Should You Be Selling Auto Parts and Accessories on Amazon?
If you’ve been looking for ways to diversify your revenue streams, increase profits and grow your fixed ops department you just can’t afford to neglect Amazon. According to a recent study, Amazon accounts approximately half of all e-commerce in the US and 5% of all retail dollars spent! Clearly, if your dealerships fixed operations marketing strategies aren’t taking this behemoth into account already, you need to start doing so now. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at why no one can afford to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing strategies and why it might not be such a good idea to rely on Google search marketing and optimization alone to bring in sales.
Google versus Amazon
Anyone with a smartphone or computer (we can safely assume that’s anyone reading this blog), knows what Google is. In fact, the search engine has become so popular that people now use the term “google” as the de facto verb for looking something up online. It’s no surprise then, that according to a SparkToro survey, 90% of web searches take place on its site. Compare that to Amazon’s measly 1.38% search market share and it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that maybe Jeff Bezos and company aren’t the giant everyone makes them out to be. So what if NYC and Arlington just shelled out billions of dollars in tax credits to woo Amazon to their cities when 9 out of 10 searches don’t even begin on the Amazon marketplace. Right? Well, not exactly. The short answer is that you’d be wrong to assume that Google’s lock on search means that selling your auto accessories on Amazon can safely be ignored.
A Question of Search Intent
Remember that survey we referenced all the way back in the preceding paragraph? Well, according to it, when people were actually looking for a specific product (i.e., they wanted to buy your auto parts or accessories) the percentages jumped to 10% on Amazon. Although there are a number of surveys that show somewhat conflicting data, it’s pretty clear that most of us use Google as a virtual encyclopedia whereas we go to Amazon when we want to buy something. In fact, many of us may actually research a product on Google and then turn to Amazon to make a purchase. Bolstering this claim is the fact that 46.7%, of US Internet users started product searches on Amazon compared 34.6% who went to Google first, according to a May 2018 Adeptmind survey.
A Great Place to Start
By this point you’re probably convinced that you should drop everything and just go out and start selling your auto parts on Amazon, right? As much as we want to give you an unqualified “yes” it’s not that simple. You see, because Amazon is a marketplace with literally thousands of other sellers competing for the same buyers you’ll have to carefully consider your marketing strategies for listing your items. If you are the manufacturer or have exclusive rights to sell a unique product you may be able to list all of your products on Amazon and benefit from the incredible reach and breadth of its consumer base. On the other hand, if you’re in a highly competitive niche with low margins and zero value add, Amazon is probably not the place for you.
For most of us though, the situation is never this cut and dry and we find ourselves squarely in the middle. In other words, when planning what to sell auto parts on the world’s most popular e-commerce site, we need to carefully consider the following factors:
- Will you be selling merchant-fulfilled or via FBA?
- Do you have the resource to ensure compliance with Amazon’s ever-changing policies regarding listings and products?
- Are you a pure drop-shipper? If so, Amazon is probably not the place for you.
Although we could go into a lot more detail about the caveats and recount cautionary tales of Amazon sellers, it’s important to realize that you can make a lot of money on the marketplace once you come to terms with the fact that you’ll have little control over your listings and you’re going to be playing by their rules. In other words, as long as you view Amazon as one sales channel among many others and a revenue stream that can be cut off at any time (they have been known to arbitrarily suspend sellers permanently for arcane policy violations or even begin selling products directly under the Amazon Basics brand), there’s simply no reason not to sell there. To help you get off to a successful start, here’s a list of the best selling automotive parts and accessories on Amazon.
Selling Your Auto Parts on Amazon: A Necessary Evil
You can succeed on Amazon and kick start your brand by taking advantage of its brand awareness and market penetration if you list the right product mix with the right margins. By including inserts with every product you sell on Amazon that direct buyers back to your website or brand pages, you’ll not only be converting new customers but making money while you do it! You should never abandon your own site but if you’re smart about your fixed ops marketing strategies, you can turn the Amazon marketplace into a cash cow and customer acquisition platform like no other.