Eight years after its entry into ecommerce, tire wholesaler Tyres4U is out to fuel growth by partnering with suppliers and service providers in the auto industry to deploy a white-labeled version of its B2C ecommerce site, Tyreright.com.au.
The strategy is off to the good start, as the Australia-based company has partnered with three Australian automotive clubs the past 18 months; the National Roads and Motorists’ Association; the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Limited; and the Royal Auto Club of Western Australia. By connecting online with the clubs to increase sales to motorists, Tyres4u is building out its business-to-business-to-consumer, or B2B2C, strategy.
Differentiating from competitors
“Our focus is on growth and we see our ecommerce platform as a way for partners to enhance the services they provide their customers,” says Daniel Wright, chief digital officer for Tyres4U. “As a wholesaler, we carry multiple brands, unlike our competitors that commit to one or two manufacturers, which is a point of differentiation for us.”
Another differentiator for Tryes4U’s ecommerce platform is the ability to provide pricing and availability. Customers can also locate the nearest service center to install their tires by ZIP code, book an appointment and pay for their purchase online. Tyres4U operates a national network of independent tire dealers through Tryreright.com.au, its retail ecommerce site that serves as the template for its white-label site. The company processes only wholesale transactions through Tyres4U.com.au.
“Consumers using our sites can locate which service center has the tires they want and how long it will take to ship tires to their desired service center,” Wright says. “This kind of service is a plus, especially for auto clubs because it plays to the heart of their service-as-soon-as-possible offering.”
Auto clubs like the ability to offer tire replacement as part of their roadside assistance, because it simplifies the tire replacement process for the consumer during a service call. For example, when a member is in need of roadside tire replacement, the roadside service provider dispatched by the auto club can mount a temporary tire, then go to the club’s website to show the member his replacement options, select a tire, and book an installation appointment on the spot.
While auto clubs are a logical choice as partners because tire replacement is an offshoot of their roadside assistance and member services, Tyres4U is eyeing other potential partners for which tire replacement would be a natural fit to their business, such as auto parts and service providers. The company says it is in discussions with two auto parts suppliers that don’t carry tires because they require too much shelf space to stock. In addition, Tyres4U is looking to partner with publications covering the automotive market, such as for vintage cars and do-it-yourself auto mechanics.
“Now we can provide full (tire replacement) service, starting with online booking from a mobile device and installation at a service center convenient to the members’ home or workplace,” says Mark Weller, group chief operating officer for Royal Auto Club Western Australia, which changes more than 25,000 tires a year roadside.
Tyres4U.com’s strategy to make online ordering of tires more expedient comes at a time when the Australian tire market is projected to reach US$4.4 billion in sales by 2023, up from an estimated US$2.8 billion in 2020, says Research and Markets, a Dublin Ireland-based research marketing firm. Two drivers of that growth will be expanding vehicle fleets and online sales.
Pushing the envelope for partners
The engine powering Tyres4U.com’s white label strategy is Sitecore’s Experience Commerce platform, which gives Tyres4U a single back-end system for managing its white-label and branded sites, Wright says. Each new partner is onboarded as part of a marketing and technical enablement service. Tyres4U then customizes the site to the partner’s needs.
“Because partner sites are built on Sitecore XC, it is easy to extend and add new components, without extensive development or affecting the other sites,” Wright says.
Tyres4U has worked with Sitecore since 2011 when it launched its first ecommerce site, Tyres4U.com. At the time, Tyres4U was an ecommerce pioneer in Australia, as no other tire suppliers or retailers sold online, Wright says. Since then, the market has become more crowded in both segments, which prompted Tyres4U to develop its partnership strategy.
Looking ahead, Tyres4U plans to add opt-in email messaging for consumers purchasing through its partner sites or Tyreright.com. Messages will be sent based on a trigger, such as a forthcoming date to rotate or replace tires based on the customers’ projected driving habits, or standard timeframes set by the manufacturer.
“Our goal is to make tire purchasing, installation and maintenance as easy as possible for consumers, while continuing to push the envelope for online sales for our partners,” says Wright.
Peter Lucas is a Highland Park, Illinois-based freelance journalist covering business and technology.
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