There are several roadblocks in the eCommerce market sector of the auto aftermarket industry, as evidenced by online sellers of automobile parts. Over the last two decades, there have been a number of changes in the industry related to customer expectations and experience, increased competition, and technological progress. All of these factors have an impact on how auto component manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), dealers, and customers do business when it comes to auto parts.
The aftermarket parts business, which includes repair stations and component manufacturers, is worth about $400 billion in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Aftermarket part purchases have gone from millions of consumers at a time when the rest of the automotive sector has been experiencing a major drop since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic. That said, there are several key areas where businesses dealing with aftermarket components can improve sales, brand image, and overall vehicle parts inventory management system.
Automotive aftermarket parts catalogs are crucial, not just for eCommerce in the automobile industry. This is where customers come to locate the components they need and see if they fit their cars. However, selling auto parts over the internet is unlike any other product. To connect with their supply chain partners and help their customer base in its search, those in the business will need to make use of fitting data. To summarize, fitment data provide useful information in the form of year, make, and model of the vehicle as well as additional, more detailed information such as submodel, trim, engine type, and more about each component.
It also works with thousands of different vehicles, including typical cars or trucks. It’s compatible with hundreds of distinct automobiles, such as the air filter, ignition switch, and fuel pump. The information on fitment (compatibility) should be precise, accurate, comprehensive, and complete. This way, your clientele can easily locate the right parts. Aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and other aftermarket automotive eCommerce companies will benefit from online automobile part catalogs. It also aids people who are creating an internet auto parts company in terms of website creation, warehouse inventory management, and distinguishing their brands from the competition.
Maintaining auto parts catalogs can be a daunting task, but it is essential for the success of your business. This article will discuss the best ways to maintain your auto parts catalogs and keep them up-to-date. We will also talk about the importance of fitment data and how it affects your business.
Why Keep Fitment Data Accurate and Up-to-Date
When it comes to a successful auto part catalog management system, keep in mind the close link between your fitment data and the ACES vehicle standard that it’s linked to. In a nutshell, ACES Product Data is the North American industry standard for managing and exchanging automotive catalog application data between partners and customers across the supply chain. Stakeholders may exchange vehicle and component-specific information using ACES data.
That said, keep in mind that this data is compared against target databases, which are always updated with current point-in-time data for a variety of vehicle configurations. In other words, the data is changing regularly. Researchers write and maintain datasets using the ACES standard’s vehicle configuration database (VCdb). It’s worth noting that this information is not verified by original equipment manufacturers but rather by aftermarket researchers. This means the data in these publications is only a good guess based on findings from other specialist publications.
As a result, when a firm creates an auto parts catalog and includes all the needed fitment information, it will simply take time for that data to “spoil.” To put it another way, fitment data has a “sell-by date” and must be constantly updated and validated before becoming obsolete. The more time goes by without this information being updated, the more out-of-date the vehicle dealer’s (ADC) parts catalog becomes.
Every month, vehicles of various types are retired and/or replaced. Any items and accessories affiliated with these removed vehicle configurations will be marked as “invalid” in the catalog. This implies that they will no longer appear to potential consumers who are looking to purchase them. As a result, monthly fitment data validations are necessary to keep a car parts catalog up to date.
How To Maintain An Auto Parts Catalog?
Mapping your fitment data and keeping it up to date is time-consuming and difficult. Large eCommerce platforms like Amazon or eBay Motors have their own vehicle lists that are updated regularly. You may designate your items according to location and type, which will allow for car make and model changes in terms of geographical areas.
While these eCommerce platforms do offer some basic inventory management tools, the process is still time-consuming. Simply adding a few fittings to a single listing, such as a petrol tank or braking system, might take a long time and effort. For this reason, many people will choose to utilize third-party eCommerce solutions. Evokat Premier is one such software solution.
Evokat Premier is a system that runs on the most up-to-date versions of the ACES standard database (VCdb), so you’ll be able to access it. The vehicle mapping interface in the platform will also give you real-time feedback for all vehicle configurations in your catalog, including sports cars and trucks, as well as light and heavy trucks and agriculture and maritime vehicles in North America.
Mapping is completely customizable. This implies that you may use a basic year/make/model definition or add more information in the form of engines, fuel types, body styles, and other features. Evokat Premier will also build connections between your catalog’s various components and different catalogs at the same time. As a result, you’ll be able to include any external sources into your catalog mapping plan, especially if you get your data from vendors and/or manufacturers.
How to Manage an Auto Parts Catalog
Because every company’s fitment records are critical business assets, that firm must conduct regular health checks on the catalog’s viability. As previously said, fitment data has a limited shelf life and must be updated regularly. However, this is often easier said than done. One repair creates two new issues in its wake.
On a huge scale, Evokat will help businesses prevent product recalls by providing an easy-to-implement solution that starts with full health checks on both the product data and application information. It will quickly identify and fix any outstanding concerns in this manner.
Dashboards and charts will show the health status of your fitment data and provide clear metrics and information about any problem areas. They’ll also offer clear resolution pathways on how to fix these problems. Evokat Premier delivers an extensive and continuously expanding report format library to further assist in managing an automobile part catalog. These reports may be customized to include all necessary information.
Let’s assume you’ve just launched an auto parts business but have yet to enter the automotive aftermarket. You will quickly discover how essential lean fitment data is to the success of your vehicle parts catalog, website, and company as a whole. To stay competitive in the market, you must ensure that your fitment information is up-to-date and that your consumers will be able to locate the products they are seeking for.
You may miss out on many sales possibilities if you don’t have one. So, whether you already sell automobile parts online or want to establish an auto parts and accessories business, please contact us today to learn more about creating and running your auto part catalog.