In 2016, three executives from a former Fortune 600 company were discussing plans for future investments when an idea came to them: What if they created a modern online e-commerce experience dedicated solely to auto parts, changing the way they are purchased online?
The trio launched PartsHawk.com to make buying auto parts simple, fast and affordable. Today, the business has grown from its founding members to an expanding team of employees and partners. Through it all, the company has stayed true to its pledge to provide millions of parts with “crazy-fast shipping.”
PartsHawk began its business around the promise of fast deliveries — a bold move in an era when two-day and even same-day deliveries have become the norm.
“Customers expect extremely fast deliveries, so we needed to establish very fast fulfilment,” said George Ali, chief operating officer at PartsHawk. “Fast shipping, in addition to a broad product catalog, is what the company is known for.”
The success of this model hinges on having a steady flow of information between seller and supplier. Missing just one tech update from a supplier could result in a poor customer experience and loss of revenue from orders being out of stock.
PartsHawk was also looking to expand its marketplace footprint and launch new digital marketing strategies to put products in front of the right consumers at the right times. It was 2019, and the company was also preparing to launch its new PartsHawk.com website.
The team tried several e-commerce Marketplace Management Systems (MMS) to manage its catalogue and orders but kept outgrowing each platform’s capabilities. With an increase in demand came more intricacies that required advanced features and functionality to keep up with its high growth rate.
“We found small successes with other MMS platforms for starting our online assortment, but we couldn’t control product information or how items were advertised,” said Taymah Nau, business operations manager at PartsHawk. “We needed a more robust and capable MMS tool that would give us the flexibility to customise the system without disrupting our day-to-day online sales. We needed a system that could handle our assortment and mature with us.”
After wrestling with technology that didn’t meet the company’s needs, PartsHawk turned to ChannelAdvisor for a system that could manage its large assortment and scale with its growing business.
Thanks to ChannelAdvisor Fulfilment Services and a variety of ChannelAdvisor marketplace management tools, PartsHawk reports that it has been able to grow its assortment, expand its marketplace presence and even thrive in the midst of the pandemic supply chain shortage. According to PartsHawk, ChannelAdvisor has provided the company with a way to customise its business tools and present a modernised automotive buying experience to customers in an impressively short period of time.
According to PartsHawk, ChannelAdvisor has helped it to:
- Maintain consistent connections with suppliers.
- Update costs from multiple suppliers.
- Make product prices as aggressive as possible.
- Seamlessly adjust and autoprice large batches of products.
- Set up new SKUs daily with automation.
“ChannelAdvisor has made the entire process seamless for us,” said Ali. “It’s better to have inventory and order management in one location. We don’t have to worry about where things are coming from, and I don’t need a ton of staff to process orders.”
PartsHawk successfully launched its improved website experience in 2020. With the ChannelAdvisor platform at its disposal, the company noted that it was ready for the ensuing year of supply chain challenges and surges in demand due to Covid-19.
“We were set up for success before the pandemic because of the existing integration with ChannelAdvisor,” said Ali. “The limitations that came with the pandemic did not affect us because our team was able to work from home seamlessly.”
Since then, PartsHawk has added two new suppliers and several distribution partners. It also added new SKUs and brand labels increased its custom integrations and expanded its eBay and Amazon presences. When a standing meeting uncovered PartsHawk’s desire to grow on eBay, PartsHawk recalls how ChannelAdvisor helped the company put several ideas into action to triple its business in that channel.
Now, PartsHawk is centralized on one platform, helping the team stay organized. This way, according to the company, it can scale and grow both the top line and bottom line with minimal addition to staff, keeping overall operating costs low.
Since partnering with ChannelAdvisor, PartsHawk reports that it has seen an incredible average annual sales growth rate of 55% per year and a 173% revenue increase from 2019 to 2022.
“It is truly impressive how much growth we have seen in the last 2+ years, while maintaining a small team,” said Ali.
PartsHawk reports that it has also achieved:
- 300% increase in SKUs since partnering with ChannelAdvisor
- 136% increase in SKUs since 2019 (for a total of 1.6 million)
- 30% increase in brands since 2019, including 50k private-label products
“In the automotive industry, it’s crucial to get new SKUs live quickly and efficiently,” said Ali. “During the pandemic when online demand exploded, the ChannelAdvisor platform had us set up for success and expansion. Without ChannelAdvisor, we would not be able to honour our tagline of ‘Millions of Parts. Crazy Fast Shipping.’”
Ali attributes PartsHawk’s success to his team’s business savvy, adding that ChannelAdvisor complemented his company’s core strategies.
“In the automotive space, your catalogue and size of your product is always going to be in the tens of thousands — or in our case, millions of parts,” said Ali. “There are very few platforms out there that can give people the flexibility to manage a catalogue that size. If you’re going to do auto parts right, it would be a waste of time with any platform other than ChannelAdvisor.”
“Don’t procrastinate on integrating with ChannelAdvisor,” said Ali. “The longer you wait, the more you will regret it when you see the monumental changes that can happen to your business once you do use it.”