ISELIN, N.J. — F&I software provider Darwin Automotive announced it has developed an exclusive algorithm for RevolutionParts, an auto parts ecommerce solution for dealerships.

The new algorithm was designed to use the vehicle’s VIN number to select the top three accessories for that vehicle, then offers them up to the consumer. This provides auto dealers with a competitive edge in ecommerce parts sales, predicted to reach $8.89 billion at the end of 2017.

According to Darwin CEO Phillip Battista, this process duplicates retail giant Amazon’s actions at the point a customer checks out online. “Just like Amazon we say, ‘Hey, customers like you also brought these three things.’ It’s a highly successful form of suggestive selling. For years, dealers have lamented that the accessory business is a huge hole in their world — something they cannot really take advantage of. Well, now they can,” he said.

The Hedges and Company annual ecommerce aftermarket industry size forecast for vehicle parts put online retails sales at $8.89 billion in 2017, a 16% increase over 2016.

“Aftermarket accessories is a huge market and most new-vehicle owners will purchase accessories within 45 days. The problem is, they purchase from someone other than the selling dealer. To be successful, in the past dealers almost needed a separate accessories department and salesperson,” Battista said. “However, with Darwin Online we can show that every car dealership can be its own accessories superstore without a huge effort. They have these quality factory parts in stock and just need to inform their customers at the point of purchase.”

Darwin uses a combination of algorithms to analyze in real time the customer’s answers to a set of needs-discovery questions, deal information, previous ownership history and any other details stored in the dealership’s DMS. Then, through predictive analytics, it produces a “Driver’s Needs Analysis,” which scores F&I products based on the buyer’s need and the likelihood the customer will purchase those protections, Battista explained.

“For example, Darwin Online takes that new 2018 Ford Explorer purchaser and shows them that the top three suggested accessories are all-weather floor mats, running boards and a luggage rack. We suggest the best OEM parts for that customer and our dealers are seeing an incredible boost in their accessory sales.”