October 14, 2009, 12:00 AM

Advance Auto Parts hits the online highway with a new web store

Eight months after its joint venture web site with CSK Auto and O`Reilly Automotive ended, Advance Auto Parts is back in business with its own web store. The new site runs on an IBM WebSphere e-commerce platform and web storefront from CrossView Inc.

Eight months after its joint venture e-commerce site with CSK Auto and O`Reilly Automotive Inc. ended, Advance Auto Parts Inc. is back in business with its own web store.

The new site will give Advance Auto Parts, No. 261 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, its own branded e-commerce site with an online inventory of more than 100,000 SKUs, the retailer says.

The site was launched on Monday and runs on an IBM WebSphere e-commerce platform and web storefront from CrossView Inc., a West Palm Beach, FL, application development company. The new web store also includes advanced features such as a drop-down menu on the home page that immediately takes shoppers to multiple departments organized by categories such as replacement parts, auto parts, brakes, batteries, performance, accessories, and tools and garage. “Giving shoppers the ability to navigate the site quickly and easily was a top priority,” says Advance Auto Parts senior vice president and general manager of e-commerce Scott Bauhofer.

The new e-commerce site features customer reviews using technology from PowerReviews and transaction processing services from PayPal. To boost multichannel sales, Advance Auto Parts’ web store also has a buy online/pick up in store feature and a similar program that allows customers who made a web purchase to return the merchandise to a nearby store.

To promote its new e-commerce site, Advance Auto Parts is offering free shipping on orders of $75 and up. “The biggest thing customers want to accomplish is finding the right part or tool in the least amount of time and having multiple options to complete the purchase,” says Bauhofer. “That was another priority we had for the new site.”

Advance Auto Parts, which last month named GSI Commerce Inc. executive vice president for partner strategy and marketing Fiona Dias to its board of directors, has been crafting a dedicated e-commerce strategy since spring. Earlier this year Advance Auto Parts and CSK Auto ended their joint-venture e-commerce operation – PartsAmerica.com – after CSK Auto was acquired by O`Reilly Automotive, an auto parts retailer with 3,387 stores, in July 2008.

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