If you’re selling automotive parts online, how well you manage your product data determines the success of your listings on ad channels and marketplaces. Your auto part listings should match up to your fitment data, so consumers know what you’re selling and the relevant products appear in search results.
You also need processes to format, manage, and syndicate your product catalog across all of your sales channels, like eBay, Walmart, and Amazon. Automating these crucial processes saves you time and resources, and allows you to focus on growing your business.
In this blog, you will learn more about automotive fitment data, how to use it for ecommerce, and how to manage your product listings effectively.
What is automotive fitment data?
Fitment data refers to a set of information specifying which vehicle models or makes a particular automotive part is compatible with. This data helps automotive retailers, manufacturers, and consumers determine if a specific part works for a particular vehicle.
Fitment data is used in the automotive aftermarket industry, where customers purchase parts like tires, brakes, suspension components, or custom accessories.
Online retailers, auto parts stores, and manufacturers display fitment data to help customers make informed purchasing decisions and avoid compatibility issues. This is especially useful for online shoppers who aren’t able to physically see or test the part, and don’t typically have access to the same level of customer service as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
Some online marketplaces require retailers to submit fitment data in order to sell auto parts or to use their built-in fitment search tools.
Overall, this data is crucial for providing a positive customer experience and increasing the visibility of your auto parts listings.
Fitment data typically includes the following:
- Vehicle make: The brand or manufacturer, such as Ford, Toyota, BMW, or Jeep
- Vehicle model: The specific model, such as “Tacoma” or “Mustang”
- Vehicle year: The production year, which is crucial because vehicle designs can change from year-to-year
- Engine type: Engine information, such as size, fuel type, and other relevant specifications
- Trim level: Different trim levels of the same model may have variations in parts and accessories
- Body style: Body style information, such as sedan, coupe, SUV, or truck
- Part or accessory information: Details like dimensions, weight, and any other relevant information
How do you format automotive fitment data, and where does it come from?
Auto parts retailers benefit from a standardized method of displaying a part’s compatibility, so customers and mechanics can easily find what they’re looking for. As of 2023, the Auto Care Association (ACA) compiles the primary databases that are used as the standard for fitment data formatting in the United States.
The ACA maintains two main standards: the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) and the Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES). Both formats are exclusive to the automotive industry and often used in conjunction with one another when listing auto parts online.
ACES focuses on the applications and fit of the vehicle parts, while PIES provides parts numbers and product features.
The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES)
The ACES fitment data standard is used by light, medium, heavy-duty, power sport, off-highway, and equipment companies.
ACES data files come in an XML format, with only one file per brand, and can be used after paying a subscription fee to the Auto Care Association.
Within ACES, there are four databases you should know about:
- VCdb: The vehicle configuration database (VCdb) contains a standard list of vehicles, attributes, and configurations starting from 1896.
- Qdb: The qualifier database (Qdb) helps standardize fitment terminologies and expressions with “qualifiers” that can be used in catalogs and web lookups, which allows for easy filtering and navigation through vehicle fitment data to find the correct product.
- PCdb: The parts configuration database (PCdb) contains a standard list of part types, categories, and data.
- Brand: The brand table is a repository of parent, brand owner, brand, and sub-brand labels. Every label is assigned a code, which is used to communicate brand information in ACES files.
The Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES)
PIES data is also used by light, medium, heavy-duty, power sport, off-highway, and equipment companies. PIES data can be downloaded and used in an XML format.
While it does house the same PCdb and brand table information as ACES, it also includes additional product attribute information:
- UPC codes
- Hazardous material information
- Country of origin
Which marketplaces require automotive fitment data?
Amazon, eBay, and Walmart all require auto parts sellers to submit fitment data if they want to take advantage of built-in marketplace parts finder tools. This means you need to gather fitment data from the ACA database and follow each marketplace’s process for submitting fitment data.
“Amazon, Walmart, and eBay all support fitment data, but it is not necessarily required to list automotive parts on these marketplaces. However, supplying fitment data helps facilitate the customer’s purchase, so there are a few extra steps to take if sellers want their listings to perform better.”
Fitment data requirements for Amazon
Amazon has a part finder widget to help shoppers find compatible parts for their vehicles.
