With sharp increases in the number of tires to sell and data to manage, Groupe Touchette says a new omnichannel ecommerce platform for automobile manufacturers, dealers, and end customers has increased online orders and customer loyalty.

Selling tires is becoming more challenging with the increasing number of private labels and tire sizes and greater demand from B2B and B2C buyers for an omnichannel buying experience.

So as a prominent tire supplier to Canada’s automobile manufacturers, dealers, and independent tire retailers, Montreal-based distributor Groupe Touchette Inc. has relaunched its ecommerce platform to meet the demands of multiple B2B channels and individual consumers.

We are seeing our customer loyalty, competitive advantage, and market share all increasing.
Denis Gallagher, vice president of IT
Groupe Touchette Inc.

Denis Gallagher, vice president of IT, Groupe Touchette Inc.

The company’s new ecommerce platform, running on SAP Commerce technology from SAP SE, hosts several transactional commerce sites, including TireLink.ca for sales to motor vehicle manufacturers and their dealers; DTTire.ca for independent tire dealers and installers; and Tireland.ca, where consumers can purchase tires and arrange for professional installation.

Groupe Touchette says 94% of customer orders are now placed through the ecommerce site, up from less than 80% on its prior site.


Operating online with more agility

“The tire distribution industry has seen significant shifts in recent years, including the emergence of private label tires, and advanced use of data, analytics and technology logistics,” says Denis Gallagher, vice president of IT. “Since the establishment of the new omnichannel B2B platform, we have been able to respond to these demands with more agility.”

As a result, he adds, “we are seeing our customer loyalty, competitive advantage, and market share all increasing, coupled with a reduction in calls and costs to our call centers.”

Groupe Touchette also operates more than 50 distribution centers throughout Canada, putting it “in a position to offer delivery services in 90 of the 100 largest cities in the country in less than three hours,” Gallagher says.

The distributor’s overall sales and fulfillment operations, however, require reliable connections to exchange customer and product data between its ecommerce platform and backend business operations software.


Integrating ecommerce with ERP

Groupe Touchette worked with Toronto-based systems integrator Pivotree to deploy SAP Commerce and integrate it with the distributor’s SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning software, providing for accurate online presentation of such content as customer contract pricing, order details and status, customer activity data, and promotions.

Among other improvements, the ecommerce platform also features enhanced site search and navigation, resulting in more repeat customers and fewer calls to customer service, Gallagher says.

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