Tune into Episode 6 of The PitStop Podcast where we dig into how to jumpstart your online automotive accessory sales.
Ashley: Today in the PitStop, Ashley Robertson. Aaron Waters’ here. We’re gonna be talking about how to jumpstart your accessory sales.
Aaron: My mind is all over the place …
Aaron: Ashley, good to see you again.
Ashley: Great to be here.
Aaron: Once again in the PitStop. One of the things that … One of the questions that I know we all get asked quite a bit is, accessories, how can we sell accessories, more accessories?
Aaron: And as the seasons change, as we’re going from winter to … in the spring here, a whole different variety of accessories come into play, that are more of a hot button. And we wanted to talk a little more about what can we do to help jumpstart accessory sales, and start getting things moving for our partners and some things that they can implement on a daily basis, or a monthly basis, to try to help move some of those things? So, what do you think are some of the biggest drivers of accessory sales?
Ashley: Yeah, great question. I, honestly … The biggest driver of accessory sales online is gonna be getting quality images on your website and optimizing these images for Google Image search.
Ashley: People want to see what they’re purchasing. That can be an image, if you have the ability to make a brief 10-30 second video that shows the part, keep it really simple, part number, year, make, model, any fitment advice maybe that you have that you know might come into play for the customer when they’re installing that accessory piece. That’s perfect.
Aaron: Yeah, yeah …
Ashley: So you don’t have to over-complicate it.
Aaron: No. Don’t over-complicate it, keep it simple, that’s … great point. Videos, 10, 30 seconds. We’ve had … we’ve got a partner that has sold, last year sold $20,000 off of a 10-20 video of WeatherTech floor mats. And it was literally him standing up in front of … using his iPhone, and holding and describing the floor mats. And it was an incremental between $10-$15-$20,000 of those, the WeatherTech floor mats, in sales just from that video alone.
Aaron: And so … you say … keep it …
Ashley: I hear a lot of dealers say, too, “I don’t have time to take a picture,” or, “I don’t have time … ” You really need to go that extra mile.
Ashley: And the reason why is, customer psychology, you have to keep that in mind. Customers are actually two times more likely to purchase an accessory or a part when they can see what they’re purchasing (6 Tips to Optimize Amazon Product Listings for Auto Parts eCommerce). Especially with accessories this comes into play. Other competitors of yours are doing it, so you need to be out front doing it as well.
Aaron: No, it’s a totally great point. And not making … saying that you don’t have the time is just … you don’t have the time for 15 seconds?
Ashley: Your business? Yeah.
Aaron: 15 seconds.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re shipping these accessories out to customers anyway, so make it an easy process, where when a customer places an order for accessory, instead of just sending it out the door, you have that shipping staff just snap a quick photo of it.
Aaron: Yeah. Keep it simple. Make the time. What do you think is the simplest way to increase accessory sales online?
Ashley: That’s a great question as well, and I think that the best, quickest way to increase your accessory sales is to separate the pricing from your parts and accessories within the catalog. Your accessories and your parts really shouldn’t be priced the same across the board. And beyond that, you also need to consider taking some of those faster moving, more popular, newer accessories that you have a large in stock inventory of, and pricing them so that you can generate volume, and really reap the benefits of the popularity of this specific accessory right now.
Walmart takes this kind of stance with their loss leader style. They’ll put out a product, put it on the shelf, price it just barely above cost or whatnot, and it gets people to come into the store, and then they’re building that loyalty, building their brand recognition, and they’re gaining huge volumes of sales. So you might look at it and say, “Well, I’m only making 5% above cost on this accessory.” That maybe true, but then tally up the hundreds of sales you’re getting, and it’s worth it in the end.
Aaron: That, and, too, that that customer isn’t just coming in for that one item.
Ashley: Right. They’re adding items into their cart, you’re getting their email address to send them newsletters in the future. So there’s a lot of value in getting that customer to just come to your website to initially place the order. You have to sell people on value.
Aaron: Absolutely. Absolutely. And one of the … We’re talking about easy ways to increase accessory sales, so one of the things that I’m always stressing and you hear me stressing this, ’cause we don’t hear it a lot, is the front end of the dealership working with the back end of the dealership to help increase the sales. And we literally have partners that have no accessory sales strategy in place for their dealership in house, and I always ask, “What is your sales strategy? Your accessory sales strategy for that new car customer that just purchased that new Toyota Camry? Or that new Toyota Tundra?” And …
Ashley: There needs to be more of a team mentality, really.
Ashley: It’s all about upselling, adding on, cross-promoting. So, yeah, if any ability that the sales team has in order to help generate sales for the parts department in accessories, it could even benefit sales. If the general manager were thinking about it, it’s so … these people are motivated by money, so you have your sales people already on the floor, already selling vehicles, you’ve got options. You can pre-load vehicles with specific accessories, in order to try and move more accessories. Or you can have more of a kiosk-style set up, where customers can look through your accessory inventory for the specific vehicle they’re buying at that time that they’re making their purchase, and you can throw in an incentive to your sales staff. “Hey, if you hit this quarterly number, you get this little bonus kickback.” Or maybe it’s a semi-annual kind of thing, but …
Aaron: General managers, are you listening to this? Take notice. Listen to this.
Ashley: Yeah. All the departments need to work as a team.
Aaron: Everybody … you guys are all under the same roof, right? Get your front of the house helping to push this, and there’s going to be a trickle down effect. They’re going to buy this accessory, that’s … the sales guys are gonna get commissioned off of that, they’re gonna get benefits off of that. Then it’s, “Oh, we need to get it installed.” Boom.
Aaron: Great. Well, where is service getting the accessory from? They’re getting it from the parts department. Everybody’s working together. And so the front of the house has gotta work with the back of the house, and vice versa.
Aaron: Right. The service department … we talked about this previously, is the service department needs to create brochures or videos on installation guides, and how to install these accessories. Because the more content and guidance that they’re able to create and provide, is going to directly drive more traffic and more sales for the parts department, and they’re coming into the service department.
Ashley: Right. There’s a lot of crossover between the departments.
Aaron: There’s so much crossover.
Ashley: And there could be even more in most dealerships that they’re just not taking advantage of.
Aaron: Yeah. And take advantage of those customers that … We have dealerships that are selling hundreds and hundreds of cars a month, and those are customers that they have, that they would just purchase this car. What are you doing to …
Ashley: Don’t let them go down the road and purchase their accessory somewhere else, two months from now.
Aaron: Absolutely. So, getting … you guys are a team. Right?
Ashley: Team mentality. Yeah.
Aaron: Team mentality.
Ashley: Super important.
Aaron: So, I think that that’s a huge driving factor focusing … What is that internal sales strategy … internal accessory sales strategy to move more accessories out the door? So I … We’ve been stressing that a lot, and in talking to our partners, and we can’t stress it enough, frankly. And so I think those are the big key takeaways, right?
Aaron: So. Awesome. Awesome. Ashley, a pleasure as always.
Ashley: Same here.
Aaron: Let’s jumpstart some accessory sales.
Ashley: Yep, absolutely.
Aaron: Get after it.
Aaron: General managers, take notice. Listen to this. And we will see you next time, in the PitStop.