Data Best Practices - Today’s consumers are increasingly sophisticated with their online searches. Satisfying that thirst for knowledge can give a retailer a leg up on the competition but mind the pitfalls of "too much." 

Basic to any reseller's operation is identifying the right product mix to stock your shelves or populate your website. Equally important is the ability to help consumers make sound purchasing decisions by supplying them with accurate, comprehensive information about those products. But with so many brands and application descriptions flooding the automotive aftermarket, where do you begin?

First and foremost is the need to view product data as a communication stream from manufacturer to reseller to consumer. It’s like a business transaction in which all the industry parties must be mindful of how mishandled or poorly presented product information can negatively impact everyone in the chain.

Many savvy resellers are finding success through industry data warehouses and service providers like the SDC, who can offer resellers access to hundreds of brands and millions of parts — not to mention the comprehensive, accurate data needed to sell those items.

With access to all those parts can be very tempting to think there are millions of products you could be selling. However, that may not be the best strategy, because that volume of product information requires a lot of upkeep. You want to have your pricing up-to-date, your digital assets up-to-date, and your descriptions tailored to your audience.

In other words, don’t drink from the fire hose.

Be selective about the brands you’re requesting and products you’re selling. You want to feel a comfort level with those brands because you are going to represent them and your customers are going to look to you as a resource. What image do you want your customers to walk away with, from you, from your store or from your website?

Remember that skillful data management is an exercise in branding. The aftermarket isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it industry or a quick-buck proposition. Success requires involvement.

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