During the 2023 AAPEX Show, Epicor launched its new B2B e-commerce platform for automotive replacement parts distributors and their customers, which company executives say is a step up from the e-commerce experiences in the industry today.
The Epicor Commerce for Automotive (ECA) is a cloud-based platform designed to provide automotive parts distributors and other users up-to-date, customer-specific part pricing and availability. The solution’s cloud native architecture simplifies customer setup and control and streamlines each step in the online selling and buying experience, Epicor said.
“It’s really not business to business anymore, it’s business to people,” Tim Hardin, Epicor senior vice president of global automotive, data, and extend services, told us. “That is the expectation of the buyer today– to have a seamless experience like they have on Amazon or Etsy.”
ECA is integrated with the Epicor aftermarket product content engine, featuring its parts and application catalog, aftermarket-to-aftermarket and OE-to-aftermarket interchange, labor database, pre-configured jobs packages and more. Hardin said the solution is the result of years of study and collaboration with distributor partners and other aftermarket businesses.
Epicor said major features of the new B2B eCommerce platform include:
- Self-service account management: Distributors can manage customer networks and customize their presence for a branded user experience. Users can easily set up and modify account settings, control viewable inventory and pricing and establish sales team members as “Power Users.” Distributors using the existing Epicor B2B eStore or an Epicor ERP solution can import customer, product, pricing and other information into ECA.
- Multi-seller support: ECA will enable connected service/repair businesses to switch among multiple parts sellers without a separate login.
- Easier lookups: ECA provides consolidated views of data, including product specifications, images, diagrams, and cross-references to speed product identification and purchase.
- Third-party integrations: The solution allows for easy integration with a variety of logistics applications, non-application (tools and supplies, etc.) catalogs and more.
- Buy Again functionality – ECA enables dealers to easily find and repeat previous orders. The solution automatically checks part availability to ensure the complete order can be filled.
- Promotions management – Distributors can create and manage targeted promotions for their customer networks.
- Quote builder – The solution organizes and prints shopping cart content for presentation to service dealer customers.
Hardin said some sought-after features from users included the multi-buyer, multi-product approach. For example, during a parts search for one YMM, the user can do another parts search in another tab for a completely separate vehicle. With this, users can keep parts purchasing within the same buying experience.
“Our ECA leverages the strength of the content of our catalog, and we think that’s what makes us the parts ordering engine of the automotive aftermarket.”