How Parts eCommerce Can Win in the Digital Customer Experience Economy
The eCommerce industry has changed dramatically in recent years, and industry disruptors like Amazon and Uber have completely rewired customer expectations. Same-day shipping was once a luxury, but it’s now a common expectation in a variety of industries. Even if you’re a relatively small dealer selling parts online, you’ll still need to provide best-in-class customer service in order to avoid losing sales to more established players.
As an auto parts vendor, it’s important to recognize that you’re selling commodities. If your prices and customer service don’t cut it, most of your customers will simply look for the same products somewhere else. With that in mind, optimizing the customer experience is vital for long-term success in the parts eCommerce market because consumers place a premium on their experience.
In the current market, consumers are choosing vendors based on the customer experience as much as they’re considering affordability. In turn, businesses are competing for time, attention, and positive emotional responses rather than simply engaging in a race to the bottom. The digital customer experience economy is all about investing in your own UX and building a platform that your audience will actually want to use.
In this article, we’ll cover a few key ways in which auto parts eCommerce vendors can differentiate themselves from the competition and offer a more cohesive customer experience. We’ll also provide some tips to help you generate more audience engagement and increase auto parts sales.
Consumers interact with their favorite brands through a variety of channels including email, SMS, mobile apps, social media profiles, websites, push notifications, and more. It’s therefore no surprise that omnichannel marketing is associated with a significant increase in customer retention.
Omnichannel marketing is all about meeting each lead where they are and tying the customer experience together across channels. Automotive consumers are everywhere. They are searching DIY videos on YouTube on how to fix their vehicles, interacting in automotive forums and searching for the part or accessory they need in Google Shopping, Bing, Amazon or eBay.
Traditional approaches to customer support perfectly illustrate the advantages of omnichannel marketing in today’s environment. Connecting customers with a different representative for each new inquiry makes the customer service team far less efficient, and customers will spend more time than necessary getting answers to their questions.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that nearly three-quarters of consumers expect to reconnect with the same representative after switching channels. This is one example of a small change that can optimize the customer experience while saving time by resolving inquiries more quickly.
Chekkit and other messaging solutions are particularly conducive to omnichannel marketing at a time when audiences are tired of talking to bots. These platforms offer a central portal where you can view every message from your entire digital presence—that includes texts, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, and more. From there, your staff can seamlessly interact with every customer regardless of the channel they used to contact you.
If your goal is to respond to customer needs, you’ll need to make an ongoing effort to identify those desires and find innovative ways to fulfill them. You won’t be ready to adapt to new information or industry developments if you’re too set in your existing practices. Larger companies often struggle to match the agility of businesses that are still in the early stages of growth, so it’s critical to leverage that advantage by staying at the forefront of the latest trends and practices.
As mentioned earlier, major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, eBay, and Amazon are pushing out smaller vendors in almost every niche. If you want to compete with those marketplaces, you’ll have to offer competitive prices and an appealing customer experience. Other auto parts vendors are no longer your only competition—you need to convince customers to go with you over marketplaces with more capital, more brand recognition, and more resources.
Most consumers will consider ending their relationship with a brand solely due to a lack of personalization, and it’s relatively easy to implement at least a low level of personalization throughout the customer experience. For example, your customers will appreciate a purchase confirmation email that includes their name and order along with contact information in case they run into any problems.
Including names in the order confirmation as well as welcome messages and other marketing emails is a simple way to add more personalization without making any changes to your existing practices. You should also consider leveraging live chat bots to respond to low-level customer concerns that don’t require a human support agent. Adding bots to Facebook Messenger and other popular platforms will make it easier for customers to get in touch with your brand without visiting your site. Furthermore, live chat solutions reduce call volume—you can communicate with more than one customer at a time, as opposed to a phone call which is limited to one person per call.
Of course, personalization ties in seamlessly with omnichannel marketing—one aspect of personalizing the experience is simply making your brand available on as many platforms as possible. Text to chat solutions thus make your organization more agile from an omnichannel perspective while also building a customer experience that meets leads where they are.
The rise of the digital customer experience economy has completely transformed virtually every eCommerce niche, but that doesn’t mean that small parts eCommerce vendors can’t compete with the major players. While UX expectations are higher than ever, these tips will help you meet contemporary audience expectations and get more consumers interested in your brand.