By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
Commercial truck service and platform bodies were the most frequently searched-for categories among the top 10 specialized upfitted work body types on Work Truck Solutions’ dealer websites last year, accounting for more than 28 percent of all searches, the company reports.
Work Truck Solutions enables shoppers for commercial trucks to see the inventory on more than 900 dealers in 49 states. It said Its 2018 findings are the result of more than 1 million searches on its platform. The report is the company’s sixth consecutive annual report on work truck buyer searches.
Service bodies led the way last year, with more than 17 percent of the service’s million-plus searches, the company said. Platform bodies constituted the second most frequent search, at more than 10 percent. Each of the remaining eight of the top 10 categories accounted less than 10 percent of all inquiries.
The company noted that while search volume grew by more than 50 percent last year, its 2018 findings largely mirrored those in its 2017 report
“The top ten body types tracked in 2017 were similar to 2018 and grew proportionately to the overall increase in searches,” said Kathryn Schifferle, Work Truck Solutions’ CEO. “This confirms that overall market demand is stable and reliable. In 2018 however, we saw significant increases in rollbacks (up 300%) and chippers (up 200%) as well as passenger vans for commercial use (up 270%).”
The company also noted that van searches, which include several body categories, remained high, accounting for some 35 percent of all searches. Schifferle said the company expects 2019 to be another big year for vans. To help dealerships capitalize on vans’ popularity and vocational customizability, last January Work Truck Solutions introduced a “VanBuilder” feature for their dealer sites.
Work Truck Solutions’ commercial vehicle platform features their trademarked ‘Vocational Carousel’, which lets online shoppers scroll through images of specialized work bodies offered by that specific dealer. When a shopper clicks on the image of a work body, it registers as a search for that body type, plus shows the shopper all of the dealership’s relevant, work-ready inventory.
A sidebar with detailed search criteria can also be used to narrow the search for more granular specifications, such as wheelbase, cab-to-axle, and roof height. The commercial shopper can then click on a specific vehicle for a deep view of the Vehicle Detail Page. This VDP shows comprehensive details of that specific configuration including rich product information for both the chassis or van and the customized body or shelving.
The company said it has recently added to its search criteria heavy-duty body tracking, including hooklifts, water, sewer and mixer bodies among others. “This increases the specific data and analytics we provide dealerships, body manufacturers, distributors, and OEMs that can be used to predict what stock will move faster in which markets, solving one of the major challenges the commercial industry faces,” said Schifferle.