My fiancé, Dave is restoring a 1969 Chevy C-10 Pick-up. He actually has two Chevy C-10 trucks on our property: one for parts and the one he is restoring.
He is looking for both original and after-market parts during this restoration project, and since there is no one local that he knows that deals with parts for this type of place, he has been tirelessly searching online for parts for his Chevy truck restoration project.
He says that he found sites for Chevy truck parts easily when he simply searched for "Chevy C-10 truck." However, not all sites that sell these Chevy truck parts were user-friendly. I asked him to share his top three picks for parts for his C-10 Chevy truck. Here is what he told me, with a bit of my own opinions as an e-commerce employee.
Why he likes it: "It has a very good catalog; easy to look through."
BrothersTrucks.com offers parts and accessories from Chevy and GMC trucks for years 1947 through 1987. BrothersTrucks.com is extremely professional looking from an e-commerce standpoint. The categorized left-hand navigation of this site makes it easy for truck fanatics to find what they are looking for regarding their Chevy truck or GMC truck. The site also offers a log-in feature, allowing users to create an account for quicker ordering and also to check order history and order status. This site also offers tech articles, truck show schedules, photo galleries and more. A big plus for any online shopping experience is that BrothersTrucks.com also has a customer service line. And, you can also request a print catalog for quick and easy reference.
Why he likes it: "They have a lot of after market parts for this truck. It's very easy to use."
I work in e-commerce and I think this site is a little "old-school" looking. In my professional opinion, this site needs a redesign and an updated navigation. However, Dave likes the way you can search for items on the EarlyClassic.com catalog page. This search function is a good feature, and probably the best thing about the site. EarlyClassic.com also has a page where customers can show off their truck restoration projects. There are also lots of technical articles filled with advice for people like Dave who want to restore old Chevys or other old trucks.
Why he likes it: "This has a lot of original parts. It's easy to find parts. Very descriptive site."
LMCTrucks.com, which also has a print catalog, bills itself as the largest seller of parts of Chevy and Ford pick-up trucks. The site also offer parts of GMC and Dodge trucks as well. LMCTrucks.com allows users to view each and every single page of the print catalog, and allows for zooming in for a close-up view of a part or page. This is a very different experience for online shoppers, as you click on the part number within the catalog page to order. This is not the norm for e-commerce and could be confusing to some. However, it is pretty neat use of technology to work with a print catalog. The check-put process seems simple. Also, if you know your part number, you can use the Quick Order features which is what Dave will probably do down the line: he has a collection of part numbers on his wish list. LMCTrucks.com has a professional appearance, which builds instant trust with the customer.
Why he likes it: "I found this site in a Chevy magazine. It's okay…."
Harmon's Chevrolet Restoration Parts has been in business 34 years and counting. I have a major gripe about the website: The navigation is neither at the top nor on the left-it's below a header full of links. This is extremely confusing and a big no-no in e-commerce. Once you figure out how to move around the site, however, there is a lot to discover. The site is set up to search three ways: by vehicle (you select from a list), keyword or by part number. The site also offers downloadable catalogs by year of Chevy truck. There is also a section where customers can show off their rides. In addition to parts, the site also offers accessories for your Chevy truck restoration project. Dave considers it an okay resource, but definitely not one of his favorites.