Here’s the ultimate comparison to help you pick an aftermarket auto parts eCommerce platform (we give you a complete list of 38 companies with auto parts web solutions!). Websites selling parts and accessories have a unique requirement for shoppers to easily find parts based on vehicle fitment.
If you’re looking for an auto parts eCommerce website builder we strongly recommend using one that understands fitment, and an eCommerce platform that can filter or search for parts by fitment. (For more on fitment, read our article on ACES data.)
Auto parts eCommerce platform options
Auto parts web developers generally have two options for a website platform: either proprietary or open source eCommerce platforms, although some platforms are marketed as “software as a service” (SaaS). Scroll to the bottom of this article for more information on open source vs. proprietary software platforms.
Comprehensive guide to auto parts ecommerce website builders and platforms (alphabetical)
Fitment’s role in the best eCommerce platform for auto parts
Any automotive eCommerce platform should be able to let a consumer search by keyword, or by fitment. “Fitment” in this case can be the obvious year/make/model, or it can be transmission, engine displacement, drivetrain, truck bed length, or any number of fitment requirements.
ACES auto parts data defines parts fitment for websites.
Two website types to know
An auto parts eCommerce website, or auto parts shopping cart, generally falls into one of two categories. It can be a proprietary platform, like Web Shop Manager for example, or it can be an open source platform, like Magento, Drupal or WordPress.
Any aftermarket auto parts eCommerce website builder using a proprietary platform should understand automotive data and fitment requirements. The benefit of using proprietary auto parts web solutions is that understanding auto parts and fitment is “built-in.”
Any auto parts platform that is open source will require outside development work by a developer that understands data and fitment. That can be in-house development if you’re blessed with an awesome IT team, or that can be done by hiring a outside web developer either an individual or a company. When screening website builders, ask about the ability to provide fitment data, what the source for the data is and if fitment data is included in their price or if it is an extra fee.
Using open source for your auto parts eCommerce platform
Open source platforms include platforms like WordPress (and generally, WooCommerce, the auto parts shopping cart that plugs into WordPress), Drupal, Joomla, Shopify, Magento, Volusion, BigCommerce, and ASPDotNetStoreFront. These platforms are typically described as “free,” but that is misleading because you can easily invest tens of thousands of dollars in development work.
A high-end Magento website can run over $100,000.
Some platforms are marketed as open source Software as a Service (SaaS), like Miva, which are hosted services with a monthly “rental” fee. Some SaaS eCommerce platforms don’t describe their software as open source, because they are a proprietary platform and hosted by the developer.
Open source software, or even SaaS websites, let you choose the developer you want to work with. There are typically hundreds or thousands of website builders that specialize in any open source platform. Plugins that add website functionality are typically available for free or for a nominal cost.
Using a proprietary platform for your auto parts site
Proprietary platforms are usually hosted by the website builder. Due to their proprietary nature, custom or advanced programming usually must be done by the builder or by “official” affiliated builders only. This is neither good or bad, you just don’t get to pick the builder you want to work with.
Watch for site speed and the mobile experience
When building a new auto parts site make sure you have a clear understanding of how fast the site will load, and what the shoppers’ experience will be on a mobile phone. Both are critical to improving your site’s conversion rate and building sales.
Questions to ask when building a new website
Getting a new auto parts website is complex. Here are just a few questions to ask your website builder:
What will the website navigation look like? How many clicks will it take to get to a product page? How many clicks does it take to check out and complete an order? How does a customer verify fitment for an auto part to make a purchase on the website? How does the site work with vehicle selection (year/make/model)? What technical support for the website is included? Is there an additional charge for technical support? How reliable is your hosting platform and what is your uptime? How long does it take to respond to technical support issues? How is the technical support team reached? How much control do I have over the auto parts website’s “look and feel” and branding? How easily can the auto parts website design be updated? What is the average website page load time? How is automotive product data added to the website? How is fitment for products maintained and what is the source for that data? Is it compatible with ACES? Is automotive data automatically updated on my website and what is the update frequency? What are my options to integrate my website with my inventory levels? What brands of auto parts do you work with, and am I limited to those brands or are there options for custom data? How are product prices managed? Are there pricing rules or do prices need to be uploaded? How is customer credit card information managed and is the website compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS, usually just called “PCI-compliant”)? What payment gateways do you support? How are fraud orders prevented and managed? Is fraud detection included in the price? How does site search work? How is it maintained and managed? Is there an additional charge for third party search platforms? Do you work directly with drop shipper warehouses?
Help keep this web developer list updated
What do you think about this list? Did we leave any website provider out or is there an error? Please contact us so we can keep this list of auto parts web solutions current.