How To Start an Online Aftermarket Auto Parts Business

Over the past five years, the aftermarket automotive parts and accessories space has seen exponential growth as more players enter the online market. Researchers say that findings indicate that this trend will only grow, with the market size expected to triple globally over the next five years. The market size in 2020 sits at just over $55 billion and by 2027, is anticipated to reach $140 billion. The proliferation of online marketing is what fueled the growth.

How To Start an Online Aftermarket Auto Parts Business

With the growth expected to last till 2030, market surveys indicate that 80% of market players in the industry are ill-prepared to successfully take advantage of it. Lack of digital resource management and online marketing skills are the main factors attributing to this. Now, the question shifts from, “Will the aftermarket auto parts niche grow enough to accommodate e-commerce?” To, “How can you leverage the digital space to take advantage of the market trends?”

The main steps one has to go through to start a profitable online aftermarket auto parts enterprise are:

  • Determine which parts sell the most online.
  • Know the different types of online marketing tactics and avenues to help attract leads

Determine Which Parts Sell the Most Online

Just as in any other business, you should do adequate research before embarking on the journey. There are a lot of aftermarket auto parts one can sell online, but in most cases, it is best to make a name for yourself catering to a certain sub-niche. Discover which car parts already sell well online and determine whether the aftermarket versions can do just as well.

Below is a compilation of auto parts that already do well on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay.

Exterior Parts & Accessories

Due to tougher economic times, new car sales have slowed down, with people preferring to upgrade and customize their existing cars. Because of this, exterior parts and accessories are the most popular items in the space, with the best sellers being aftermarket options. The most in-demand are:

  1. Billet grille modifications
  2. Tonneau covers
  3. Wind deflectors
  4. Nerf bars
  5. Chrome trims
  6. Front lip and side skirt lip kits

Interior Parts & Accessories

Vehicle upgrades and modifications do not only occur on the exterior. People also improve the internal components of their cars, and below are the bestselling on e-commerce platforms.

  1. Shifter knobs
  2. Window tints
  3. Seat cushions
  4. Floor mats
  5. Dash kits
  6. Seat covers

Lighting & LED Products 

Aftermarket headlights and LEDs are among the bestselling car lighting products for cars on Amazon.

  1. Projectors
  2. Halo lights
  3. Brake lights
  4. Running board lights
  5. License plate lights
  6. The instrument cluster and gauge lights
  7. Side marker lights
  8. Trunk lights

Once you decide which parts have the most potential to sell, next you need to establish a lead generation plan. Lead generation is how you gather prospects for your business. The main ways to build a customer base online are via social media, Google ads, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Different Types of Online Marketing Tactics To Help Attract Leads

Search engines have clear rules and guidelines website owners should follow to help them rank at the top of search result pages. These rules and guidelines change over the years, and it is very important to keep up to date with the latest updates. The main pillars of SEO that all online vendors need to be familiar with are:

On-page SEO

Sometimes referred to as on-site SEO, this points to the optimization of webpages to escalate a site’s search rankings and attract organic traffic. The main activities include creating relevant and high-quality contextual content, headline optimization, and using proper HTML tags such as titles, meta titles & descriptions, and headers. The content also needs to convey expertise, trustworthiness, and authority in your subject. The best way to convey expertise is to have someone within your niche doing the marketing. For example, a used car dealership uses an automobile marketing agency consultant to manage its on-page SEO.

Off-page SEO

Off-page optimization refers to any efforts you make outside of the website to improve search engine rankings. Most people think off-page SEO is just link-building, but this is not true. However, link building might be the most important facet of off-page SEO. Search engines use links pointing to your site (backlinks) to measure the authority and trustworthiness of your site. The reasoning is that if people are willing to send traffic your way, they trust your information and website in general and find some value in it that they would like to share with their audience.

Google Search Ads

Google search ads show up at the top of search engine results when a person searches for products or services. Search ads, also known as PPC (pay per click), allow you to pay only when users click on your ads.

Google Display Ads

These ads show up on articles, websites, and/or videos that internet users browse. With Google, they are served via what is known as the Google Display Network, an amalgamation of more than two million sites that have a reach of over 90% of internet traffic all over the world.

Social Media Marketing

It is no secret just how much social media have impacted the way we interact with each other and how brands establish themselves in the online sphere. For most people, when they come across a brand they aren’t familiar with, they first do an online audit of their socials to decide whether they’ll buy from them or not. Not only that, but social media are a great awareness-building tool. Some statistics indicate that for a customer to buy from a brand, they have to interact with them on average seven times before making a purchase decision. Social networks such as META and Twitter also enable brands to build relationships with their customers via engagement and ads.


With technology like the internet, it is possible to run a business without having a physical store. You can reach customers and ship products all from a computer. You just need the right products and a decent knowledge of how to leverage digital marketing. From social media to online ads, and even your website, you need to be familiar with the best practices to drive sales for your aftermarket auto parts business. With the above information, how to start an online aftermarket auto parts business should not be a wonder any longer.

Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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