New insight:

The best way to sell spare parts online. Customers who search and find via lists versus selecting on drawings

Navigating spare parts

Primary goal of any eCommerce site is to lead your visitors from product selection to shopping cart in the easiest and surest way and to turn them into buyers.

Navigation – especially poor navigation – might create roadblocks on that way to conversion, causing a visitor to ‘take a detour’ to a competitor’s site.

Selling spare parts is fundamentally different from selling ‘normal products’

Even harder than selling ‘normal products’, is selling spare parts. Spare parts are not known for their distinctive names and design, so how to search a web shop for a bearing that you just removed from a 3,000-piece assembly in your machinery? How to navigate to a spacer ring for a motorcycle built in 1998?

Good navigation to the right spare parts is absolute key. Even more so when your client’s production line just ground or a halt in need of repair.

Time for a comparison…

Find & Select from a (thumbnail)list

Find & Select from a (thumbnail)list

Find & Select from a drawing

Find & Select from a drawing

(*) Visual depiction effect
The effect where purchase intentions are being heightened when it is easier for people to visualize the use of a product.

More on Researchgate >

Does navigation effect conversion rates?

If you want people to find the right part but let them struggle through lists of names consisting of only article numbers and no pictures, you cannot expect every visitor to ‘reach’ the shopping cart. The relation between navigation and conversion is a percentage game: the better the navigation, the higher the conversion.

There are many great examples to find out about navigation and conversion. Just Google and see if you can find examples that might help you improve your navigation.

“By using exploded views of products as navigation, we have seen a significant increase in traffic … but, more importantly, a much higher conversion rate…”

Jeroen van Drunen,
Business Manager Spare Parts

Does navigation effect return shipments?

How do you know the article number for the bearing you just removed from your machinery? Out of the 50 different spacer rings being used for a motorcycle brand, which ring is the right one for your motorcycle sub-assembly?

Navigation needs to be about ‘easy to find’ instead of ‘easy to make mistakes with article numbers and lookalike parts’ … the cause of most return shipments.

“By using navigation that lets our service engineers order from drawings, our spare parts return shipments have been reduced substantially…”

Jaap van Gelderen,
International Service Development Manager
Jacobs Douwe Egberts | Professional

Conclusion: standard web shop templates are not fit for selling spare parts

Many spare part web shops are using thumbnail-lists as a means of navigation, most likely because of the available standard web shop templates for normal products.

However, there’s a lot to be gained for companies selling spare parts by using visual navigation: drawings, floor plans, exploded views.

It will help web shop visitors by showing them the easiest and surest route to the parts they need, and by doing so, help spare part web shops to truly improve conversion rates and minimize order mistakes and costly return shipments.


Our parts selector is the easiest Spare Parts Navigator for Webshop and Service is a fully responsive visual navigation add-on for spare parts Webshops and ordering systems.

In a highly automated process, you can convert spare parts catalogs (PDF) into clickable exploded views and publish these drawings in a layer on top of your Webshop, allowing your website visitors to order from a drawing, not a list.

Implement the add-on by simply adding a line of code to your Webshop pages, while leaving your Webshop functionality and structure untouched.

Would you like to know more?

Check these pages:

Or contact:
+31 (0)85 029 63 36

Try Free logo

Upload your document here. To choose the correct document, please see examples in the picture aside.

Upload a catalogue as 1 PDF or a ZIP with PDF drawings + Excel file with the bills of materials.

If in doubt, schedule a free Q&A session.

NOTE: Requests from free email accounts are not processed!

Before you go...

Upload your catalog, receive the results and test with your own website, plus…

get a trial period
of 30 days
for FREE


tablet and mobile with user interface / Electronic Parts Catalog (EPC)