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This is a broad bulletin and follow up to the in-system notifications and emails we sent out earlier this year.


SEMA Data Ask the Experts

On March 22, we held our first Ask the Experts session! Members on the call had the benefit of asking questions important to them as well as hearing and learning about other topics and concerns. 

The Ask the Experts sessions will now be monthly! and held at 10am PST / 1pm EST on the last Friday of every month. Any member can join and it's an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of all the features and services available to you, ask questions important to you, and grow your skillset as content creators and receivers.

Look for session registration emails that will go out each month. The next session will be on April 26!


SEMA Data Central brand change log

In the last 45 days, 213 of the brands available in the SEMA Data program has updated their product information! How many of those are your approved brands? 

We understand that is a lot to keep up with. That's why we make that information readily available to you within SEMA Data Central (previously referred to as PIMS).

By logging into your account, you can now click on Brand Change Log on the left navigation to get three critical pieces of information for any of your approved brands who made a change to their dataset:


SEMA Data Team of Experts

Though we do our best to communicate to you the latest updates and what-to-expect in our eNews and in the Users Group meetings, it could be months between when we announce it and when you are ready to make use of it. 

For instance, 3 new features are going live this and next week with Custom Exports Builder! You can now add a column of static values to your templates -- helpful with those "Battery Y/N" required columns; you'll be able to click to include all asset types vs selecting one at a time; and finally, you can choose to split out the product attributes into their own columns!

So we're launching a series of live "Ask the Experts" sessions that any SEMA Data member can join. It'll be an opportunity to enhance your knowledge of all the features and services available to you as a member, and grow your skillset as content creators and receivers.


camera take pics of products

If you were to search through the many articles on the semadata.org website, you'll find no less than a dozen that mentions the importance of product images for selling your products, online and in point-of-sale systems. 

We still see many of your datasets with only one image per part number, and many of those at the wrong size, wrong compositions, or wrong backgrounds. So with the release of the new SEMA Data Scorecard v3 which will look at image quantity and quality as part of the scoring, we're going to add one more article!


Tips from SEMA Data for selling on Amazon

For businesses looking to capitalize on Amazon's 200+ million Prime members' attention and behemoth product search dominance, ensuring your product listing is optimized as much as possible is one of the key strategies for success. 

Here are some tips for your product listing and find out how SEMA Data can help you. 


SEMA Data can help with keeping up-to-date product info

It's an exciting time after all the work you've done with your internal and SEMA Data teams to get your product information gathered, organized, reviewed and, finally, published! CONGRATULATIONS! 

Now what?


How to Announce New Products SEMA Data Best Practice

Here's how to let your customers know with Life Cycle Statuses.

We are often asked about the best way to release new product announcements and how to manage that in the datasets sent out to resellers. By using Life Cycle Statuses, you can not only with let your customers know about new products, but also when part number(s) may have been discontinued or superseded.




CAWA eCommerce Content Task Force Executive Whitepaper

... and How Brands Should Respond 

In the last decade the online sales channel for automotive parts and accessories in the U.S., or eCommerce, has grown from a few billion dollars in annual sales to over $30 billion in 2022. In that same period the industry adoption of the data exchange standards – ACES and PIES – has become more widespread and commonplace. 


Product Attributes Help with Sales

Data Best Practices - Guide a consumer's journey to the shopping cart with product attributes. 

Attributes, the distinct characteristics of a product, guide shoppers through an online store to the selection of the product that meets his/her wants and needs. Material type, color and size are common product attributes and you might include them in your descriptions, but the product description does not feed the list of choices or filters for your customers like an attribute.


SEMA Market Research - A Different Dataset

What's the current state of the specialty equipment industry? How much was spent on performance and accessory products last year, and where? 

What trends will affect your business? Whatever your business objectives may be, SEMA Market Research’s reports can help connect you with the information you need to make informed business decisions. All of these reports, and much more, are available for free from the Market Research team at SEMA. A few of the latest ones available from SEMA Market research are:


SEMA Data Best Practice for Title Descriptions

SEMA Data Best Practices - Product Titles: As more performance and accessory products generate sales online, your product title description is an essential player in the digital marketing game.

A product title provides your customers with valuable information that helps in their decision-making process. Customers don’t want to waste time trying to figure out a product. They rely on optimized product titles to learn about your product quickly and decide if they want to pursue it any further.

A optimized product title will not only get engagement in a shopping site, it will also get those products highly ranked on search engines to drive even greater traffic to your product or website. So what goes into an optimized product title?


Emission codes update with SEMA Data

PIES Emission Codes help clarify and protect you and your customers

With the EPA cracking down on our industry, it's never been more important to work with SEMA Data to ensure your parts have the documentation and codification necessary to convey proper use.

Proper cataloging of your parts could offer you and your customers protection from the EPA wanting to impose fines for misuse or negligence.


SEMA Data Shopify BigCommerce Wordpress plugins

SEMA Data has three eCom plugins available, Shopify, WooCommerce and Big Commerce. 

