Tyreright, a network of independent tyre stores across Australia, decided to go against the grain by opening an online storefront. What happened next should have the naysayers taking notice.
When Tyreright first began trading in 2011, it wasn’t unlike any other number of auto parts supply networks in Australia, with a host of independent tyre stores across the country that staked their reputation on providing great service and advice to customers.
To begin with, Tyreright had a fairly standard website. That is, fairly standard for a tyre specialist. It existed to help direct customers into their local store or find the right contact telephone number to call. Then a decision was made for change.
Tyreright re-platformed. The new website was upgraded to a complete e-commerce store aimed at making the process of selecting and purchasing tyres much simpler. This decision was made against so-called ‘common sense’ and against what every other professional in the tyre industry’s gut feelings were, but the decision was made nonetheless.
“We always envisioned that there would be an online component to the business,” says Daniel Wright, Web Project Manager for Tyreright, “and we saw it as a great opportunity to bring something new to the Australian market. The US and UK have had online tyre purchasing for a while now, but nobody was doing it on a national level in Australia.”
Online traffic to the website doubled almost instantly and Tyreright has witnessed a steady growth in online purchases – even during traditionally quiet periods, like the Christmas to New Year’s sales slump.
Even better, the site upgrade has caused an increase in walk-in sales and phone enquiries. The first month since the website went live, the business hit a record number of transactions and units sold. Tyreright’s national contact centre reported a 500 percent increase in call volume and mobile phone traffic also quickly increased.
“We’ve immediately seen a response from online shoppers,” says Wright. “Most Australians still don’t realise that they can buy their tyres online, but most of them are at least using the internet for research.”
“We’re really proud of the site we’ve launched with Sitecore and Switch I.T., but we also know that this is just the first step in a journey. We’re excited about our plans for the future as we develop a more complete mobile integration, real-time stock management at the store level, smarter tire search and selection tools and even more custom content for our growing number of user profiles,” said Dominic Byrne, Digital Marketing Manager for Tyreright.
Are you a retailer working in a category that ‘doesn’t work online’? If you are looking around at your competitors and none of them are attempting to make their business work in the digital space, that’s not a reason to follow suit. That’s an opportunity to beat them to the punch.
“Online doesn’t remove your existing business,” Wright explains, “it enhances it by starting the relationship with the customer earlier in the purchase cycle and by reaching out to customers who may not otherwise have found Tyreright. So yes, I think it’s fair to say that online is essential, but it’s important to note that online isn’t a short-term commitment. It’s serious and it’s involved. We run our online store as a store and it takes that level of investment to manage it well.”