You’d have to have your head buried in the sand not to be aware of the explosive growth of e-commerce sales. While the COVID-19 pandemic saw e-commerce sales to homes skyrocket, many businesspeople began to wonder why the convenience and efficiency of e-commerce in their personal life could not translate to the business world.
According to the International Trade Administration, “The B2B e-commerce sector follows the trends and business adaptations of B2C, because people bring their learned consumer preferences and apply those to scenarios in their professional lives.” Emarketer predicts that B2B e-commerce will grow from 1.3 billion in 2020 to $2.0 billion by 2024.
Not convinced? Google the words “truck parts” and you will see listings for water pumps, mirrors, relay brake valves and more from some of the best-known online consumer websites. Truck parts are available on the internet and not necessarily from people who know anything about trucks.
Finding an online parts seller that is knowledgeable about truck parts is the first step in ensuring you will get the right part from the manufacturer of your choosing. Someone who understands trucking will know what it is costing you every minute your truck is down and will have staff that can work with you to get you the part you need as quickly as possible.
You are likely turning to the internet because you can’t find the part you need from your usual, local supplier. Maybe you’ve even called around to distributors and dealers in neighboring areas hoping they have the part you need. The hallmark of a good online parts seller is the depth and breadth of their inventory. They are of little value to you if all they carry are the fast-moving parts, and not those that move more slowly or that are for older trucks.
The current reality of the trucking industry is that new build capacity is constrained, and it is likely you will have to hold on to your trucks for longer than you typically do. This likely means you are going to have to purchase parts you have not needed in the past and you will want those parts to be readily available.
You’ve worked hard to hone your specs for your unique duty cycles, and you know which brands of products have the reliability and durability you need. You don’t want to fall victim to parts substitution which can happen with some e-commerce sites. Make sure the site you are ordering from is committed to sending you exactly what you ordered and while it may offer suggestions for alternatives, the ultimate choice of brand is yours.
In our personal lives, if we order something and it is not delivered as promised we are not happy, but when a truck part does not arrive as promised you are losing money. Ask the online parts seller about on-time delivery percentages and make sure you understand the costs associated with the various shipping options.
The ideal e-commerce parts seller will have a well-trained customer service staff that can help you with placing the order and can assist you in the event there is a problem with the order.
The trendline points to continued growth for B2B e-commerce including truck parts and components. If you choose the right online parts seller, the parts buying process should be as seamless as it is with your local distributor.