You can find the plugins within those platform's app marketplaces. Below is a quick reference matrix of the available features and functions across all three. There is a road map for additional features and functionality. Come to our Users Group Meeting at this year's SEMA Show 2022 for find out more, or set a meeting with us and we can review with you one-on-one. 


SEMA Certified Emissions Compliance

SEMA Certified-Emissions and improvements to the PIES Emission Codes help clarify and protects you and your customers.

With the EPA cracking down on our industry, it's never been more important to work with SEMA Garage and SEMA Data to ensure your parts have the documentation and codification necessary to convey proper use.

Proper cataloging of your parts will offer you and your customers protection from the EPA wanting to impose fines for misuse or negligence.

The SEMA Garage offers emission compliance support through its recently introduced SEMA Certification-Emissions program which certifies that a product meets the EPA’s “reasonable basis” criteria making it legal for sale in 49-states, or obtaining a California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) makes it legal in all 50 states. Being able to accelerate compliance through SEMA Garage will give you the ability to get products to the market faster.


Terms of the Trade at SEMA Data

It's easy to get lost in the alphabet soup and vernacular of our industry. Here are a few definitions of those you'll run across. This is a continuing article so as new terms are introduced, you can come back to reference them here.

Please contact us for anything you do not see and we'll be happy to include for the benefit of everyone!


Pricing Guidelines from SEMA Data

Pricing is one of the cornerstones of your marketing strategy and is key to your success. Your prices and pricing strategy say a lot to your customers about who you are. Protect your company and your brand by considering these recommendations. 

  1. Create a Pricing Policy that is Unique to your Company

    Spend some time creating a Pricing Policy that is easy to understand. Simplify the legal jargon by introducing checklists and briefs. Share the policy with your team and your customers, then maintain accurate prices by keeping your customers updated in a timely manner when price changes are implemented.


Data Best Practice - Life Cycle Status Codes

View from the Driver’s Seat - a perspective from Joe Sepeda, Product eCatalog Manager  

We are often asked about the best way to release new product announcements and how to manage that in the datasets sent out to resellers.

At our last SEMA Data Users Group meeting held virtually earlier this month, I shared how the Life Cycle Status Codes can help, not only with letting your customers know about new products, but also when a part number may have been discontinued or superseded.


Reseller Scorecards in SEMA Data PartsHub

With PartsHub's Reseller Scorecards, you can find out what data your customers need before you send. 

Know that your content is complete and ready to be sent, before you send it. Toggle between different reseller specific scorecards to review the data fields your customers need to process your data imports, then jump quickly to the content that needs help.

There are currently 15 different scorecards in addition to the PIES and SEMA Data ones. Just let us know which of the following you'd like to have added to your account. Contact us via the in app Chat feature or contact your SEMA Data Project Manager. 


Create and Maintain Pricing Policies with SEMA Data

Pricing is one of the four cornerstones of your marketing strategy, and is key to your success. 

Protect your brand by maintaining accurate pricing across your sales channels, and make sure your pricing policy is easy for you to manage and enforce. 

We anticipate that many of you may update prices due to material and labor shortages and can act quickly when we receive a price update. When sending in pricing updates to us, put in your Subject line the nature of the update. By letting us know the type of information to focus on, we can turn around your new pricing quickly and many of the resellers in the SEMA Data network are set to receive updates as soon as they're published. (Resellers can choose to receive updates whenever data changes.)


Call on our SDC teams to help you

The SEMA Data team is here to help with your questions and data concerns.

We have several teams all lined up to help you when you run into questions or concerns with either creating or getting product data. Outlined below is contact information to each of our team leads. Also, you can always send general questions to helpdesk@semadata.org. 


Troubleshoot Failed Exports

If you are seeing that troublesome ‘Delivery Error’ message in the Status column of your Recent Activity page, review these key areas and take steps to resolve the connection issue so you can receive your data files. The issues are commonly Host, Authentication, or Configuration. 


SEMA Data Live Chat on PartsHub

Don't get stuck, get help! 

PartsHub is a user-friendly, and collaborative product cataloging solution that became part of SEMA Data's suite of services. Since its introduction late last year, almost 100 brands are managing their product experience and standardized product content with PartsHub.


New features for SEMA Data eCom Plugins

It's been over a year since the SEMA Data WooCommerce and Shopify Plugins hit the industry. Now at version 3.40, there's been a lot of updates. 

Back in June of last year, we added the ability to use your own Line Card prefix versus the industry standard BrandID. We enabled adding custom fitments into the vehicle search, and also the ability to adjust your selling price across an entire brand.


SEMA Data Refresher for Great Data

While the SEMA Data Offices are mostly closed this holiday season, here are a few backlinks to help you refresh your memory — and your data.

For manufacturers and resellers alike, this is a good opportunity to take a look through the list of tips below, some with links to past articles we've wri...


