Automotive Digital Marketing: 5 Best Techniques to Boost Your Online Business
With tough competition in the automotive e-retail sector, digital marketing has become vital. Automotive aftermarket online sales keep growing steadily in the United States, as per Statista, as well as the number of players in the market.
No wonder auto parts sellers are concerned about what they should better focus on to sell more and keep their business profitable.
Some automotive business owners assume that sales will follow if their eCommerce stores offer high-quality products, deliver an intuitive buying experience, and have a compelling website design. However, this is only partly true.
Building a trustworthy reputation is as crucial for your conversion rates as the product quality. To help you cultivate brand loyalty, we have compiled the most effective marketing strategies for the automotive industry, from sparking customers’ interest to getting repeat sales.
What Is an Automotive Marketing Strategy?
An automotive marketing strategy is a long-term plan for promoting automotive products to the target audience. It might consist of multiple components. Besides working with social media influencers and content marketing, your brand awareness strategy includes choosing a domain name for a solid first impression.
How Can You Benefit from Effective Automotive Marketing?
Clearly, auto parts sellers choose to pursue various marketing strategies mostly for lead generation and revenue growth. Yet, profit on a sale is not the only huge benefit.
When done right, marketing also results in established brand awareness and customer loyalty. The latter is especially valuable in marketing for the automotive industry. Since auto parts and accessories are quite expensive, buyers tend to shop wisely and spend carefully. Seeing reviews and trust from other customers can instill more confidence than even paid advertising.
To get positive feedback, an online seller should create and implement a marketing strategy that inspires trust at each step of the online shopping experience. Below, we explain how to do it effectively.
5 Crucial Steps of a Well-Crafted Automotive Marketing Strategy
Whether you’re just opening your first auto parts online store or already running a successful omnichannel automotive business, check out the following useful tactics for your automotive digital marketing strategy:
1. Attract: Making First Impression & Capturing Customers’ Attention
Ensure you are where your target audience is
Automotive customers research car aftermarket parts using Google, subreddits, Quora, and forums, so you must ensure your brand is perceived in the best way possible on the Internet. Engage with potential customers across various channels, including automotive social media marketing, customer review websites, blogs, car news websites, automotive advertising, influencer partnerships, and case studies.
Make the most of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to Forbes, only 6% of people go beyond the first Google search results page, meaning you must think proactively to increase your business’s chance of being found before your competitors.
Getting found on Google involves several SEO techniques, such as researching the right keywords, working with titles and meta descriptions, building organic links, fixing URL issues, etc. As for automotive online stores, your website content should include auto parts numbers and manufacturer details for better ranking.
It is also worth mentioning that organic SEO is an efficient way to build greater brand awareness and ensure your online store is among the top automotive websites with less investment than PPC advertising.
2. Engage: Building Initial Trust
High load speed
Today, consumers expect websites to load quickly. As per HoBo findings, a two-second delay in load time results in the rise of abandonment rates of up to 87%! In contrast, speedy loading time helps to retain users’ attention and minimize bounce rates, thus boosting your website’s credibility.
A significant percentage of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. As if to confirm this fact, Google states that more than half of searches related to parts, services, and maintenance come from smartphones. By adopting a mobile-first approach, you cater to this large user base and demonstrate that your website keeps up with current trends, enhancing your credibility. Moreover, mobile-first websites are more likely to show up on the first search engine results page since search engines prioritize them.
Transparent website navigation
You do not want customers to leave your automotive eCommerce store because they could not find what they wanted, do you? That is why transparent navigation is key. A well-structured website with a straightforward layout allows users to find the information they need quickly and easily. Also, consider integrating robust eCommerce search functionality, such as X-Cart CloudSearch, into your online store to improve the search experience for your customers and build trust by demonstrating that you value their time.
