According to a research the average life of a car has increased to 11.6 years. This means more and more people are sticking to their vehicle for a longer time. This creates a sweet spot for the aftermarket car parts services. The spare & replacement parts market is flooded with millions of different types of parts and accessories. For the user to select the right part a catalog service is rendered necessary for reference. A catalog in definition includes technical specifications, high quality images, how to fit instruction guide and other general features with descriptive information of the product; such that user can compare the product and evaluate before purchase. A catalog is available as hard copy and/or online in electronic format for users to do decision making.
With millions of car parts available it becomes difficult to scale the information. The data standard formats developed by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) or the Autocare Association bring to scale the parts information such that it could be exchanged by the various stakeholders. This industry defined normalized data formats aid to the cause of providing right fitment part for any vehicle. To choose from the inventory of millions of car parts a user needs to filter and query the normal form database. The data provided by the vendor needs to be validated against the database provided by AAIA to check for invalid application data. These exceptions need to be corrected manually to be able to successfully upload into the catalog database.
Several partly automated software systems are available in market to validate the data and upload the data. These 3rd party software’s are neutral in approach and provide an unbiased output in terms of standardized data sheets in table formats. The output data is in table format which needs to be converted into catalog format for the end users to interact with. To covert this table format data into catalog format semi automated services are available in the market. These semi automated software services are cloud based services requiring no downloads and have the ability to publish catalog either in static hard copy pdf format or publish it online for dynamic e-Catalog.
Traditionally, car parts required for replacement and repairs were available in store. The classic approach was to get a quote of repairs from the stores and compare to select the cheapest. Now a days with increase in use of internet the consumer is more informed about the parts its cost and their availability; the data and information are present in normalized state such that the user can filter and query the database to get customized results. These value added software services reduce the information time to market and thus offer optimized and efficient results. What used to be a weeklong affair is now delivered in a single day. This time savings is the key factor for e commerce to register significant growth.
The car parts catalog lets the user to browse filter and query the exhaustive database to be able to find the right part for their vehicle in the right time. This adds to the competitiveness of the catalog service provider; the catalog needs to be search engine optimized to be able respond to the open search query and to gain greater visibility.