How Automotix gained younger customers and grew AOV by 300%

Goal: Expand customer base and increase sales conversion by offering financing options and approving more customers.

Automotix provides a one-stop shop for the best knowledge, parts, and prices

There are two ways of dealing with a car breakdown: bring it to the dealer and pay a premium or repair it yourself which is time and labor heavy. For those who want to save money with a DIY approach, searching for the correct part can be the hardest part of the job. Finding the necessary part used to involve looking through yellow pages, scouring salvage yards, and searching through thousands of online postings on multiple sites. Confirming that the part made by the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) was next to impossible.

Automotix is the largest network of salvage yards in the US and Canada, where customers can find an extensive collection of used OEM grade auto parts—over 50 million parts in stock. Searching for a specific item is simple, quick, and easy and by shipping the parts directly to the customer’s closest repair shop and residential address, Automotix reduces delivery time.  Automotix also rewards local shipping by offering deep financial discounts at checkout for local items.

“The traditional model was to take your car to the dealership, and they would order the parts from the dealership’s part network with a typically 200 percent upcharge per part,” Gavin Heathcock, Director of Sales and Business Development at Automotix said. “There wasn’t a mechanism to order directly from the supplier and get the part sent directly to your home.”

Automotix prides itself on their auto-industry knowledgeable staff. Their sales and customer service representatives are based in the Motor City—Detroit,  and have formal training in the auto industry. When shoppers call Automotix, they can expect a service driven conversation to answer their questions to help find the buyer the best fit of an auto part that matches their particular needs. Most importantly they offer free nationwide shipping, a one competitive year warranty, quick returns, and now, by adding a financing option, Automotix has opened up a new value feature to its buyers.

Financing with Affirm was a perfect match for Automotix customers

The wide majority of the time, the expense of an auto part is a total surprise to buyers—in the wake of an accident or random defective part.  Many drivers would drop their cars off at the dealership and pay a premium price for the convenience of having it fixed. But Automotix’s customers are savvier. They want to find the best deal and fix the problem themselves in order to save money. The combination of these two factors made a partnership with Affirm a perfect fit.

“You don’t need our products until you need our products,” Heathcock said. “The average American doesn’t have $2,000 sitting around, and if they do they aren’t excited to put it on a credit card. Affirm’s ability to break up the payments and soften the blow is a really important feature.”

Automotix differentiates itself from other sites by aiming to be the most modern e-commerce platform in the auto industry. Automotix wanted a high-tech solution and an intuitive design, so they choose Affirm over a private label credit card, even though the PLCC offered six months of no interest.

“We thought Affirm was a lot more slick and streamline which fits into our model,” Heathcock said.

Traditionally, Automotix’s customers skew older, most likely because they have better access to credit options. Affirm opened up access to younger customers by providing a modern, mobile-first solution. Focusing on a 21st century financing option resulted in an uptick in younger customers. The largest demographic buying Automotix products with Affirm is millennials aged 25-35.

“Because Affirm is hip, fast, and streamlined, it has given us a lot of credibility with our younger customers,” Heathcock said. “Affirm has really helped Automotix provide another modern feature that speaks to the Venmo generation.”

Even without a substantial marketing push in the initial months of the service, Affirm has made a significant impact on Automotix’s business. Automotix initially tested Affirm only on the checkout page, so they were stunned to see a 300 percent lift in average order value online. They also have 15 percent more loan applications than the industry standard.

Offering a financing option not solely dependent on FICO scores resonated with Automotix’s customer base.

“What really attracted us to Affirm was that [they] dig a lot deeper to approve more people and take a little more chance on people with a lower credit score,” Heathcock said. “Affirm evaluates [payback ability] on different metrics, and that appeals to our type of buyers.”

Automotix started 10 years ago with the goal to revolutionize the way people buy auto parts, and this mission has been accomplished. Today, Automotix is still striving to be the most modern market in the auto industry by being on the cutting edge of online technology and pushing the highest standards for sales and customer service. The Affirm solution is a huge value-added element to Automotix's grand vision and directly satisfies the Automotix’s mission.

 

 

About the Author

Jesse Klein

Jesse is a graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in neuroscience and a passion for writing. She uses both skills to tackle financial technology. Jesse was born and bred in the Bay Area and has watched as technology companies came to flourish in San Francisco. She is excited to be part of one that focuses on helping people make better financial choices.

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