A new online specialty shop for an emerging market, an expanded “Shop by Service Type” feature and cost-effective product alternatives are among the strategic initiatives deployed by technology platform PARTS iD during the fourth quarter.
The technology platform serves the automotive aftermarket through the eCommerce site CARiD and covers adjacent complex parts markets through seven other verticals. In the automotive vertical, 70% of the company’s sales consist of interior accessories, wheels and performance parts.
Capturing an Emerging Category
In November, PARTS iD launched an electric vehicle (EV) specialty shop on CARiD. This includes charging equipment, mechanical repair and maintenance parts, and accessories. It covers many of the popular EV models on the road today.
“EV adoption is accelerating, and we believe we are well positioned to capture this emerging category with our platform business model,” PARTS iD CEO Nino Ciappina said Monday (March 14) during the company’s quarterly earnings call.
In a presentation released along with the earnings call, the company reported that sales of electric vehicles in the U.S. jumped 83% in 2021, and that EVs are expected to account for 26% of the new cars sold in the U.S. by 2035.
“Our platform model allows us to capture shifts in consumer demand and to enter into emerging and new product categories such as EV parts and accessories in a capital efficient way to build a comprehensive assortment with minimal investment in physical inventory,” Ciappina said during the call.
Show Complementary or Optional Items
During the fourth quarter, PARTS iD also expanded its “Shop by Service Type” feature that enables customers to specify the job they want to do and then get a bundle of the parts they need to do that job.
“Using Shop by Service Type, the customer chooses the primary replacement item — for example, brake pads — and the platform delivers a wide choice of results while also showing complementary or optional items frequently needed,” Ciappina said.
If a customer shops for brake pads, for example, Shop by Service Type will also display brake rotors, brake fluid and specialty brake tools. All products found by the feature are guaranteed to fit the vehicle based on the year, make and model entered by the customer.
Following the recent expansion, the Shop by Service Type feature now includes vehicle-specific product groupings for more than 500 repair tasks.
“The benefit of this feature is that the customer can order all supplemental products at the same time rather than later discovering that a necessary component is missing,” Ciappina said.
Offering Cost-Effective Product Alternatives
In response to the challenge of inflation, PARTS iD works with suppliers to hold down the cost increases to the extent possible, and partially passes the costs to consumers through dynamic pricing when necessary. The company also offers customers cost-effective product alternatives.
“One notable and clear advantage of our platform business model is the breadth of similar products available to a consumer to trade down the product value spectrum as prices increase,” Ciappina said. “By offering customers options down the value spectrum during times like this, we can capture sales which competitors with a stock-and-ship model may lose due to their limited product assortment and options.”