Online tyre sales a ‘key battleground’
In the context of large chains and online specialists growing in influence, Micheldever Tyre Services (MTS), Britain’s largest independent wholesaler, distributor and retailer of tyres, states that its proprietary TyreClick solution could provide an answer for independent garage businesses. The increasing popularity of online tyre sales in European markets, recently noted by Michelin after purchasing Blackcircles.com, is resulting in increased competition for online sales from national chains and specialist internet traders. Recent movement in the online landscape has ignited the debate among independents about how they can compete, and Micheldever says it is stepping into the breach with TyreClick.
Sales director Alan Baldwin explains: “Several big investments in online tyre retailing have made it even more apparent that this channel is set to become a key battleground for customers over the next couple of years.
“Independents are justifiably concerned they will become invisible as big brands outspend them, dominate online search results and retain customer data for future marketing – reducing their role to (at best) that of a fitter for the national players without their own fitting sites and drastically affecting revenue.”
In response, Micheldever says it is stepping up the promotion of its established TyreClick offer. The system currently supports 942 transactional websites linked to independent tyre retailers, each with their own local URL.
Micheldever argues that the collective power of TyreClick arms all participating retailers that are supplied by Micheldever with the tools to: maintain online visibility in their local area, offer availability on a complete range of tyres, operate a robust transactional website, capture and utilise customer data in a secure environment and maintain competitiveness by flexing prices in order to optimise profit margins.
“TyreClick is capable of tipping the balance in favour of the smaller business,” continues Baldwin. “It provides them with the means to compete online, own and develop long-term customer relationships whilst retaining their independence and controlling their own branding as well as margins.”
In the first quarter of 2015, Micheldever states that TyreClick sites have seen a 39 per cent growth in visitors and a 74 per cent growth in orders. Micheldever predicts further, more rapid growth as online sales momentum continues across the sector