The Power of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) For Automotive Ecommerce

If you own or manage an automotive ecommerce site, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) should be at the top of your mind. In this article, we explain what CRO is and why it’s so important.

First, What is CRO?

Simply stated:

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a process to improve a website’s overall performance. The CRO process involves identifying and testing very small or very big changes to a website’s design, text, or function for the purpose of increasing performance.

CRO is about efficiency – it’s about doing more with what you have.

For a more detailed review of CRO, be sure to read our post Conversion Rate Optimization for Parts and Accessories, which has some more details about the CRO process itself

There Are Only Three Ways To Grow Website Revenue

  1. Increase the number of visits to the website
  2. Increase the amount of product people buy (increase revenue per transaction)
  3. Increase the number of transactions that occur on the site

Increasing Visits Is What Most Companies Focus On

For most website owners, increasing visitors is the main focus of marketing and advertising:

  • Spending more on advertising
  • Investing in SEO
  • Emailing previous customers and encouraging them to return more often
  • Posting more to social media to increase awareness, and/or working with influencers

These are all tried and true tactics. However, most of them are not fast, and all of them have different degrees of effectiveness. It’s a good idea to do all of these things (and more), but a good strategy involves more than just “more traffic = more sales.”

Increasing AOV

Increasing average order value (AOV) – option #2 – is a great way to increase website revenue. Most companies don’t focus on this opportunity enough, in fact.

However, increasing AOV is a bit complicated for automotive parts and accessories retailers:

  1. The easiest way to increase AOV is bundling/discounting, eg “buy one get one free” or “buy 2 and get 10% off, buy 3 and get 20% off.” This doesn’t work great in our industry.
  2. Another great way to increase order value is kitting – instead of just selling brake pads or brake rotors, sell a pad and rotor kit at a better overall value. Unfortunately, because auto parts are so complex, kitting is fairly difficult.
  3. Add-ons and upgrades are a good way to increase AOV too – offering consumers expedited order processing, an upgraded warranty, or customization options are all proven. But none of these things are easy to implement.

As a result of the challenges, many parts and accessories retailers don’t worry enough about increasing AOV. Still, it’s a great place to focus if you’re a retailer looking for a way to grow.

Increasing Transactions

The easiest way to grow website revenue is to figure out how to get more orders out of the people that are currently visiting your site:

  • If you have 10,000 people visiting your site every month, and
  • Only 1.5% of those visitors buy something
  • You have 150 website orders a month, or about 5 orders a day

The 1.5% that convert is not bad – it’s right between the industry average of 1-2% – but there’s room to grow:

  • Increasing conversion rate from 1.5% to 1.8% results in 1 more order per day
  • Adding just one more order per day increases overall sales 20%

And these are just example numbers. Very often, websites we start working on convert at 0.5% or 0.8%, and we manage to double or triple these numbers.

Conversion Rate Optimization Example
The power of conversion rate optimization – even small changes in conversion rates can lead to big changes in revenue.

Many times, conversion rate improvements are simple. A few small changes can often lead to big improvements.

CRO Should Be A Top Priority For Every Online Retailer

Because of the potential for improvement, CRO is definitely a marketing activity every online retailer should focus on. However, there are a lot of ancillary benefits to CRO work:

  • Very often, conversion rate improvements are driven by website usability improvements
  • Usability improvements make your site more effective in terms of all you’re company’s messaging, not just sales…a more usable site better represents your brand and your products
  • Usability improvements very often lead to increased website traffic, as Google emphasizes usability and rewards sites with more organic search traffic and/or less costly Google Ads clicks
  • Consumers are more likely to share/recommend a website link if they have a good experience

Typically, CRO efforts provide more than just revenue growth – they also boost overall website traffic because of improved usability.


Conversion rate optimization should be a top priority of any retailer with more than 10,000 ecommerce sessions a month. Even a small boost in website conversion rate will have a sizable impact on sales and profit margins, as conversion rate improvements effectively squeeze more value out of the current site, current ad budget. etc.

To learn more about Spork’s conversion rate optimization services, contact us.

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Auto parts in the cardbox. Automotive basket shop. Auto parts store.