3. Convert: Maintaining Trusted Relationships & Removing Purchase Blockers
Product Fitment Accuracy and Filtering Options
Providing a straightforward filtering experience is essential if you want your car parts buyers to find the exact match for their vehicles on your eCommerce website quickly and without much effort. Instant and relevant product search results reduce the number of inaccurate orders and make your automotive website credible in a customer’s eyes.
As automotive-focused software, X-Cart integrates with trusted industry partners and offers the most demanding features and fitment tools for setting up complex auto parts catalogs:
- Year Make Model (YMM) Filters
One of the most common issues that auto parts online businesses face is providing customers with a faster and easier way to find the car parts they need. This is where the Year Make Model filters come in, easing your customers’ product search headaches.
With the X-Cart’s YMM tool, your online store remembers filters for non-logged users, save vehicles for registered customers, and gather valuable statistics.
- VIN Lookup
Another powerful filtering approach is VIN lookup. It allows for automatically determining the year, make, and model of a particular car after a customer types the vehicle identification number into the search bar and clicks “Find the Vehicle”.
You can utilize either of these filtering options or use them both as a killer combo for the best fitment accuracy.
4. Retain: Establishing the After-Purchase Credibility
Review your return policy
Chargebacks and refunds are almost inevitable aspects of running an eCommerce store, and they might happen even to the best automotive stores. How you handle it also speaks to your after-purchase credibility. Email the buyer and ask them to clarify the reason for the refund. If the claim was due to your mistake, fix it as gracefully as you can and take measures to prevent merchant error chargebacks in the future.
Stay in touch with your customers
Questions about the delivery times or car parts specs may come up anytime. A great way to show that you care about your customers is to be available for help across time zones in case your customers need assistance at any stage of the buying process. To support your customers 24/7, you can hire an assistant or utilize virtual apps like Intercom or JivoChat.
Ask for reviews and take care of negative ones
Remember to work with online reviews to show customers that you take their opinions into account. Learn from your mistakes pointed out in negative reviews, and do your best to address them.
Side note: X-Cart has the ‘My Garage’ feature that would perfectly supplement this automotive marketing strategy.
My Garage is a time-saving tool for aftermarket online stores. For your customer convenience, My Garage allows them to save information about their vehicles. Next time, all they have to do is just enjoy online shopping; the necessary fitment filters have already been applied.
5. Optimize: Keep up with Automotive Marketing Trends
Implementing and promoting customer-oriented payment methods like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) contributes to your credibility since it shows you cater to buyers’ preferences and want to make the entire process as convenient for them as possible.
Expert tip: Inform your customers about such a payment method in advance with a marketing toolkit from Affirm. This feature enables you to offer the pay later option to potential buyers in your marketing content across the website and social media channels.
Another automotive marketing trend that solidifies customers’ trust is a short-form video. Reels and Shorts are essential for automotive content marketing as they are watched by just about everyone these days. Auto parts comparison or product detail videos are your creative way to build your online presence and convince the customers of their choice. Moreover, they are shown based on the user’s search history and interests, which means your videos will definitely be shown to your target market – someone already interested in the automotive aftermarket industry.
Building a website that shoppers can trust is one of the most critical tasks for any car parts business. When a customer wants to buy a car part online, they consider product quality, price, and pleasurable buyer experience! Having an eCommerce website that functions smoothly and resonates with customer expectations is only achievable with a trusted eCommerce solution in your corner! And X-Cart is one such solution.
What we offer to improve your marketing strategy:
- SEO add-ons and service
- Email marketing and digital advertising tools
- Integrations with social media
- Built-in features include Abandoned Cart Reminder, Loyalty Program, Post-checkout upselling, and many more!
From a mobile-optimized online storefront to powerful website search filters to native built-in marketing tools for boosting brand loyalty, we’ve got you covered!
Need a Trusted eCommerce Store that Sells?
You’ll have one with X-Cart Automotive.
Regina is a copywriter at X-Cart who is passionate about writing, finding new story ideas, and everything eCommerce.