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You’ve Launched an eCommerce Site – Now What? 

Learn what steps can help you be successful after your eCommerce launch. 

Episode 143: If you’re selling heavy-duty parts, and you’ve put in the work setting up, and successfully launching an eCommerce site, does that mean you’re finished? 

In this episode, we dive into that topic and learn how to integrate your traditional business model, with your new digital sales channel.

Would you like a free consulting session with Jamie Irvine? Visit HeavyDutyPartsReport.com/Consulting to learn more.

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Disclaimer: This content and description may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, The Heavy-Duty Parts Report may receive a small commission. 

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Transcript of Episode: 

Jamie Irvine:

You’re listening to The Heavy-Duty Parts Report. I’m your host, Jamie Irvine. And this is the show where you get expert advice about heavy-duty parts that keeps trucks and trailers on the road longer while lowering cost-per-mile.

Today we’re gonna talk about what comes after you’ve launched an eCommerce site. So let’s say you’re selling heavy-duty parts. You’ve gone to all the effort of setting up an eCommerce site on your website in 2021. In essence, you’ve created a digital sales channel and now it is 2022. And the question is, well, now what do we do? Well, the thing I want you to focus on is the integration of your traditional distribution model with your new digital sales channel. Now let’s go into some definitions here, the traditional distribution model of buying heavy-duty parts, stocking them in your stores and then selling them to commercial fleets, independent repair shops and also to commercial vehicle owners, either through your retail store, by accepting a phone call at the parts counter, or by having the order faxed or emailed in, that’s the traditional distribution model.

After that order is accepted, the warehouse takes the order, packs it up and delivers it to the local customer. The digital sales channel is not a replacement for that model, but rather it is something that is going to enable your business to be more efficient, to provide a frictionless buying experience for customers, and will integrate with that traditional distribution model. And let’s talk about that integration. What is important about it? What do you need to know? And where should you focus your attention now that you’ve launched your eCommerce site? So one of the things that’s very important to keep in mind is, again, the digital sales channel is not a replacement for the traditional distribution model, but rather they work together. Another thing that’s important to understand is that when someone orders something via your eCommerce platform, you are probably gonna save somewhere in the ballpark of 30% on the cost of accepting that order over the traditional distribution model.

So think about it. You don’t have to pay a parts person to take that order. The customer does all the searching, selects the product, enters all the payment information, hits the buy now button. All of that’s done electronically on your eCommerce platform inside of your digital sales channel. And none of that is going to cost you like it would if they phoned in the order, emailed in the order or came in to the retail store and stepped up to the parts counter and placed an order. So one thing really good about digital sales is that the cost of accepting the order is far lower. So one of the things that you want, your people who are working at the parts counter, out on the road selling, and even in the warehouse to understand, is that the more eCommerce orders we can get, the more profitable the business will be, and the better it’ll be for everyone.

Now, another thing that is important to structure correctly is to make sure that your sales account managers and your inside parts people are pushing customers to the eCommerce platform. Actually pushing is the wrong word. It’s encouraging them to use it if they so desire and then training them on how easy it is to use and getting them set up on the platform. So this is an important part of the integration between the two channels, is just that education piece for your customers. They may not be aware of exactly what it is, how it works and why they might want to buy parts on the eCommerce platform instead of phoning them in. Now, those are the benefits for the heavy-duty parts store, but the benefits for the customers is there as well. Customers I talk to often complain about long wait times on hold or at the counter. And so using the digital sales channel to buy parts that they’re confident about is going to be more efficient for them, and it’s going to be easy. So it’s good for the customer.

We’re gonna take a quick break. We’ll be right back. Don’t have a heavy-duty part number and need to look up a part? Go to parts.diesellaptops.com or download the app on Apple or Android to create your free account. Looking for high quality fuel injection for heavy-duty applications? Having one supplier for fuel injection allows you to better serve customers by providing them with a complete line, which increases your sales and profitability. Learn more at ambacinternational.com/aftermarket.

Now right away, customers and salespeople might get a little nervous. Well, is this going to change for the salesperson’s perspective? Is this gonna change how I get paid? Am I not gonna get commission for eCommerce orders from customers of mine on the customer side? They say, am I gonna lose touch with the knowledgeable people that I rely on for when I’m not sure of what part I need? And the answer to both of those questions should be no. In fact, as a business owner, you should want your salespeople to encourage the customers to use eCommerce. And if they do, and they’re providing support to that customer, then the salesperson should not be negatively impacted because the customer decided to use eCommerce, which is far cheaper than phoning the parts counter. On the flip side, the customers need to be completely reassured that the knowledgeable people that they are accustomed to dealing with are not going anywhere. In fact, the more that they use the eCommerce platform to buy commodity type things, things that they can, you know, easily identify themselves, the more time those knowledgeable people will have to serve their needs on more difficult parts identification issues, on account issues, or just working together on improving the service to the customer so that their business will improve.

So this is very important in the integration piece. And I think that business owners and managers and leadership groups of heavy-duty parts companies need to spend a lot of time with the staff and the employees and communicating with the customers. And that’s not a one way street where they do all the talking, but rather they should do a lot of asking questions and listening to what the employees have to say, listening to what the customers have to say, and then adapt the entire model so that it addresses concerns and makes the experience for both the customers and the employees, a positive one. This is where you need to focus your attention in 2022, if you’ve just launched an eCommerce site, this is also an area in which I think that the more time you spend, the more long-term benefits everyone is going to experience, and the more successful the digital sales channel will become.

You don’t want to go to all the work of creating a digital sales channel only to have no one use it because it’s too complex, too difficult, or it doesn’t address customer’s concerns. Or the employees are wanting to actually discourage customers from using it because it’s somehow going to negatively impact them. These are things you want to avoid. And these are things that have happened in other heavy-duty parts companies in the past, because they didn’t spend enough time communicating, listening, and really creating the systems that are going to provide that frictionless buying experience for the customer, make it super easy for them and put in place financial rewards for the employees because of the financial upside of having customers use a digital sales channel over the traditional distribution model. So that is where I’d like you to focus your attention. I appreciate you so much listening to this episode. Now, just before I go, I wanted to offer you a free consultation. And at the end of this episode, if you’re listening to the audio version, you’re gonna hear a very short commercial about our consulting services. If you’re on the video version, head over to heavydutypartsreport.com/consulting today, and you can learn all about that.

Thank you so much for watching this episode. We’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

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