How Auto Brands Can Stand Out

Even in Age of Amazon

According to a recent study by Hedges and Company, Amazon is on track to generate $4 billion in auto parts sales in 2019, nearly a third of the entire market.

As Amazon’s dominance in the industry continues to grow, it will be increasingly difficult for after-market auto brands to stand out and capture a larger slice of the pie.

However, there are a few things from Amazon’s playbook that auto brands can follow to help them better stand out to consumers.

Provide a Logged-In-Like Experience to Every User

Did you know that nearly 75% of people browsing Amazon are logged in while doing so?

If you look closely, Amazon rarely, if ever, sends a mass marketing message. Instead, every communication, from its emails to its push notifications, are hyper-tailored based on a visitor’s behavior.

Amazon’s unique advantage in this regard is Amazon Prime. Being logged in provides consumers so much value that they can’t afford to not be part of it, and this reinforces the scale of its identification network. And with nearly 75% of their consumers logged in, Amazon is able to collect data that allows them to provide this hyper-personalized experience.

Nearly every other auto retailer (and every ecommerce site, as a matter of fact) struggles to replicate the same experience.

Look at your own website. What percentage of your existing customers are logged in while browsing? And what percentage of your new prospects are? Statistically, I’d assume significantly lower than Amazon.

If you can’t get more visitors to log in (which is already highly unlikely), then look for a way to replicate the advantage Amazon has by partnering with a vendor that replicates the scale and goes beyond a simple cookie to identify a visitor.

The revenue impact can be quite tremendous; Wunderkind did an analysis of this across its 300+ clients and saw that a personalized message drives 20X the revenue of a mass marketing one ($0.95 in revenue per send for a behaviorally triggered email vs. $0.4 for batch-and-blast).

Optimize for Competitive Price Shopping

What’s really unique about the automotive space is that very few prospects are brand loyal. Instead they’ll land on your site by searching for a specific SKU or brand name.

Take Floor Mats for example. A simple Google Search yields 266 million different results. If you’re lucky enough to either have a robust SEO program or a big enough acquisition budget to rise to the top of the rankings, congratulations, you have a visitor on your site.

However, the difficult part comes next – keeping a shopper on your site to convert, rather than going to a competitor instead.

When they take an action that would indicate competitive price shopping, such as highlighting the product name, make sure to display a unique value prop or offer. You know the consumer is price shopping so you might as well respond to that behavior.

In some testing we’ve done, even displaying “low price guarantee” when a visitor highlights text can boost same session conversion rates by as much as 10%.

Get Prospects to Select Their Vehicle

Let’s go back to Amazon again. Since Amazon shoppers are almost always logged in, the site knows their every behavior. It can recommend products for them based on past purchases or the categories they’re browsing.

A great way for auto parts retailers to replicate this functionality is to get consumers to select a vehicle’s make and model when they enter the site. You can also ask for an email address and email that visitor product recommendations or targeted offers based on their selection. We see that this is one of the most cost efficient ways to re-market to that visitor.

In the case of one of our automotive clients, running targeted campaigns to encourage vehicle selection increased same session conversion rates on mobile by as much as 300%. This client also fed the vehicle info collected into their Facebook custom audiences and display providers to enable more granular segmentation on their other channels.

Anytime you have a piece of information from a consumer, you should think about every single way you can use it in your marketing funnel.


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Stan Rosenberg

Stan Rosenberg is a Senior Director of Business Development at Wunderkind where he helps potential clients, particularly those in the automotive space, better understand the business impact of identification. Before working at Wunderkind, Stan was part of Deloitte’s Automotive Practice and specialized in Sales and Marketing Analytics projects for large OEM’s. He is a graduate of NYU Stern, a long suffering Mets and Jets fan, and is always looking to discover new coffee shops in NYC.