She said the other benefit for dealers is that they already are checking prices against their competitors, probably by going online, so "they are using a lot of time and a lot of resources and manpower surfing around between sites, tire by tire, on an individual basis."
Tire Intelligence "certainly saves a whole lot of time and money," she said.
"We have really granular, local data for major metropolitan areas and we're continually adding local markets into our database as we grew. So the dealers are able to drill down to a specific ZIP code, local competitors, independent guys down their street, rather than just at a national level."
Mr. Chaniot said another feature for dealers is the company's "Retail Price Compare" software function that allows them to follow three websites and 10 different brands and be able to log into a site and look at tire and pricing analysis.
They also have the option to get updates weekly or monthly and can either look at the information on the Web or download it. Dealers also can look up individual product information.
"There is a search function, like Google search," he explained, so "they can enter a part number or they can enter a given dimension or they can enter a given name."
There also is a mobile price monitor that provides information quickly by allowing a user to look up pricing from a mobile phone.
Mr. Chaniot said the company "is adding pricing information on the go or in store," and its software works on the iPhone and Android platforms as well as on iPads, PCs, and Macs.
By using Tire Intelligence's data, he said the idea is for a dealer to be able to do price checks of competitors with customers when they walk into the store. With this tool, a dealer would be able to explain to a customer that a competitor's price may not include, for example, a service charge. The goal, according to Mr. Chaniot, is to give the dealer as much or more information than the consumer has at the point of sale.
Ms. Gossett added that one of the biggest reasons the company has been able to build the business is because "we really customize our products and services specifically for the individual customer and what their needs are."
The base price to use Tire Intelligence to receive monthly updates that include the monitoring of three sites and 10 brands is $299 a month. If a dealer is interested in weekly updates, there is an additional $199 charge per month, the company said. Other features, such as additional brands or websites, are sold in an a la carte style.
Tire Intelligence also offers a separate product called Tire Source, which is a library database of high-quality tire photographs and 3D rotators.
"We've been building that out basically across major brands and the use of that is for dealers' websites, really, to enhance their content and increase their consumer experience on their website," Ms. Gossett said, adding that the material also can be used for training and as a sales tool.
Although some tire manufacturers have shown interest in the company's products, Ms. Gossett said Tire Intelligence "really see(s) a sweet spot with the dealers because if you got out and looked at several dealer websites, you'll notice that all of the photographs are very inconsistent—at different angles, different colors and what not.
"So we've really tried to become the source of that tire library, if you will, or data sheet, so that the dealers have access to very consistent content."
Mr. Chaniot added that the idea behind providing this material is that consumers are used to online shopping on major websites like Amazon.com, and since larger tire retailers are able to provide a similar feel to these popular sites, Tire Intelligence wants independent shops to be able to compete while still making it their own.
"With our content in Tire Source, (dealers) can customize the content if they want to," he said, by selecting, for instance, the background they want and inserting their dealership's logos and names.
Tire Source database includes multiple options and items are sold a la carte.
If a dealer wants a multi-angle shot of a specific tire, for example, it costs $10 to license three pictures and 3D rotators start at $20.
To reach this reporter: [email protected]; 330-865-6143.