Blog - Automotive

6 Reasons Your Online Car Parts Store Is Broken (And How To Fix It)

Danny Watkinson
Digital Marketing Executive, Adwords Professional and Technical SEO Wizard at dijitul.

If you’re selling car parts online, then you don’t need me tell you how stressful it can be.

Aside from the potential frustrations though, if done correctly selling car parts online can be very lucrative.

However, the truth is, that 90% of car parts sellers are in fact NOT doing it correctly. In fact they’re leaving thousands worth of sales on the table because of this.

The reason for this lies in fundamental mistakes being made with the website.

Honestly, 90% of online car parts stores are broken, and the owners don’t even realise.

The good news though is that the most commonly seen faults with these websites are actually pretty easy to fix.

If you know what those mistakes are that is.

To help you discover what these reasons could be, we’ve put together a guide with all you need to know on what to look for and what to fix so that you can significantly boost sales and ROI from your car parts store.

If you have the desire to generate more sales, increase website traffic, build your brand, and dominate your competition, keep reading our 6 reasons your online car parts store is broken (and how to fix it).

[Reason #1] Your Website Is Not Optimised For All Devices

So, you wonder why your website isn’t getting as much traffic or as many sales as you would like, and you think “perhaps the website is down”.

You go to your office, switch on your laptop and take a look – relief! All is well, the website is still running and looks great.

So, the website is working fine, right?

Not necessarily.

The truth is, that just because your website looks and works fine on your laptop, this doesn’t mean that it appears great for everyone.

Did you know that more than 50% of web searching is now carried out using a mobile device? Meaning that it’s likely that at least half of your audience will be viewing your website using their phone.

This means that focusing only on the desktop version of your website is a massive mistake that can end up being very costly for you, and severely impact your ability to sell more car parts and make more money.

Focusing on only one device is a massive mistake that could cost you thousands worth of sales every year.

Other devices – mobiles and tablets – are just as important, if not more so, than desktop and therefore should get plenty of focus.

Don’t believe me? Google themselves are now indexing websites “Mobile First”, meaning that they see the mobile version of a website as the primary version and will crawl and rank that before any other version.

If your website is not usable on all devices, then it is essentially broken.

You can test whether Google see’s your website as mobile friendly by using their own mobile friendly test.

Hopefully you will see this result.

is my website mobile friendly

Always ensure that you put as much work into building and optimising a great mobile website as you do into building a desktop version.

Failure to do so could significantly damage your Google rankings, your traffic, and the amount of sales that you make.

How To Make Your a Mobile Friendly

  • Use a mobile responsive design
  • Ensure text is clearly readable on smaller screens
  • Eliminate the need to zoom or side scroll
  • Ensure buttons are large enough to be clicked

 

[Reason #2] Your Website Checkout Process Is Broken

Product ranges, prices, layouts, there’s so much to think about when selling car parts online, that many people completely overlook one of the most important parts of the buying process.

The checkout step.

So many website owners work so hard in trying to get someone to add a product to their cart, and then presume that as soon as the “Checkout” button is clicked that it’s a job well done.

This is wrong.
The checkout process on an eCommerce website is as important, if not more so, than all of the steps that preceded it.

It doesn’t matter how far the customer has come so far, if you mess things up at the checkout stage then you can say goodbye to the sale.

So many website owners see the checkout stage as straight forwards and therefore never think to check and test it regularly, and this is where they’re slipping up.

When was the last time you properly check your checkout, every step of it?

Do you know 100% that it’s all working perfectly?

Are you certain that there isn’t a broken button? Some hidden bug? Some text that gets cut off?

Buyers are extremely sensitive and if they think something isn’t right they’ll quickly take their money elsewhere.

Even if your checkout isn’t “broken” in the traditional sense it could still be losing you business.

Confusing layouts, asking for to much information, or taking to long to load can all scupper a potential sale.

It’s vital that you pay just as much attention to your checkout process as any other part of your website, and test it regularly to ensure that you aren’t losing sales at the last hurdle.

broken website checkout

How To Fix Your Website Checkout

  • Test regularly to ensure it works smoothly.
  • Cut down on length as much as possible.
  • Ensure that it loads quickly.

[Reason #3] Your Website Is Not HTTPS Secure

A HTTPS website is an absolute must have for anyone looking to sell car parts online.

HTTPS is the “secure” version of the HTTP that you see at the start of a web address. As you may have guessed, the S stands for secure.

This lets both search engines and human web users know whether a website is a safe place to make a purchase.

For example:
http://www.yourcarpartssite.com – Not Secure
https://www.yourcarpartssite.com – Secure

HTTPS is very easy to set up for a website, but still so many people are not using it.

How To Make A Website Secure.

  • Host with a dedicated IP address
  • Buy an SSL certificate
  • Activate the SSL certificate
  • Install the SSL certificate
  • Update your website & redirect pages from HTTP to HTTPS

Ensuring that your website is secured by HTTPS is more important than ever right now.

Google have announced a couple of measures which have upped the importance of HTTPS even more so.

Firstly, HTTPS websites will be given favour in search rankings compared to non HTTPS websites, meaning that if your competitors website is secure and yours is not, then they could have an advantage over you and be ranked higher up. Higher rankings generally mean higher traffic, so you definitely don’t want to be lagging behind.