SEMA Data Scorcard update

Check your data score to serve up better data! 

The new Scorecard v2 incorporates feedback from the SEMA Data Reseller network, and industry experts. Shoppers and resellers need more descriptive descriptions, more and better images and other digital assets, more attribute data, more features and benefits, more more more.


COVID Relief SBA Loans for Small Businesses

The stimulus package includes roughly $350 billion in federally-backed loans for small business owners, some of which borrowers will not have to pay back.


SDC Data Scorecard Updated

Use of data evolves. Data standards evolve. SDC is helping you keep up with the evolution.

As the business landscape shifts to online, the needs and use of data has changed. The Auto Care Association has released their updates to the PIES and ACES to meet those needs.


Staging added to SDC PIM

Data Staging is Now Live in the SDC PIM and Effective for All Manufacturers Monday, January 20!


Digital Assets Practices Changing to Standards

Photos and images take center stage as Digital Asset Best Practices evolve some aspects to DA Standards -- Make sure your voice is heard! 

Auto Care Association (ACA) and representatives from the industry are meeting to update digital assets standards. A committee meets monthly via phone conference to revise and develop standards and discuss potential requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


SDC Users Meeting

High performing brands in the SEMA segment understand what great product data can do for them. Get to these SDC education sessions at the SEMA Show to learn how you can also be a high performing brand.


Time to get barcodes from SEMA Data

Barcodes are vital for doing business today.

If you want to ensure that "fat-finger" errors don't screw up your inventory counts or proliferate through your supply chain, costing you lost sales, money wasted, or higher operating costs, then you're going. To need. A barcode. So, what is a barcode (aka, UPC or GTIN) and how do you get one?


SDC Booth 20679 in Central Hall

We will be at the SEMA Show again this year in Central Hall on the second floor, same as before in booth 20679. Go through the SDC "arch" to the stairs or elevator to get to our booth.


SDC Users Meeting

The SEMA Show is just weeks away, so as you're making plans for the Show and your travel arrangements, be sure to include this year's SDC Users Group Meeting in your "must attend" events.


Use of data evolves. Data standards evolve. SDC is helping you keep up with the evolution. 

As the business landscape shifts more and more to online, the needs and use of data has changed. With feedback from industry companies and consumers, the Auto Care Association releases their updates to the PIES and ACES to meet those needs. Amid this changing market, the SDC is revising its Scorecard to help you measure and maintain the quality of your data desired by your customers.


Crowds at SEMA New Product Showcase

Crowds will be gathered at the New Products Showcase this year to see your latest products. Are you ready for them? 


We're excited to announce the SDC PIM system will be getting some very exciting updates in the next few weeks. 


Gigi Ho joins the SEMA Data as Director of Operations.

She will be based in the SEMA headquarters building in Diamond Bar, California, and will report directly to Mike Spagnola, SEMA Vice President of OEM and Product Development programs.


Our promotion was so popular last year that we are pleased to announce we are running our Platinum Promotion for this year's SEMA Show exhibitors again! We are offering $10,000 in marketing outreach to participating SDC manufacturers exhibiting at the 2019 SEMA Show that achieve or maintain Platinum status prior to July 12, 2019.


The SDC is pleased to welcome two new team members, Patrick Arche and Richard Nemcek! READ MORE

New System Updates from the SDC Development Team


As mentioned in a previous newsletter, SDC is ramping up data content support of government regulations, specifically California Proposition 65.  Through detailed review of content needed between manufacturers and resellers, SDC is using a combination of the Autocare Best Practices and member-driven and legal counsel-driven content to include a full range of detail to express these regulations.


SDC is fully compliant with PIES 7.0!  One of the major changes in this version release is all PIES Coded Values have been decoupled from the PIES XSD and moved to the Product Classification Database (PCdb), allowing Autocare to release code updates in shorter timeframes. Previously, code changes had to be held for version releases that are infrequent.  Now, we’ll see code requests move through the approval process in a fraction of the time.


ACPN is a membership segment of the Auto Care Association. More specifically, ACPN is a professional society comprised of automotive content professionals, or catalog managers as they have long been known. ACPN serves the professional development requirements of their members for education, training, technology solutions, industry insights, networking with peers and recognition.


The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) introduced a new feature to simplify PIES and ACES imports for Suppliers through Basic and Advanced Load Sheets in Excel or Pipe Delimited formats. With more than 1,200 members included in the co-op, the SDC is the largest openly accessible industry product data repository.


Are you aware that Google requires full compliance on its Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN) requirement for most products to qualify for inclusion on Google Shopping feeds? The GTIN-12 is used in the United States and Canada and is encoded into 12-digit UPC Barcodes. Google will show “item level disapprovals” for products that don’t meet the requirement. That is, you will need to meet the GTIN requirements to continue serving ads for your products through Google. And this doesn’t just mean the items with out GTINs will be excluded, but rather if a certain modest percentage of items don’t comply, the entire data feed will be rejected.