eCommerce has penetrated into every industry and automotive is definitely not an exception. Business owners in automotive industry are not only selling the vehicles, but they are also selling automotive parts, accessories and services online for everything from sport bikes to trucks, and for both B2C and B2B Buyers.
‘’The global automotive e-tailing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.53% during the forecast period, to reach USD 49.07 billion by 2021 from an estimated USD 27.19 billion in 2016. The base year for the report is 2015 and the forecast year is 2021.’’- MarketsandMarkets Report.
‘’There has been a strong acceptance of eCommerce and digitization in India and this is expected to accelerate the growth of auto section, the advisory firm Grant Thornton Bharat said,
Accordingly, the automotive market is estimated to grow more than 2.3 times from $222 billion currently to $512 billion by 2026. – Times of India.’’
When we build an eCommerce portal, we need to carefully plan the features that are relevant for that particular Industry. So, in Automotive eCommerce portal, you need to have those features and information that your Customers can get in no time. The information should be available for them on the portal and they should not be calling you or your Customer care for any required information.
So, how to build an eCommerce portal like that? What are the features and information that you need to have in an automotive eCommerce portal? Let us learn this now.
Before we move into detailing the features in automotive eCommerce portal, we would like to inform you that the article has been written keeping both B2B and B2C buyers in mind; and all the product types ranging from auto parts, accessories for vehicle interiors, services and end-product – the vehicles in mind.
The data and information you give on your eCommerce portal should rightly fit your Customer need and it should not become the other way round.
When it comes to automotive Industry, data is what is conserved as the most difficult aspects because it is complex and extensive. You need to first plan the data that you are going to show. The most important ones are year, make, model, body, fuel engine and variants of the vehicle.
In Auto eCommerce, companies often find it difficult to understand the needs of the Customers, in order to take them to the right and specific landing page, with the vehicles that they are actually looking for. So, filters become absolute essential. And, only with such correct navigations, the site will be able to do the conversions.
The online selling of auto parts and accessories is quite a complex process. It is not as easy as selling other products. Car parts and accessories should be accompanied by a Fitment guide with fitment data to assist the consumers on whether the part will fit their vehicle or not. Fitment data in auto commerce is termed as compatibility and it is based on the year/make/model of the vehicle and further it extends to trim/sub-model, fuel engine and more.
Too often, people search based on brand, not realizing there are plenty of aftermarket auto parts and accessories that fit their cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, Power sport vehicles, etc. In fact, an average auto part can be compatible with 32 different vehicles. So, a complete description of the auto-part and its compatibility should be available for the Customers so that their search results are accurate. Otherwise, people end up buying wrong auto-parts.
The Customers should be able to find near by dealers by giving their location. In addition, the Customers should also be able to find dealers, who sell a particular auto-part. Because, not all dealers may sell everything. There is a large range of auto-parts and not everybody may deal with possible auto-part. So, the option to find dealers, who sell particular product or finished products like cars or vehicles should be there.
This will be often needed for assemblers of the vehicle. Based on the auto parts that they select; the portal should be able to suggest other auto parts that will also be needed to assemble the final product – a vehicle – either a car or a bike.
This can be also done manually, by mapping related products to each product.
You can integrate a tool that can calculate the monthly EMI plan for the Customer – this option can be made available in both B2B and B2C. In B2B, for bulk purchases of auto parts, financing options will be helpful for the Vehicle dealers and Assemblers. In B2C, the end-Customer can also make use of different financing options available to purchase the end-product – a car or a truck or a sport bike, etc.
Also, the Customer can buy with credit options. They extend a line of credit that consumers pay off over time. At checkout, customers simply select this alternative credit option.
The first time your customer chooses to pay with the credit option online, they can be asked a few approval questions, and the lender gives them a decision. If approved, the transaction is processed and the sale is completed. The retailer typically receives 100% of the sale funds within a few days. From the merchant’s perspective, you’re done. The financial relationship exists directly between your customer and the lender.
Selling Services like maintenance service, fitment service and including car wash, car spa and other services can also be listed on the store, for which the Customers can enquiry and avail a required service. For such services, pick up and drop off facilities can also be included as part of an enhanced service.
The home page should have beautiful banners showing different vehicles from different brands. On clicking on a banner, the Customer should be able to navigate to the relevant category of vehicles.
Customers should be able to scroll through the images of the Company’s products and navigate to the product pages to read specifications.
The Product detail page should have high quality images of the vehicle with the option to zoom in and view. The images should have the 360 degrees viewing option, along with the videos for products in action.
The product specification should have every detail of the product, along with the make, model, year, fuel engine and variants. The product detail page should have every single information that the Customer will need to choose the right product. Your aim for providing the information should be such that the Customer need not have to call your Customer care for any further information.
This is a very good feature, if your eCommerce portal wants to have multiple sellers, who either sells auto parts and vehicle accessories or the end products – the vehicles.
The Admin of the portal or the Owner can have a master list of products along with all the specifications. The Sellers or the Vendors, while listing the products, just has to choose the products and update the quantity available and the pricing.
This is a very good feature in a Multi-Vendor Auto Ecommerce Portal, especially to avoid the duplication of product titles.
The product detail page, along with the product specifications, can also display the list of Sellers/Vendors that are selling the particular product, along with the pricing. The Customer can select a Vendor based on the best deal.
This is relevant for a B2C portal, where the eCommerce products are cars or bikes. An option for this along with the calendar to choose the slot for test drive would become an added value feature to your product detail page that is showcasing the vehicle.
Having videos and blogs on the Installation instructions on headlights and interior fittings, will be a good resource. You can have a knowledge base section with all the videos and blogs and how to do installation guides. This will also serve as an added value to your Auto eCommerce portal.
Automotive eCommerce is quite a complex portal for the Customers to start using it in a smooth manner. The Customer needs to get familiar with the portal and also learn how to use the portal effectively for their requirements or purchase of auto parts or vehicles.
Thus, an enquiry form to begin with will help the Customers in sharing their requirement with you. This will also help your staffs in assisting the Customers in a right way and help them with their purchase. Also, you can offer a better Customer experience and your staffs can build a good rapport with your Customers.
Also, Chat bots can help in the same manner for understanding Customer needs and properly assisting them and navigating them throughout the portal to the correct pages.
You are familiar with the features that you would want to incorporate in your Automotive eCommerce portal. We shall now talk about the tech stack.
Yes, tech stack is also as important as the features. Because, the tech stack you use will define the ability of your portal to scale according to the growth of your business. Tech stack also matters for consistency and durability of your portal.
Older technologies are not as scalable as more new trending technologies that are available in today’s IT industry. NodeJS is one such trending technologies that can build high performing, speedier and scalable eCommerce portals.
The inbuild NodeJS clusters in NodeJS does a very good job in load distribution. This way, your eCommerce portal will be capable of handling concurrent users and unlimited requests, without affecting the load time and speed of the portal.
For B2B and B2C eCommerce for automotive, technology does matter a lot because, you may have to upload enormous number of both finished products as well as auto parts – ranging from a battery, alternator, axle, brakes, radiator, AC compressor, Muffler, shock absorbers to more. So, the portal should be technologically robust to take unlimited product load, without affecting the performance.
Both B2B and B2C customers are buying Vehicles, automotive parts, services, and accessories online.
To reach these customers, these dynamic features and a technically a robust portal is highly significant. With such features, you can target many visitors, convert them into business and also retain them for long term. This is where Spurtcommerce helps both B2C and B2B automotive and auto parts industry. To enquire, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.