs during the auto parts eCommerce website development process.

General Features your Auto parts eCommerce store should have

To help you better meet specific user requirements for a website design, we’ve prepared the list of features you should demand from your auto parts website developers and designers:

Registration & Login Function

The registration feature is essential for an auto parts website for several reasons:

  • It allows your business to keep track of its customers and their contact information. That is important for follow-up purposes, such as sending out newsletters or special offers.
  • A registration function can help you gain a better insight into customer preferences and purchase history and use these pieces of information to make recommendations and improve the overall shopping experience for them.
  • A registration function can create a sense of community among website users, as it provides a way for them to connect with each other and share information.

Internal search functions are a trendy feature for websites operating in the accessories sales industry. They are crucial for auto parts websites, too, as they allow users to find the specific parts they need quickly and easily. Users who may not be familiar with the auto parts industry or who have limited time to search for the parts they need might find an internal search option especially helpful. Your potential customers will be able to find the parts they need without having to sift through a lot of irrelevant results. An internal search feature can save customers a lot of time and ultimately lead to more sales on your website, thanks to an enhanced shopping experience. Here are the best practices for building a search function for your auto parts theme:

  • Allow visitors to find auto parts by year/make/model – With this feature, you’ll help your potential clients ensure that the parts they’re ordering are compatible with their vehicles. 
  • Implement search personalization – Allow automobile website visitors to personalize search results by choosing their vehicle and save these settings across all the pages on your automotive eCommerce platform.
  • Include convenient filters – By having a variety of available filters, customers can narrow their search to find the exact part they need, making the shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable.

It is also a good idea to give a special label to universal auto parts to make them appear to users no matter their chosen vehicle type.

Auto Parts Fitment Checking Feature

A fitment checking feature is important for auto parts websites because it allows customers to ensure that the parts they are ordering will fit their vehicle. That is especially important for online orders, as customers cannot physically inspect the part before they purchase it. By having the option to check whether desired automotive parts fit their vehicle or not before ordering them, customers can save time and money. It will also make your business appear more transparent and result in a better long-term relationship with your target audience.

Intuitive Content Management System Tailored for Auto Parts Businesses

A CMS provides a central repository for all digital content, making it easy to manage and track changes over time. In addition, a CMS typically includes a set of tools and features that streamline the publishing process, such as workflow management, version control, and content reuse. 

The quality of your CMS can make the difference between failure and success. That’s why you need to avoid auto parts website builders and auto part themes and engage in the development process to build a custom content management system based on your unique needs. Building a custom CMS will prove beneficial in several ways:

  • Easily make product-related changes – A custom CMS for auto parts website owners allows them to have complete control over their website. They can add and remove products, change prices, and control the overall look and feel of their site. 
  • Track user behavior – Auto parts website developers can implement tools for tracking user activity and analytics to help you get a better insight into how visitors site use your website and which of its parts are most popular.
  • Hassle-free inventory management – When building a website, you need to plan to develop a custom CMS that will help you manage and keep track of a large amount of inventory that is typically associated with an auto parts business in order to prevent supply chain struggles.

As custom CMS can help you save time and money, and keep your website organized and up-to-date, don’t settle for less.

Detailed product pages

Product pages are one of the most important aspects of any auto parts website design. These are the pages where potential customers will go to learn more about the products that you are selling. You will likely lose potential customers due to a poor shopping experience if you do not have informative and well-written product pages. However, besides being informative, your product pages need to be visually attractive and easy to find too.

An Informative Blog

Auto parts eCommerce website providers need to make sure to provide clients with a fully functional blogging feature when building their automotive eCommerce platform. Having an informative blog on your auto parts website is important for several reasons:

  • Show your expertise to build trust with potential customers – Regularly publishing articles on your blog is a reliable way to establish your website as a credible source of information on auto parts. By providing valuable, unbiased information, you can build trust with potential customers, which can prove beneficial once they start exploring the offerings in your auto parts store. 
  • Rank your auto parts eCommerce website better in search engines – A well-structured blog can help improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), making it more likely to appear in search results. Making your auto parts website visible in search engines is crucial for obtaining more organic traffic and expanding your auto parts business in the long run.
  • Promote new automotive parts and services – Running a blog on your auto parts eCommerce platform can be a great way to promote new products or services, special deals, or other important announcements. Educating your potential customers about new trends in the auto parts industry will help you generate quality leads and sales.

