The online auto parts industry is hot.
By the end of 2021, the online auto parts industry market in North America is expected to hit $26 billion – a jump of more than 30% from 2020. Due to continued investment in eCommerce and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a great time for entrepreneurs to begin selling auto parts online.
But how do you choose the best auto parts eCommerce platform when there are dozens of different auto parts eCommerce platforms out there?
How do you know which one is right for your auto parts business?
What’s the difference between them, anyway?
Below we’ve put together an overview of the six most commonly-used auto parts eCommerce platforms, and the steps you need to take to setup your automotive eCommerce website for success.
Before we dive deep into discussing the pros and cons of the auto parts eCommerce platforms, let’s start by looking at your business model.
Before you jump headfirst into building your auto parts eCommerce website, you need to take a step back and decide on your business model.
There are many business models to choose from, including:
Your auto parts website can have a long list of features and functionality. However, there are some core features that you’ll want to look for in an parts eCommerce platform:
There are dozens of auto parts eCommerce websites to choose from. To make your decision a bit easier, we’ve compared six of the most popular auto parts eCommerce websites below:
Magento is a free and open source eCommerce platform that’s now owned by Adobe. There’s also a paid, cloud-hosted version of Magento called “Adobe Commerce,” which is primarily marketed to larger businesses.
Magento (Adobe Commerce) is a very powerful and scalable auto parts eCommerce platform. It’s trusted by some of the biggest companies in the world, including Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Nike, to name just a few.
However, with its power comes complexity. Unless you’ve got technical skills, you’ll probably need to hire a developer to build your Magento(Adobe Commerce) website. Hosting and technical support are also not included, unless you opt for Adobe Commerce.
Shopify may be a good choice for your auto parts business if you want a very simple to use eCommerce platform. It’s an all-in-one, “Software As A Service” platform that aims to make the initial setup process as easy as possible.
When you use Shopify, you get an all-in-one platform that requires little customization and initial setup. You can often start selling products in just a few days. It’s cheap, too. Plans start at just $29/month, though they get a lot more expensive for eCommerce stores with a high volume of sales.
However, Shopify does have some disadvantages. It’s a proprietary platform, so it’s pretty hard to migrate to a different eCommerce platform if you want to do so in the future. It’s also not nearly as customizable as some of the other choices on this list.
BigCommerce is really similar to Shopify, and while it has a slightly lower market share, it’s still a really popular choice for entrepreneurs who want a reliable auto parts eCommerce platform.
Like Shopify, it’s a proprietary, closed-source, SaaS platform. Pricing is similar, too, starting at $29.95/month for its cheapest plan. Like Shopify, it has lots of simple drag-and-drop tools and a ton of themes. You can create, customize, and launch an auto parts website really quickly.
But this also means you’ll face similar restrictions. BigCommerce is a closed, proprietary platform, so it’s hard to move to a new platform. You’re pretty much locked into using it unless you want to pay for costly data migration.
WooCommerce is a bit different from the other auto parts eCommerce platforms we’ve looked at so far. It’s not a free plugin that’s designed to work with WordPress. This makes it appealing to entrepreneurs who have experience working with WordPress – given that WordPress powers nearly 40% of all websites.
Similar to Magento/Adobe Commerce, WooCommerce is really customizable. But this also means that you’ll need a lot more technical skills to make the most of its potential. However, if you have some experience with WordPress already, you may find that you can do a lot of tasks on your own.
Squarespace is a website building company that offers “drag and drop” website builders. Using their platform, you can create a website from the ground up without touching a single piece of code. And with their new Squarespace eCommerce functionality, this includes eCommerce stores.
The biggest perk of choosing Squarespace for your auto parts eCommerce platform is that it’s really easy to set up, customize, and launch your website. Squarespace also handles hosting, domain names, and other technical things, similar to Shopify or BigCommerce. They also provide lots of support for new customers who are setting up their stores.
It’s cheap, too. Basic Commerce plans start at just $26/month, with no added transaction fees beyond those taken by your chosen payment gateway.
Wix is really similar to Squarespace. It’s also an all-in-one solution for building, hosting, and running a website, and has eCommerce support. It requires no technical expertise and lets you get up and running really quickly.
It also has a free version. This version doesn’t allow you to accept payments, so you can’t use it to sell auto parts online – but you can still try out most of Wix’s features without paying, so this is a good way to get a feel for the platform and see if it’s right for you.
Pricing is also pretty similar to Squarespace and the other services on this list, at $23/month for the cheapest Business Basic plan. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the pros and cons of using Wix as your auto parts eCommerce platform now.
Now that we’ve gone over a few of the top auto parts eCommerce plans out there, you may be wondering which one you should choose. Which auto parts eCommerce platform is the best for you?
The answer is…it depends.
New entrepreneurs may be better off with a platform like Shopify or Squarespace. People with technical skills may be comfortable using WooCommerce or Magento Open Source. It all depends on your budget, your store, your sales, and your own unique situation.
However, our choice for most entrepreneurs is Magento (Adobe Commerce).
Magento is scalable, powerful, secure, feature-rich, and completely customizable. And not only is it free to use if you get started with Magento Open Source, but your data remains your own, and free of proprietary platforms like Shopify.
And as your business grows, you can scale it. You can continue to grow your Magento Open Source site – or even switch to Adobe Commerce. This cloud-hosted eCommerce platform is based on Magento, but also includes a lot of amazing B2B tools, expanded analytics features, and so much more.
Need more information? We’re here to help. Contact us to schedule a quick chat with one of our Magento (Adobe Commerce) experts. We can explain the benefits of Magento in more detail, and provide you with the guidance you need.