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The Importance of Building a Successful Online Strategy for Auto Parts and Accessories

Even the largest and most well-resourced businesses in Australia are challenged by multi-channel strategy. 

We partner with businesses of all sizes to connect their products with online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon and marketing channels like Google Shopping and Facebook Ads.  

We find that the top considerations when moving an offline business online focuses on risks like channel conflict, price management and brand image and committing time and careful consideration to mitigate these risks.  

If risks are mitigated, the next challenge becomes execution. Many businesses at this point invest in new talent, change-management and systems to build out new capabilities.  

Points businesses should be aware of: 

  • Online buyers aren’t just consumers. The Auto Parts and Accessories services both the consumer and professional market in Australia, with more than 50 percent of transactions online ending up in the hands of professional mechanics.  
  • Consumers expect their online experience to be comparable to offline and are turning to online channels like eBay and Google to research and find spare parts and deals 14/7. A facilitator of this change is eBay, having invested heavily in fitment-based search; allowing buyers to find the exact parts for their vehicle quickly. With this virtual parts counter experience, eBay is bridging the offline/online gap.  
  • The Auto Parts and Accessories segment is changing fast; sales surged last year, with growth of 11.5 percent. Buyer behaviour is also changing with Google reporting that more than 50 percent of Auto Parts and Accessories search traffic is now coming from mobiles, and more than 60 percent of transactions on eBay via their shopping app. In 2018, Australians will have spent well over one billion on Auto Parts and Accessories online.  

It can all be non-intuitive; the lines between online and offline activities are blurring. Being offline will have more of a material impact on traditional businesses in 2018 and beyond. Discounting the opportunity cost attached to the growth of online sales for resellers and brands is one thing, however more buyers are using Google and eBay as a source of truth when shopping online than ever before.  

Digital transformation is a fresh set of challenges for business leaders and the first question is usually: where do I start when I’m new to eCommerce?  

Our advice for business leaders: an organisation with a clear objective on where they want to go has the best chance of success. A good strategy starts with a quantifiable vision with tools, resources and a risk plan that aligns.  


Source: IBIS World Industry Report, Google, eBay

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