Again, while most auto parts themes you can find on the auto parts website builders will have a blogging feature, we advise you to pay close attention to your blog structure in order to maximize its effectiveness.

Auto parts Shipping costs calculator

A shipping costs calculator for auto parts websites allows customers to see how much it will cost to ship their order before they finalize their purchase. That is important because it allows customers to budget for their purchases and helps avoid any surprises at checkout. Additionally, a shipping costs calculator can increase customer satisfaction by providing a transparent and easy-to-use tool for calculating shipping costs.

auto parts eCommerce store security

Security Features For Protecting Your Auto Part Databases and Visitors

Paying close attention to security features is crucial during the auto parts eCommerce website development process. To begin with, many auto parts websites offer products that are expensive or difficult to find. If a website lacks proper security, thieves could easily use this to breach your auto parts databases and harm your business. And people also leave sensitive information like credit card numbers and home addresses on auto parts eCommerce platforms. If this information were to fall into the wrong hands, it could be used for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Lastly, a website’s security is a reflection of its overall credibility. If a website is secure, it shows that the company behind it is taking the necessary steps to protect its customers’ information. That instills trust and confidence in the website, which is vital for keeping customers coming back.

Whether you are using an auto parts website builder on your own or hiring eCommerce consulting services, make sure to implement the following security features within your auto parts store:

  • SSL encryption

 SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Implementing an SSL certificate on your automotive website will help you ensure that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. SSL is an industry standard, and millions of websites use it for the protection of their online transactions with customers. With most of the popular auto parts website builders, you won’t have much trouble implementing an SSL certificate. And this security measure is usually one of the first checklist items for professional auto parts eCommerce website providers when planning a project.

  • Up-to-date software

 Your website is only as secure as the software it is built on. By keeping your software up-to-date, you can be sure that you have the latest security patches and features to protect your site from attackers. Outdated software is one of the leading causes of auto parts website breaches, so it is important to keep your site as secure as possible by regularly checking for new updates.

Keep in mind that using free auto parts themes found on auto parts website builders increases the web security risk – as sometimes, their creators don’t invest enough effort into keeping them in line with the latest security trends. If you have enough resources, we recommend hiring professional auto parts eCommerce website providers to build a custom WordPress web design and maintain it for you.

  • Client-side and server-side validation

Both client-side and server-side validation is vital for security because it helps to ensure that the data that is being input is valid and that it has not been tampered with. While client-side validation is helpful in cases a user forgets to fill all the required fields and similar – if you want to prevent them from inserting their own code in an attempt to gain access to your auto parts databases. By having both client-side and server-side validation, you’ll be able to catch any errors that may occur and prevent any malicious data from being input into the system. Make sure to remember this important security measure during your auto parts eCommerce website development process.

  • Sanitizing user input

Sanitizing user input is essential for website security because it helps to protect against SQL injection attacks. SQL injection attacks occur when attackers insert malicious code into a database through user input. That will allow them to access sensitive data or perform other harmful actions. By allowing only certain characters and formats, you can ensure that only legitimate code is executed on your website. Combining this with other security measures will help ensure that your auto part databases are far out of hackers’ reach.

Need help with auto parts eCommerce website development?

Are you looking for ways to strengthen the online presence of your auto parts business? Alpha Efficiency’s web development services can help. 

Our team of experienced web developers will work with you to create a sleek, modern website that effectively communicates your brand and showcases your products and services in the best light. With easy navigation and a user-friendly design, your auto parts website will be more appealing to potential customers and easier for them to find key information.

But it’s not just about looks – our web development services also focus on functionality and high-level security. We’ll make sure customers can easily make purchases and complete transactions on your site without having to worry about security threats.

To learn more about how our services can help you, don’t hesitate to schedule a free call with our experts. Introduce us to your auto parts business, and together, we’ll take it to new heights.

 

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