Importance of eCommerce Sites During a Coin Shortage

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E-commerce sites for heavy truck parts have gotten much smoother since they started popping up on the internet. Their user interfaces are easier to use; they source from a wider network of potential suppliers; and the sites often provide helpful additional information such as related parts or installation instructions.

Early March, Trucks, Parts, Service looked at how parts shortages were affecting the ability of aftermarket service providers to perform service on their customers’ trucks. Finding parts is time consuming and often limits suppliers to their local areas. Industry e-commerce sites should be in every parts and service supplier’s playbook when sourcing much-needed truck parts.

FinditParts“When your normal sources don’t have a part, you start calling other people – usually they’re dealers in your area, so you don’t see inventory outside of your geographic area,” says David Olsen, Executive Vice President, FinditParts.

“If you think of any truck-specific service provider, by our calculations, their salespeople/buyers spend at least 25% of their day trying to find a part they don’t have. It’s this whole antiquated daisy chain of phone calls,” says Olsen.

FinditParts, like many other truck parts sites, frees up that time so staff can attend to other important aspects of the business.

Advantages of e-commerce

Paccar Parts’ e-commerce platform’s goal is to provide its dealer network with the easiest and most user-friendly e-commerce platform on the market.

“That includes making sure our dealerships have great retail availability, making sure we have good availability in our distribution centers, and that the e-commerce element makes it extremely easy for end customers to find what they want. ‘they’re looking for it and getting it as soon as possible,’ says Joe Hutchins, director of e-commerce, Paccar Parts, which encompasses Kenworth, Peterbilt and TRP.

“A big feature for us is… our fleet integration capabilities so we can take our platform and integrate it directly into the fleet provisioning system. This is a really popular offer [because] everyone is looking to promote efficiency within their parts supply operation,” says Hutchins.

The site offers flexible and predictive searches. So when a customer starts typing a search, after three characters, they get a drop-down menu with all parts containing those three characters, which speeds up the search process. This site also displays related parts and includes 360-degree images of parts “so customers can look at the part they need and compare it to one that might be on a counter in front of them,” says Hutchins.

[RELATED: Ways aftermarket distributors can improve supply chain shortage issues]

The foundation of FinditParts’ e-commerce platform is “our one-to-many approach to sourcing, which means that for any given part, we have multiple suppliers,” says Olsen.

For example, a FinditParts user is looking for a Cummins joint. The site therefore checks availability from 11 different suppliers. But the platform knows that several companies offer a direct replacement part, which could add another 30 sources.

“Indeed, when you search for that Cummins gasket, you can check 44 different suppliers with the click of a button,” says Olsen. “What we do is geolocate the customer and we geolocate the nearest inventory part that fits their needs and that’s who we buy from and that’s where we ship it from.”

Despite presenting a myriad of possible sources, Olsen claims that FinditParts is manufacturer-specific. If customers are looking for a Cummins part, this is what they will get. Customers should choose another version of the seal to get another brand.

FinditParts searches for parts from many different sources; however, the company does not allow any business to register on its site.

“We vet our suppliers to make sure they can fulfill their commitments to customers, have quality products, have good full inventory and good digital content, which allows us to represent their products online the way they want. “, says Olsen. “People need certainty when buying what they need.”

Class8TruckParts.com websiteClass8TruckParts.comConstruction of Class8TruckParts.com began in 2008. Thousands of hours have gone into building the site because “doing it right takes a long time,” says Chad Remp, director of international sales and e-commerce.

“We offer customers the opportunity to purchase thousands of parts at great prices. We have good high-res images of parts and great product details, which include supplier part numbers, including superseded and old part numbers,” says Remp.

Like some other online parts resources, Class8TruckParts.com has product information related to what customers are looking for. If they are looking for a right headlight, the site will show product information for the left headlight or information about specific bulbs.

“We try to include as much product information for these parts to ensure that anyone who orders from us receives everything they need with their order,” he says.

In addition to being able to find and order parts, the site has a blog offering tech tips, schematics, troubleshooting information, and, for some parts, installation instructions.

“We give as much information as possible to anyone browsing the site to help them make an informed decision,” Remp says.

Marketing of the site

All the high-res images, product information, and other useful features mean little if customers can’t find the truck parts e-commerce sites. A common denominator between these sites is an investment in search engine optimization (SEO).

Companies like Class8TruckParts.com and FinditParts invest in SEO to ensure their businesses rank at the top of Google searches. But these companies do not stop there to market their sites.

“We have a full Spanish version of the website. We help serve not only our English-speaking customers, but also our Spanish-speaking customers in the United States and around the world,” says Remp.

[RELATED: When parts shortages affect repairs]

Olsen says, “We are students of industry. We participate in all associations to help create the coin naming standards, such as ACES and PIES, that will help all participants in this industry better identify and find coins.

In addition to setting organizational goals to entice more customers to use Paccar Parts’ e-commerce platform, the company will soon support the platform with “quite substantial print and electronic promotions, with the public being the service provider. final,” Hutchins said. .

The parts shortage has taken its toll on parts and service providers in many ways. They cannot immediately provide customers with the parts they need; searching for hard-to-find parts takes time; and lack of parts prevents service areas from getting customers’ trucks back on the road.

It’s important that these vendors turn to online resources to get these parts — and to get them quickly.

“Normally 80% of what a fleet might need is available locally from somewhere. Today, that number is more like 60-65%, so all those parts that used to be readily available aren’t so readily available anymore,” says Olsen.

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