Opportunity Knocks – Are You Ready?

Automotive Parts & Accessories Market is Already Changing and Will Change More.

Ebay “Garage” (http://www.ebay.com.au/motors/garage) has been around for some time now and lets the user lookup and add their vehicle from the MVL (master vehicle list) which is powered by TecDoc.

The latest upgrade or change is the addition of the new fitment lookup on the search results page.

In the example below, if the user searches by “Camry oil filter” Ebay search knows the user is looking for auto parts and automatically triggers the fitment lookup filter and displays it at the top of the results page.

The user can then refine the search by using the fitment lookup drop down selection. This then filters the results to only show products and listings that are linked to that vehicle via the MVL.

No product or vehicle link – no visible listing.

There are also some tweaks to the left hand filter block with the addition of check boxes for “OE Genuine” vs “Aftermarket” parts which leverages off of Items Specifics, an important data value add that features in “Best Match” results.

eBays enhanced MVL tables for accurate vehicle look-up

This change alone will have significant impact on Best Match searches and placement of listings with well-connected product and fitment data powered listings rising to the top. Does your data meet this new standard now?

Competition and improvements in this space are on the increase – and with this latest upgrade by eBay and  Amazons impending presence on the scene, there has been no better time to ensure your data is up to the job.

Amazon Australia – Its Official

After months of speculation and rumors, Amazon the US online retail giant has confirmed that they will be launching in Australia. The announcement came in the form of a brief written statement:

“Amazon Web Services launched an Australian region in 2012, we launched a Kindle store on amazon.com.au in 2013 and we now have almost 1000 employees in the country,” Amazon said. “The next step is to bring a retail offering to Australia, and we are making those plans now.”

 

 Amazon announce impending launch in Australia

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Photo: Reed Saxon

The statement from Amazon emphasised the long-term investment coming and the job opportunities flowing from that. “We are excited to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.

“We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most — low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery — over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.”

Amazon have started the recruitment process already, and the distribution centre is tipped to be in Melbourne or Sydney.

Despite some comments in the media, this is not the beginning of the end for Australian online retailers as we see it, but should be seen as the beginning of an even greater online presence for many. For those that approach this thoughtfully, it provides the ability to  leverage off the US juggernauts Global market presence and dominance, with a number of options available to become part of the Amazon online marketplace.

No timetable has been released, with previous speculation that this will be around September.  What we do know is Amazon’s Australian roll-out strategy will be on a platform of “low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery”. Online retailers cannot ignore the potential opportunity Amazon provides, with Nielsen research showing that over 56% of those surveyed in Australia indicating they will purchase from Amazon and that they will subscribe to prime when it is available here https://www.businessinsider.com.au/nielsen-amazon-is-coming-and-australian-consumers-are-already-primed-2017-2

This is good news for all retailers if they are open to the opportunities presented by this inevitable change to the retail landscape. And, using other markets as an example, these opportunities become clearer.

As in other markets Amazon will most likely be offering “tailored” shopping experiences – via the “Your Garage” feature – similar to eBay. And as seen in other markets the use of specific fitment selection will enable consumers to find products suited to their vehicle. Sellers will need to be sure their data is up to the job with accurate fitment details and good data.

 

Amazon 2

Amazon Options for parts sellers

There are several options offered by Amazon in other markets and countries and some of these will probably be offered in Australia. What are they?

 

Amazon Marketplace

A sales and logistics system for third party retailers and small players can sell their wares on Amazon, will be a key offering. According to a banner on Amazons Australian website “Sales through Amazon Marketplaces now represent 50% of all items sold on Amazon websites globally. We are excited to bring the Amazon Marketplace to Australia next”.

There are already thousands of Australian businesses selling their products on existing Amazon Marketplaces to gain reach to international markets. Similar to eBay’s offering, you simply load your data via your account to Amazon either manually or in bulk.  Your data will need to have a valid vehicle or fitment link in order for it to show.

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Sellers of Automotive Products will have to be approved by Amazon. The requirements in other markets to gain this approval are:

  • Sellers must have either an independent website that can be reviewed or be an existing Seller on the Professional selling plan with an account in good standing.
  • Automotive products must be listed using the manufacturer’s UPC code when the manufacturer uses UPCs.
  • Sellers must conduct proper research to ensure that their listings of Automotive products comply with applicable local, state, federal and international laws and regulations.
  • All refurbished Automotive products must be warranted by the manufacturer or remanufacturer. Sellers must disclose the warranty type for each Refurbished product they list, indicating whether it is a manufacturer’s warranty or their own warranty.
  • All listing data and images must be suitable for all ages and appropriate for our global community. Listing data and images may not depict or contain nudity or pornographic, obscene or offensive items
  • Images must have white backgrounds and cannot contain inset images, watermarks, or unauthorized content.

What does it Cost?

You will need to subscribe to a “Professional” plan – indicative costs in US are USD39.99 a month plus a referral fee per item sold of 10% or 12% for wheels and tyres with a minimum of USD1.00 per product item.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) 

The second option available is “Fulfillment by Amazon” With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you store your products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products.  Using FBA allows sellers to be part of Amazons Prime service for purchasers – for an annual fee they receive free shipping and a 2 day turnaround plus access to special deals etc – more details below.

Fees for FBA are a Pay as you go system —you are charged for storage space and the orders fulfilled. The cost of shipping is included in your fees, with no extra charge for Amazon Prime FREE Two-Day Shipping and FREE Shipping on eligible orders.

Fees for FBA all depend on shape, weight and time of year, see here for an example of charges on the US site https://services.amazon.com/fulfillment-by-amazon/pricing.htm

Sell TO Amazon

The third option is selling directly to Amazon. It is an invite only program.

Are You Ready to maximise your marketplace sales opportunities?

Enform offers channel and marketplace information and integration project management for all sorts of e-commerce and we can help you understand, research and deploy solutions for Ebay and Amazon. We have many years of experience in e-commerce and auto parts in particular.

Auto parts sellers should contact Enform now for an auto parts data “Health Check”. We can help you make sure you are ready to make the most of the most current Ebay channel opportunities and prepare you for what needs to be done for the future.

Contact us now for more information and quote “I need a data health check”.