Secondly to this, they have also announced that websites which are not secure will have a “Not Secure” notification in the address box when viewed in Google Chrome.

ssl not secure

Ask yourself, would you enter your personal payment details on a website which says “Not Secure” in the top corner?

You’d probably say no, and that’s what most of your potential customers will say too if your website isn’t secure.

This means fewer sales, less money, and less stability.

[Reason #4] Your Website Content Is Not Fit For Purpose

Imagine going into a restaurant, taking a look at the menu, and seeing every dish has an unfamiliar name with no description of what it is. Would you order? Probably not (unless you’re very adventurous!).

How about a supermarket, but none of the aisles actually have on them what the signs suggest they should have, what would happen? A small percentage of people may wander aimlessly until they stumble across what they want, a small percentage may ask an employee for help, and the majority? Well, they’d leave and head for the supermarket down the road that actually makes sense.

These exact same concepts apply to your website.

The entire goal of your website is to get users to buy car parts from you, so why the hell would you make it so hard for them to actually do that?

Website content that is not fit for purpose could be killing your sales.

bad website content

Bad website content can leave your visitors confused and frustrated.

This can manifest itself in several different ways.

Following on the restaurant analogy used above, let’s take product descriptions as an example. A product with little to no description could be just as confusing for a user as a menu with no dish descriptions.

If someone isn’t sure whether a clutch is suitable for their vehicle, or whether a set of wipers will fit, then why would they buy them, just to have to either throw them away or return them?

If you don’t make it 100% clear to someone that your product is the one for them, then the odds are they won’t buy it.

One e-commerce study has found that 20% of purchase failures are potentially due to missing or unfit product descriptions.

Thats 1 in every 5 potential customers going elsewhere because your website content is not fit for purpose.

How To Write Website Content

Giving users a clear product description that answers everything that they need to know is crucial.

The same applies for other areas of the website to – make sure that the layout of the website makes sense, ensure that categories hold the right type of products, and that all content on your website is there to benefit the user, not confuse them.

If you’re not making it as easy as possible for your users to buy from you, then your car parts store is fundamentally broken and needs fixing.

[Reason #5] Your Website Is To Slow

In the 21st century, speed is king.

Everyone wants everything ASAP, and they aren’t going to wait around for it, especially if they can go and get it from elsewhere.

This means that if your website isn’t fast enough, then people are going to buy from elsewhere.

Did you know that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load?

Are you aware that 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site?

What about that, according to Google, “speed equals revenue”?

Simply put, if your website is taking to long to load, or if functions are taking to long to complete, then users are going to leave your website, rather than buying from you.

Not only that, but speed is also a Google ranking factor, meaning that if your website doesn’t load quickly you’re going to lose rankings to competitors with faster websites.

This applies on both desktop and mobile devices, so don’t neglect either of them.

You can find out how quickly your mobile website loads compared to your competitors using Google mobile speed scorecard.

Here is Milner Off Road, one of our automotive marketing clients, up against their competitors.

google speed test - milner off road

If you’ve carried out a test like the one above and your name doesn’t come out on top, or if your speed is over 3 seconds, then you need to speed up your website.

How To Make A Website Faster

  • Switching host
  • Enabling browser caching
  • Reducing image sizes
  • Reducing plugin use
  • Minimising the number of redirects used
  • Minifying and combining files
  • A slow website is a broken website which is going to lose out of thousands of potential sales.If you want to make sales and outrank your competitors in search results, then ensure that your website runs quickly and smoothly across all devices.

[Reason #6] Your Third Party Applications Are No Longer Compatible

If your eCommerce store is built using some form of content management system or eCommerce platform such as WordPress, Opencart, or Magento, then the likelihood is that you will be using some form of plugins or third party applications.

From SEO to stock management or payment processing, there’s extensions are very useful and can often be critical to the running of a car parts store.

However, failure to maintain these extensions can cause a lot of problems.

The thing that many people don’t realise is that just because these extensions work when first installed, that doesn’t mean that they will work forever.

More often than not they are only compatible with a certain version of a platform, and when updates are made things can go wrong.

For example, if you update your version of WordPress, then some of your plugins may then not be compatible anymore until you also update them as well.

Failure to update or maintain third party applications can lead to security issues, broken functionality, or even the entire website becoming unusable – in which case you may see something like this.

You don’t need me to tell you that if you’re seeing this, then nobody can buy from you.

If you want to sell more parts, and ultimately make more money, then you need to ensure that all website software, extensions and plugins are monitored and updated regularly.

It’s Time To Fix Your Car Parts Store

There’s no magic formula or secret to building a successful online car parts store, however make sure that your website is properly working is fundamental to your chances of success.

The odds are that there are people visiting your website, and looking for your products, so you need to ensure that you can serve their needs and complete the sale.

Get your website working to the very best of it’s ability and you can see improved rankings, increased traffic, and a lot more money for you and your business.

Good luck from all at Dijitul Automotive.

Not sure what errors are troubling your website? We recommend running it through the free Search Engine Tuning website audit tool.

Having trouble implementing these fixes? Not sure where to start? Our automotive eCommerce experts are on hand to help you out. Book a free, 30 minute consultation today to see how we can help you.

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