Infographic | A Guide to Take Your Automotive Ecommerce Store to the Next Level

best practices for automotive ecommerce

How well does your automotive ecommerce business attract and convert clients? Are you creating the best possible shopping experience and maximizing revenue on every transaction?

Consumers spend a ton of time researching products before they buy—comparing prices, reading reviews, and looking for the best deal. Ecommerce sites that provide first-class customer experiences, in addition to selling what they’re looking for, stand out from the competition.

Check out these key components of exceptional ecommerce websites to help improve your automotive online store.









Visually Compelling Home Page

You know the statistics: you have mere seconds to make a good impression on potential customers. A well-designed, professional website gets customers clicking around and starts to build trust.

Try it:

  • Feature large, high-quality images that showcase products or promotions
  • Check that you’re consistent with the colors, fonts, images, and other graphics or visuals

Year, Make, Model Lookup

Customers visiting automotive ecommerce sites probably already know—at least a general idea—of what they’re looking for. Eliminate distractions and make it easy for them to search and filter products according to the vehicle they already have with a year, make, model lookup features.

Try it:

  • Input adequate product data to implement Miva’s combination facets feature
  • This custom lookup feature is now native to the Miva ecommerce platform

Intuitive Category Navigation

Every online store, no matter its sector, needs a well-organized navigation. The navigation bar should display top-level and child categories without making users scroll. Ecommerce stores with extensive product categories should use a fly out mega menu and stores with fewer categories can use a simple drop-down menu.

Try it:

  • Use photos or icons, not just text, in navigation menus to help customers find what they’re looking for
  • Give customers the ability to search by brand, not just product type

Site Search

Some customers visit an ecommerce site knowing exactly what they want—offering a search function for them is easy. Others think they know what they want, but maybe aren’t sure of the spelling or are still looking to compare different products. Your site’s search functionality needs to provide suggested search results and relevant products so customers easily find what they need, even if they don’t know what they’re looking for.

Try it:

  • Make full use of Miva’s robust search functionality that crawls product names along with descriptions and other custom fields

Product Merchandising

In a brick and mortar store, you can create a killer window display that draws customers in and shows them a variety of your products. Online stores need to get more creative to showcase products to customers. Merchandising, in a nutshell, is how businesses do this. You need extensive product data and inventory to do this well.

Try it:

  • Product kits and bundles: Group products together at a discount to the customer (but this works best when each item is also available separately)
  • Related products: Miva allows you to add related products to specific products—for example, suggesting other products from the same brand a customer is viewing
  • Recommended products: Let other happy customers do the selling for you by adding a section like Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” or “Customers Also View”
  • Upsell: Use Miva’s upsell feature to suggest additional products during the checkout process

Promotions

When employed strategically, offering discounts or coupons can encourage customers to choose your business over your competition.

Try it:

  • Free shipping is becoming standard practice for ecommerce stores. Customers are likely to abandon a shopping cart if they feel the shipping cost is too high. You can set a minimum order threshold to trigger free shipping.
  • BOGO deals give customers a discount or freebie when purchasing a particular product.
  • Brand or category sales offer a great deal for customers, generate demand during a slow season, and allow you to move inventory to make room for new product.

Marketing Content

Use videos and other media to improve marketing efforts, increase brand awareness, and maximize customer engagement. Videos can be educational and informational, like installation tutorials or spec demos, or entertaining and interactive, showing products in actions and encouraging social sharing.

Try it:

  • Ask customers to create and share their own videos using a specific hashtag. You can add a module on your site that highlights this user-generated media.
  • Writing blog posts that highlight customer stories, photos, and videos.

Customer Accounts

Letting customers create accounts can add an extra element to the online shopping experience. It streamlines the experience for the customer because they can save billing and shipping information, order history, wish lists, and more.

Try it:

  • Implement a “my garage” feature where customers can store their vehicle information. With that info, you can show relevant products when the customer is logged in
  • Add a form that allows customers to quickly reorder parts

Use these components as a guide for developing an action list for your automotive ecommerce site. Implementing these features can take your online store to the next level and set you up for exponential growth.

About The Author

Allison Keltner

Allison Keltner’s broad range of writing experience enables her to adapt to a company’s tone and voice to communicate effectively, regardless of industry. Her straightforward, conversational writing style empowers companies to connect with customers via storytelling. As a contributor to the Miva Blog, Allison helps ecommerce businesses take action and use the Miva platform to drive growth.

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