Shopping for a new or used commercial vehicle can quickly get complicated given all the possibilities for upfits and vehicle options.
Kathryn Schifferle set out to make it easier with Comvoy, an online work truck and van marketplace designed to take the edge off the vehicle shopping experience for both buyers and sellers alike.
“There are millions of businesses that need to use work trucks every single day. These are hard-working people who lose money when they don’t have – or don’t even know where to begin to find – the exact vehicle they need,” said Schifferle, Comvoy CEO and founder. “We built this marketplace to be the one stop shop for all things work truck. Search results on Comvoy are never skewed around paid placements or sponsored products. This marketplace is built around what buyers need, and is about helping them get it. Period.”
Schifferle draws on plenty of experience in the work truck industry, including lessons learned at her other website Work Truck Solutions. The results are an inviting buyer-centric site that’s user-friendly right from the start. Shopping begins by simply clicking on one of 21 vocations, or by vehicle body type, vehicle brand or upfit manufacturer.
Schifferle’s knack for taming and organizing an ever-expanding pile of work truck resources extends to helpful articles and videos. During our conversation she referenced the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system which was started by the U.S. in the 1930s as a much-needed approach for categorizing various industries while employing a common nomenclature.
Modeling that SIC approach brings valued clarity in arranging Comvoy’s 140,000-plus commercial vehicle listings offered through over 800 dealers.
“We really focus on, of course, the SIC code categories and you’ll see a few if you drill into those,” Schifferle said. “Each one of them has a landing page and walks the shopper through the kinds of vehicles they’ll be interested in.”
Body types are featured on the bottom of the page in a line-up of easy-to-see outlines based on vehicles they represent: chassis cabs, chipper trucks, combo trucks, contractor trucks, crane trucks, cutaway chassis, dump trucks, flatbed trucks, hauler trucks, hooklift trucks, landscape trucks, mechanic trucks, passenger vans, plow trucks, refrigerated trucks, rollback trucks, stake trucks, step vans, upfit cargo vans, welder trucks, wheelchair vans and wrecker trucks.
Vehicle selections can be parsed in a number of ways including brand, model, year, cab type, drivetrain, rear wheels, fuel type, engine type, color, GVWR, class, wheelbase, body options and cab to axle.
“We’re the only ones with the structured data,” Schifferle said. “There’s things like the vehicle’s trim, the cab type. Those are kind of common. But when you start getting into things like body type and the length and criteria like that. Nobody else has that kind of stuff. Nobody has the body manufacturers.”
Comvoy should not be confused with Work Truck Solutions which is geared towards helping dealers and upfitters to better connect with buyers by enhancing their databases and websites with more relevant and helpful information and tools surrounding work truck and van selection.
“We are a solution that dealers use to run their business,” Schifferle said of Work Truck Solutions. “Our platform allows them to display and manage their inventory on their own website and also manage their salespeople and their customers and all of that. The one thing that we did not do for them up until now was bring them buyers, bring them leads. That’s why with Comvoy there’s been dancing in the street. We’re very, very excited.”
Schifferle kept ease-of-use and cost in mind while creating Comvoy.
“I think really one of the other big decisions that we made in coming out to help the market was that we decided that we just wanted to get buyers directly to what they’re looking for fast and fair and not do any, what I would call, pay to play,” she said.