Latest Insight

Ep. 9 – Why Every Parts Department Needs Live Chat on Their Website

Live chat on your auto parts website can play a critical role in closing leads into customers. We consider it one of the top 5 eCommerce auto parts marketing features.  Unfortunately, eCommerce live chat is usually thought of as a customer support tool and is typically overlooked from a sales and conversion perspective when selling auto parts online.



Aaron: We’ve now entered the no-brainer zone. The no-brainer zone. The no-brainer zone.

Chris: Wait, so wouldn’t you-

Aaron: This is a no-brainer, right? You’re in the no-brainer zone here.

Speaker 3: You’re now entering The Pit Stop Podcast with OEM Interactive, helping you sell more parts and accessories online in 10 minutes or less.

Aaron: Chris, here’s one thing, man, I cannot seem to … I can’t figure out why everybody isn’t doing this, and we’ve really been communicating this to our partners, but live chat on their website, a live chat feature on their e-com parts and accessories site. The front end of your dealership has it. Why?

Chris: Yeah, there’s a reason.

Aaron: There’s a reason why.

Chris: They’re not just throwing it on there for no reason now.

Aaron: They’re trying to capture. They’re spending money from all different, on all different channels, right?

Chris: Right.

Aaron: From broadcast, traditional, digital, social, SEO, they’re spending all of this money and resources to generate traffic into your site. And your site is your storefront. It’s a virtual storefront. And you don’t have it, but they do. The front end of the house, the sales side, does. They’re doing that because they want to be able to be accessible to all of that traffic at any given point in time, so that they can answer any questions and try to convert that web traffic into a lead as soon as they can, in real time. Everything is about instant gratification. If I can’t get the answers that I’m looking for right now-

Chris: You’re gonna go somewhere else.

Aaron: I’m gonna go somewhere else who can give me that instant gratification.

Chris: Yeah. The reason why people use the chat to begin with is because they have a question and there’s a pain point about something. It’s just why wouldn’t you have it, because you obviously don’t want your customers to have questions and pain points. You want to be their resource and you want to answer their questions, so you can get a sale and you can get a new customer.

Aaron: Yeah. We’ve got to take a page out of the sales side of the dealership’s book here. We need to add that chat feature. You need to add that chat feature if you don’t have it. You need to assign someone who’s responsible for that. That doesn’t mean that they’re sitting there all day just staring at the chat, right?

Chris: Right. They’re very customizable. You can set them up so the chat box only shows during certain hours. You can have, if an operator or somebody that’s doing the chat is away, you can have an email form show up. There’s all these different ways to customize it because clients could say too, “Well I just don’t have the bandwidth for it.” Well, customize it toward your schedule. It doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all. A lot of these website chat boxes have very, very customizable templates.

Aaron: And guess what?

Chris: What?

Aaron: It’s free.

Aaron: Free. Free. We’ve now entered the no-brainer zone here. Kyle, can you do me a favor? When we say, the no-brainer zone, every time I say the no-brainer zone, I want you to do some kind of, “We’ve now entered the no-brainer zone. The no-brainer zone. The no-brainer zone.”

Chris: Why wouldn’t you-

Aaron: This is a no-brainer. Right? You’re in the no-brainer zone here. It’s like being the front end of the dealership having no sales people and just letting the doors wide open and just letting everybody just walk in and not being able to answer any questions for them. That’s what you’re doing with your parts site if you don’t have a chat feature there. Chris, to your point, you make it customizable to your hours and to your accessibility. You do what you can. You assign individuals to that, to man that chat function, that chat feature, throughout the course of the day, throughout the course of the week so that questions can be answered in real time.

Even if somebody doesn’t have a question, you can, with these chat features, you can actually start a dialogue with them based on the page that they’re on. You can see them on the brake pad or the floor mat page and say, “Hey, do you have questions about the floor mat? Is there a particular vehicle that you’re trying to fit this for?” Dada dada da. “Hey, did you know that we’re running a promo on floor mats?” You might not be, but you know what, you can now to try to close that deal. Here’s a promo code for that floor mat. You just typed in a promo, in the back end of your site, you’ve enabled that promo, and you got this person to convert. Boom. Just like that with that live chat feature.

Once again, we’re in the no-brainer zone people here. The no-brainer zone. No-brainer zone.

Chris: Wait, so it’s free?

Aaron: It’s free.

Chris: You’re saying-

Aaron: It’s gonna cost you nothing.

Chris: It’s zero dollars?

Aaron: Zero dollars.

Chris: And you can increase sales?

Aaron: And you can increase sales.

Chris: And you can answer your customer question?

Aaron: And you can answer customer questions.

Chris: So if I have a question on something, I don’t have to wait for an email back. I can talk to somebody immediately.

Aaron: Immediately, real time.

Chris: So I don’t have to go to another website and order it from them?

Aaron: No. No. You don’t want people to go to another website and order it from them. You can keep people there-

Chris: So why wouldn’t every vendor want to have a live chat box then?

Aaron: I don’t know. Your sales side has it. Talk to your BDCs and say, “Hey”-

Chris: So it doesn’t make sense.

Aaron: “We’re gonna take away your live chat feature.”

Chris: It doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t the parts department want it then?

Aaron: You’ve got to do it. Times have changed. You’ve got on board with the e-com site. For a lot of you out there, this is new unexplored territory, and that’s fine. That’s great. We’re generating more monthly and yearly revenue, but how can we push the needle further. This is what just one way in order to do that. Wow, we’ve got a lot of traffic to the site. We had X amount in conversions. What can we do to increase that without spending more money in advertising?

Chris: Right.

Aaron: This is, once again, it’s free.

Chris: Yeah, you’ve spent the money already to get them to your site, so now how can we convert them?

Aaron: Yeah.

Chris: It’s just helping the conversion process, is essentially what it’s doing. You’ve already spent the money to get this visitor to your site. It’s in your best interest, especially because it’s free.

Aaron: It’s free.

Chris: It’s free. To answer their questions, help them through that purchase path in any way that you can.

Aaron: You see this grumpy cat? I’m grumpy right now. That’s why I’ve got this out here.

Chris: Can you see the resemblance?

Aaron: I’m grumpy. It’s firing me up because you’re not doing it. We’ve got to do it, add it. Answer people’s questions. They want to be nurtured. They want to be informed. They took an engagement to actually get to your site. They took the step to walk through your door. They took the time to get there.

Chris: They could be in any website in the world and they chose to go to your website.

Aaron: And they chose yours. And you’re not there to answer questions for them?

Chris: When you think about it like that, there’s a lot of auto parts websites out there, a lot. I can’t even fathom, and they chose to go to your website.

Aaron: Yeah.

Chris: That’s pretty special.

Aaron: It is special.

Chris: It’s pretty special.

Aaron: Now, grumpy cat’s … I don’t know if that turns his frown upside down.

Chris: We’re gonna have to get a happy cat.

Aaron: Maybe. I don’t know.

Chris: We’re gonna have to get a yin and yang. We’re gonna have to get the happy cat.

Aaron: Get out there. Get that chat enabled on your site. Holler at us if you have any additional questions.

Chris: We’ll chat about it.

Aaron: We’ll chat about it. I love it. You’re such a chatty Cathy.

Related content