If you want products you are selling to appear in the parts finder widget, Amazon requires you to submit an XML file containing all relevant fitment data for your products, including:
- Brand name of the product
- Brand(s) of the vehicle the part fits
- Model(s) of the vehicle the part fits
- Years of the vehicle the part fits
- Other relevant vehicle identifiers, such as engine type or trim
- Part type
Merchants must create a separate Seller Central account for submitting ACES data to Amazon.
Read more about Amazon’s fitment data requirements.
Fitment data requirements for eBay Motors
eBay has a dedicated automotive section—eBay Motors—that allows customers to add vehicles to their “garage” in order to find the exact parts and accessories that fit.
Currently, submitting fitment data is optional for sellers on eBay. However, according to eBay, listings that display compatible vehicle data created with eBay’s parts compatibility feature have increased conversion rates and fewer return requests.
With Feedonomics, merchants can directly sync fitment data to their eBay catalogs to take advantage of the parts compatibility feature and provide a better customer experience.
“The eBay compatibility table lists out which make, model, trim, engine, etc. a part is compatible with. Feedonomics pulls together fitment data attributes from a seller’s source data, inserts the appropriate tags or name values, and sends the table data through the compatibility field in the eBay API product feed.
Ultimately, we save sellers time and effort by creating the eBay compatibility table in bulk for hundreds or thousands of listings through the power of our platform’s transformation and automation tools.”
You can read more about eBay’s parts compatibility feature in this online guide.
Fitment data requirements for Walmart Marketplace
Walmart Marketplace has an auto parts fitments widget that makes it simple for customers to navigate millions of products and find those that fit their vehicles.
The marketplace requires sellers to submit their fitment data to Walmart directly or through an approved third-party fitment provider.
For the auto parts fitments widget to appear on your product pages—and to allow your products to appear in search results when customers use the tool—you must have complete and up-to-date attributes in your product catalog, including the following:
- Part terminology ID
- AAIA brand ID
- Manufacturer Part Number (MPN)
- Model number
Feedonomics helps sellers format these attributes in their product catalogs, so Walmart can match the marketplace listings to the provided fitment data.
Read more about how to get started on Walmart’s auto parts fitment widget.
What’s the best way to manage auto parts listings for marketplaces and advertising channels?
It’s easy to get lost in an endless, rolling catalog of automotive data. There are original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and aftermarket parts, and each of those parts can have rows of corresponding data for color variations and fitments.
The sheer volume of information makes the catalog optimization and product listing more complex, so it takes a lot of time to get things right.
Auto manufacturers, vendors, and merchants need a seamless way to format all of this data and send it to the top shopping destinations quickly and efficiently. A manual solution just doesn’t cut it for auto parts merchants with large and constantly changing product catalogs.
How Feedonomics helps manage your auto parts listings
Feedonomics has the flexibility to handle complex data setups and the power to optimize catalogs with millions of SKUs.
Our full-service feed management solution for auto parts merchants simplifies numerous processes:
Listing formatting and syndication
Using just one product catalog, Feedonomics can syndicate your auto parts listings to marketplaces like eBay, Walmart, and Amazon. Our platform allows you to synchronize and update your listings everywhere you sell.
If you’re selling on eBay and don’t have fitment data in your product catalog already, Feedonomics can join it in from other sources like your ecommerce website. Once your fitment data is formatted, you can attach it to your marketplace listings. Feedonomics can add compatibility tables directly to your eBay product feeds.
Listing optimization and expansion on Google Shopping
Feedonomics helps you expand the SKUs in your catalog to create separate fitment variations, so each variation is its own advertisable product. This allows you to get more granular with your ad campaigns and target customers searching for specific parts that match their vehicles.
Feedonomics can also populate key product details by pulling data from multiple fields into the appropriate Google feed attributes.
The Feedonomics platform can also segment your product sets based on seasonality, cost, and profit margins to create highly customizable ad campaigns and bidding strategies.
Feedonomics uses automated order management technology to synchronize orders and inventory data between the marketplaces you sell on and systems like your order management system (OMS) or ecommerce platform.
Multichannel selling is made easier with inventory buffers that prevent overselling, rules to route and split orders, and data translation so that order data can match your OMS and other system requirements.
Data governance and compliance
Feedonomics can create custom feed alerts and parameters to ensure errors are caught and resolved with little impact on your business. If you’re a distributor, protect your relationships with vendors by setting export rules for your listed prices so that they never fall below the minimum advertised price.
As a full-service feed management platform, our dedicated feed specialists manage feed optimization across multiple marketing channels, ensure alignment with regular meetings, and provide 24/7 support.