PARtsDB and CommerceConnect at the core of Spares Box
PARtsDB is at the heart of Australia’s largest auto parts store, Spares Box. When Spares Box was founded in 2014, its owners went looking for the best Product Information Management (PIM) offerings and partners it could find. Spares Box chose Fusion Factory to create the technology it needed to make seamless connections with vehicle-product data across multiple platforms (e-commerce, eBay, online channels, ERP and other back-end systems).
The result is that customers are able to conveniently shop online for needed parts just by entering their vehicle information – pulling up the best parts for the perfect price at an unbelievable speed. Spares Box’s Andrew Palmer says: “Fusion Factory allows our customer queries to filter through 3.5 million+ vehicle-product relationships, returning the 100+ parts that actually fit the customers’ vehicle in a matter of milliseconds” This saves the customers time and money (as much as 35% savings).
Pulling up results fast is one thing, updating and maintaining the data is another. And this is where PARts Australia and its PARtsDB product comes in. PARtsDB supplies and maintains the data Spares Box needs for its offering of more than 300,000 parts and accessories. This is a mind-boggling task, considering parts availability and price change all of the time. But PARtsDB is up to the task of capably supporting Spares Box’s parts supply information system, enabling online customers to take control of their servicing and maintenance costs by buying parts direct. Success is therefore a collaboration of data supplier (PARtsDB), the vendor (Spares Box) and data integrator (Fusion Factory).
As a further benefit, Fusion Factory and PARtsDB deliver that data and in a standards compliant form to the Spares Box own web site, its Ebay store and other shopping channels like Partsales. This is a PARtsDB speciality – one database, multiple deployments.
The markets that most benefit from the PARtsDB + Fusion Factory + Spares Box collaboration are the DIY (‘Do It Yourself’) and DIFM (‘Do It For Me’) markets. DIYers tend to purchase small, easy to install parts. DIFM customers tend to buy larger, more complex parts requiring the services of a professional for installation. An Auto Care Association’s E-tailing in the Automotive Aftermarket study shows DIY customers are more than 5 times as likely as DIFM customers to do their own maintenance or have their maintenance done on their vehicles at least twice a month. With the easy parts lookup and price comparison at Spares Box, it is no wonder that the DIY and DIFM markets – no doubt enhanced by the millennials’ coming of age – contributes to the booming online motor vehicle parts retailing in Australia.
According to Spares Box, the motor vehicle parts retailing industry is a $5bn+ market, with 2.5% annual growth seen from 2011 to 2016, involving 2,180 businesses and 16,990 employees. Meanwhile, the Australian online automotive parts and accessories sales industry has 15.4% annual growth, involving 89 businesses. These markets are still growing and the growth of the automotive parts retailing industry (both online and brick-and-mortar) depends on the speed of retrieval, sharing, and maintenance of data – core strengths of PARtsDB.
But PARtsDB alone wouldn’t make it. Without online auto parts stores like Spares Box and data integrators like Fusion Factory, all that data collected will not be of much use to power the automotive parts sales boom. PARtsDB would, therefore, continue to work with core partners like Spares Box and Fusion Factory. As a team, they will influence the growth of the auto parts retailing industry in the foreseeable future.