s online demand for automotive aftermarket and powersports parts and accessories continues to rise, sellers are increasingly expanding their distributor network to support today's hottest brands. Many of the market's most successful eCommerce sellers are offering millions of parts and accessories throughout their storefront, while others are doubling down on specific niches of consumers and providing quality content, unique offerings, and transparent part data.
Many sellers are setting themselves apart, especially for performance accessories, through kits and bundles. Kit products are made up of various components or items, sold as a set or group. You will often find kits leveraged for common modifications such as lift/suspension kits, performance enhancements, and stereo systems. Many sellers see kits as an easy way for a customer to order all the necessary parts required for their build as a single order and a reliable method to increase your cart value.
But selling kits can be complicated at face value. Not only does this require you to aggregate product info for multiple parts, but also to carefully manage inventory and fulfillment for multiple items across multiple distributors.
Kit fulfillment requires the management of your supply network to provide all necessary parts to complete a kit or part bundle you designed that meets a consumer's or shop's specific needs. When a customer orders a kit, the components that make up the kit will need to be shipped to their destination in a timely, transparent process. To make kit fulfillment seamless, you will need to introduce methods for managing the communication, order processing, payments, and deliveries of the entire order.
If the proper initial steps are taken, kitting can be easier than you think, especially for automotive specialists. When designing your kit for your customers, you will need to list out all the MPNs that make up the kit, price it appropriately, and offer it as a single product on an e-commerce marketplace or your website.
While some sellers have created these kits in-house, most fulfillment is done via drop shipping across an extensive distributor network. This means that even before an order is placed, sellers are responsible for making sure they can procure the appropriate quantity of every part within the kit. For example, if you are selling a Lift System, you may need to procure multiple springs, U-Bolts, and shocks. It also means you cannot fulfill even a single item in your kit, you may find yourself with a canceled order and a very disappointed customer.
When you receive an order from a customer, you will need to place an order for all components that make up the kit you designed with your distributor network or in-house fulfillment center. In turn, these entities will deliver all parts to the customer's delivery address in a single or separate order.
A successful kit-based storefront will essentially have two parts.
1) Well-thought-out kits that are VERY clear about what is, and what is not, included. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving an incomplete kit or delaying work because parts are missing. This means your customer is busy placing new orders, which eats into their time and patience. Let us not forget that this will not reflect well on your product or brand. Take the time to be thorough with your kit design and pair it with brand names, MPNs, and photos. Talk to your customers and experts to understand all the small details. Keep improving your kit design as you receive feedback.
2) Streamlined management of orders for all parts or components. As mentioned before, you may have to deal with multiple suppliers depending on the kit you designed. This would include various POs, tracking numbers, and delivery status updates. This can sound like a lot of work, and you may think you need to dedicate more resources, but you may have help around the corner.
Software can help you automate a lot of the processes you need to manage fulfillment. For example, when you receive an order, kitting software can automatically allocate the child parts or components from your inventory to complete the kit. Parts or components missing can then be ordered via your supplier network and delivered to your customers door step. This advanced technology can also support you when orders are placed by managing POs, updating multiple tracking numbers, and posting order status updates to customers in real-time.
If you are in the aftermarket automotive parts business, leveraging kits and bundles can help you stand out from your competition. As a result, you can expect to see higher billing amounts, happier customers, and greater flexibility of operations. However, when it comes to scaling this part of your business, we recommend leveraging technology to automate as much of your inventory and fulfillment processes as possible. There is no limit to the number of kit designs and you can create multiple kits to reach a wider audience. And with the right partners, you will find opportunities are endless.
Not sure how kits fit into your business? Our team is already helping some of today's hottest sellers dynamically manage inventory, including with kits and bundles use FeedStation's Virtual Warehouse
So what are you waiting for? Schedule a consultation with one of our experts and put your eCommerce store on overdrive.