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What You Need to Know In Order to Start an Online Auto Parts Store

9 min read

These days, more and more customers prefer to shop online from the comfort of home. People shop for just about everything online today, from clothes, to pet supplies, to furniture and appliances. Shopping for auto parts online has added a lot of convenience to many people’s lives. Oftentimes, when people need a new part for their vehicle, it’s difficult to drive to the nearest auto parts store. And even then, they are at the mercy of whatever that store has in stock. Being able to shop for auto parts online gives consumers more options. Plus, it makes it easier to find the exact part they need for their vehicle.

It’s reasonable to assume, then, that starting an online auto parts store could be a good business idea. And you would be right! With a bit of research and planning, an online auto parts store can be a steady source of income for e-commerce entrepreneurs. If you’re interested, here is everything you should know about how to start an online auto parts store.

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What to Sell at Your Online Auto Parts Store

Offering a wide range of auto parts at your online store may seem like a great idea at first. But there can be some problems with trying to do too much too fast. Most importantly, you want to make sure you’re operating within your budget when opening your online auto parts store. Therefore, a more limited inventory of carefully curated items could be better. Not only is this more feasible on a budget, but it can also help you establish a brand identity.

Your goal when starting a new online auto parts store should be to find a niche. Conduct some market research to find areas that are underrepresented in your area or market. For instance, maybe you can specialize in providing parts for a specific auto brand. Or you might cater primarily to pickup truck owners. These are just a couple of potential examples of niches you can choose for your auto parts store. Having a specialized inventory, rather than a generalized one, can help you stand out and gain a loyal customer base. This will then make it easier to grow your business later on.

Choosing Supplier

Once you know what to sell, the next step is to find a supplier. There are three important factors to consider when searching for suppliers. The first is product availability. Your supplier needs to be able to consistently provide the products you intend to sell.

The second is pricing. The more affordable the supplier’s parts are, the better your price points will be when you resell them.

And the third is dependability. Suppliers should have excellent customer service and should be trusted to deliver quality products on time when needed. Be sure to conduct thorough research into potential suppliers, particularly to make sure they provide good customer service.

Dropshipping vs. Wholesale

Another consideration when choosing your suppliers is which business model to choose. Online retailers often choose between either dropshipping or buying products wholesale.

Dropshipping is an arrangement between a retailer (you) and a dropshipping provider. The retailer agrees to sell the dropshipper’s items at a marked-up price on their website. But the retailer does not buy the items in bulk or handle shipping on any orders. Instead, the retailer simply buys items from the dropshippers as customers purchase them from their website, with the dropshipping provider handling order fulfillment. This method is more cost-effective, but it gives you less control over your inventory and customer service. It can also be limiting if you want to grow your business later on.

Buying products wholesale is a more traditional business model. In this arrangement, the retailer buys their inventory in bulk from a distributor. The retailer is then (usually) responsible for warehousing items and fulfilling orders. There are some programs, such as Fulfillment By Amazon, which provide a fulfillment infrastructure for small businesses. Additionally, there are also other local delivery tools available to help small businesses with order fulfillment.

Buying products wholesale requires a greater upfront investment. However, this model gives you greater control over your inventory and makes it easier to expand your business.

Where to Sell: Creating Your Online Auto Parts Store

Having a strong business plan is only half of the equation when figuring out how to start an online auto parts store. The other half is to actually set up your online store. If this seems daunting at first, don’t worry. It’s actually not that difficult. The most important thing is to consider your needs and where you can reach your target audience.

Online retailers have two general options when it comes to making an online store. You can either sell on an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay. Or, you can create your own dedicated online store on a company website. These options are not mutually exclusive, and each offers their own benefits.

Ecommerce Marketplace

Ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Walmart Marketplace come with large built-in audiences. These websites can be a good way to reach a wider percentage of your potential customers. It is also relatively easy to get set up on these websites, with minimal fees.

The primary drawback of using an ecommerce marketplace is that it can be difficult to stand out, especially on Amazon. This makes it difficult to grow or gain brand recognition.

Creating a Website

Making your own e-commerce website is a good alternative, or supplement to, using an e-commerce marketplace. Therefore, creating your own website gives you greater control over your inventory and brand. This makes it much easier to expand and market your company. When you create a website, you can use other strategies like content marketing or email marketing to attract more customers.

Creating your own website is also easier today than ever before. You don’t need any technical skill or expertise to do it, as long as you use an e-commerce website builder. Platforms like Ecwid provide all of the tools that e-commerce entrepreneurs need to set up their online stores, receive payments, and expand their businesses. Read more about getting started with Ecwid to learn more about how to create the perfect online auto parts store.


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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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