Auto Care Association

AAIA announces standardized product attribute database

The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) announced the general release of the first open industry standard for product-specific attributes. Standardization of performance and physical product attributes will lead to much greater consistency and quality in the marketing data used throughout the supply chain. Increased sales and lower returns result from providing clear and objective product data to all customers.

The product attribute database (PAdb) was compiled from the contributed expertise of hundreds of industry subject matter experts in dozens of product categories. Each attribute definition was reached by the unanimous consensus of two or more suppliers of the product, and at least one nationwide retail or wholesale chain dealing in the product. All told, the initial PAdb includes over 13,000 product attributes spanning over 1,650 popular product types.

“How fast does it spin? Is the pulley included? What is the finished material? These are the facts about a product that professionals and do-it-yourselfers rely upon to make an informed purchase decision,” said Scott Luckett, chief information officer, AAIA. “AAIA undertook the task of standardizing these product attributes as a way to increase the quality and consistency, while lowering the cost of managing this data. As the industry moves inevitably towards more online commerce, standardized product marketing data becomes essential to customers in making informed product selections and differentiating between multiple product offerings.”

Without an industry standard reference database for product attributes, resellers are left on their own to define unique requirements and suppliers are burdened with compliance with multiple redundant ways of expressing the same information. The aftermarket PAdb represents the consensus of the industry – the one best way to express the attributes of a wide variety of hard parts, chemicals, accessories, tools and more.

Essential support and project management was provided by Pricedex Software of Brockville, Ontario. “Pricedex provided the online technical environment where the hard work of reaching consensus was performed by hundreds of industry volunteers,” said Luckett. “In addition, they exercised oversight and management of the database development – item by item. The PAdb is the most significant data standards project undertaken by AAIA in over a decade, and we are extremely grateful to Pricedex for their role in the success of this initiative.”

AAIA projects that the initial version of the PAdb addresses 80 percent of the most popular products traded in the aftermarket by sales volume. Monthly updates will continue to introduce new product categories and expand on the original data set. The PAdb is a protected data product of the association and available to license at a very low annual rate. Special introductory pricing is available now through June 30, 2013. For more information, sample data, terms and pricing visit or write to