Many auto part stores will tend to outstrip the capabilities of most general retail sales packages. The reason for this is that an auto parts store will have inventories that contain thousands of auto parts and accessories available for special order. They also tend to have different categories of buyers and potential customers. Among them, we can include people such as repair shop owners, dealers, as well as people looking to repair or enhance their vehicles themselves. It should also go without saying that each of these types of customers will have their own preferences and knowledge when ordering and adding items to their shopping cart.
One of the most important features that sets the automotive aftermarket industry apart from all others is fitment data. As most of us know, there are thousands of different vehicles out there and hundreds of thousands of components and accessories for all of these vehicles. To complicate matters further, these accessories and auto parts fit multiple vehicles at the same time. On average, the typical auto part will fit around 32 different vehicles. There are also many cases when components and accessories work together, and there are many other cases when they don’t.
All too often, people will also search for these accessories based on brand, not realizing that many aftermarket products that fit their vehicles do not come from the original manufacturer. In this case, fitment data is able to bridge this information gap and make the connection between specific vehicles and the many auto parts and accessories on the market. This is where an auto parts database software can help.
The Importance of Auto Parts Database Software
Those operating in the automotive aftermarket industry are all too aware of the ACES and PIES data standards. These were created by the Auto Care Association (ACA), formerly known as the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), and they are used to manage and exchange fitment information and part numbers between different partners and customers. They are also used to provide a universal guideline, allowing those working with fitment data to “speak the same language.”
As such, every automotive eCommerce business that works with auto parts and accessories will need to have a comprehensive fitment data management system. Otherwise, their partners and customers will not be able to find what they are looking for. Unlike other industries, where people simply go online and browse for a product, in the automotive aftermarket industry, customers will have to make sure that the components and accessories they are looking at will actually be compatible with their vehicle.
Fitment data, also known as compatibility information, will contain all useful information such as the year, make, and model of the vehicle, as well as other relevant data for those components. If this fitment data is not accurate or complete, you’re not only risking selling the wrong parts to customers but also risking the possibility of them not finding whatever they are looking for in the first place.
This, in turn, can result in numerous product returns, customer complaints, a serious blow to your brand’s reputation, and many missed sales opportunities. However, managing this high level of compatibility information is an ongoing process since the aforementioned ACES and PIES data standards change fairly regularly. In fact, the Auto Care Association will update its own databases about once per month, adding the new components and accessories that enter the market, while changing or eliminating various vehicle attributes and configurations. In turn, aftermarket auto part businesses will also have to upkeep their data so that they will stay in line with the ACES and PIES standards.
Setting up an auto part database is not a “fit and forget” type of deal. If your fitment information does not match the new changes made by the ACA, you will start having holes in your catalog. And when this happens, your customers will not be able to see the components they were looking for.
Both Amazon and eBay Motors have master vehicle lists that are updated periodically. The products presented here are listed based on the type and geographical location, which allows users to review the changes made to the fitment data for any specific vehicle make or model. While both eCommerce platforms have their own existing systems and auto part software for database and inventory management, the process of adding fitment data and updating it on a regular basis is still done manually. Adding just a few fitment records for a single listing can be quite labor-intensive, not to mention the fact that it will be incredibly hard to keep track of all the changes happening across all of your listings. It’s for this reason why auto parts inventory management software is so useful.
These types of solutions will not only ensure that you are ACES and PIES compliant but will also increase the visibility of your entire auto parts catalog. And instead of having to add or update every listing, one at a time, you will also be able to automate fitment bulk importing.
What Can Auto Parts Database Software Do For You?
It’s pretty safe to say that every system comes with its own features. When it comes to Illumaware’s own Evokat Premier, there are several capabilities that put it above the rest. For starters, this is an online access cloud-based solution specifically designed to provide its users with highly customizable authoring and reporting capabilities and manage all disparate requests from a single place. It also provides enhanced data security in the form of antivirus and anti-malware protection, multi-factor authentication, access control lists, VPN, HIPAA and PCI DSS compliance, and more.
Evokat Premier will provide you with the latest versions of the Auto Care Association databases and will provide you with a live vehicle mapping interface. This interface offers immediate feedback on all available vehicle configurations that will match all of your target attributes. It can also be used to initiate complete health checks on your application and product data, while providing you with solutions to any and all issues that may arise.
No matter what types of components or accessories you are selling, be it light or heavy-duty vehicles, Powersports, agriculture, or marine, Evokat Premier will allow you to connect to all vehicles available in the VCdb database. In addition, you will also have access to all product resources found in the PCdb and PAdb databases, without having to pay additional subscriptions for these.
The most important part is that Evokat Premier will continuously evaluate your database against the new standards as they are being updated every month, ensuring that there won’t be any holes in your catalog’s fitment data. In the majority of cases, Evokat Premier will also issue clear and easy-to-implement solutions to these problems. Furthermore, you will be able to configure the entire mapping process by adding as many details to your auto parts and accessories as you need. You can go as simple as year, make, and model, or add more comprehensive details such as fuel types, engine, body styles, and more.
By using a software solution such as Evokat Premier, you will be able to reduce the incidence of data entry errors, the risk of product returns, miscommunication with partners and customers, as well as the risk of missing sales opportunities. Since this management system will take into account your branding requirements, you will also be able to add PIES data brand-specific overrides and specific ACES fitment note targeting. With this, you have a great deal of flexibility when it comes to tailoring your product data based on your channel partner’s custom data demands or private label requirements.
To summarize, an auto parts database software will help your automotive aftermarket business succeed in today’s highly competitive market. If you want to know more about what Illumaware LLC Evokat Premier has to offer to your auto parts catalog, contact us at your earliest convenience.