“If your website is giving consumers the same information search engines or directories provide, such as your name, address and phone number but no inventory and pricing, you are missing the e-commerce opportunity” said Eric Berger, Director of Sales and Business Development at Treadhunter.
The remaining tire shop's websites offer inventory yet require consumers to “call for price” while an even smaller percentage actually offers product AND pricing- the bare minimum for a preferred online consumer experience.
The challenge isn't simply technological, as Treadhunter learned during thousands of hours in the field meeting with hundreds of tire shops around the country. More than 70% of shop owners either do not want to work with online consumers or do not want to invest in technology.
According to Tony Barraza, owner of Tire and Wheel Pro in Houston, “Adjusting my business to receive orders from online consumers is too much hassle. I want the customers who want to call the store or walk into the shop. I don't see the need to invest in an e-commerce solution.”
However, local tire shop's lack of sentiment to the online consumer's desired experience is not just documented through field conversations. It is manifested in the collective, national e-commerce capabilities of independent tire shops. It is here, where distributors can step in and take the reins.
If retail history has taught us anything, it is that ignoring the consumer's shopping experience has dire consequences. The most famous and costly of these disruptions were Blockbuster and Netflix.
Throughout the mid-late 2000s, Blockbuster held steadfast to their brick-and-mortar movie renting business model, despite a clear consumer preference for a better experience. While both businesses cohabitated, Netflix began to erode Blockbuster's consumer market. Over time more and more consumers purchased Netflix, effectively reducing their sales revenue year over year until Blockbuster went out of business. You must prepare for disruption, you cannot chase disruption.
Clearly the tire industry remains unique because tires will always have to be installed. The main correlation between the current tire industry and the Blockbuster/Netflix saga lies with the consumer. Blockbuster ignored what the consumer wanted, and we see that echoed across a vast segment of the tire industry.
Unable to find the desired shopping experience, online consumers are moving away from distributor and tire shop sales channels because neither is competing for their business. The result is an accelerating decline in business for both. A collaborative, e-commerce relationship between tire shop and distributor must be initiated.
In support of this necessary collaboration, Treadhunter has designed a new, local-search integrated marketplace solution that brings the internet sales channel back to the distributor and tire shop. Delivered by a state-of-the-art ecommerce experience, your tire inventory will be shopped by potentially millions of consumers throughout your territory.
Do you want to discover the untapped potential of your distribution network? The first step to take ownership of your internet sales channel is an E-commerce Risk Assessment from Treadhunter. Our teams then go to work creating an e-commerce strategy connecting your business to millions of consumers and deploying modules to have consumers buying across your distribution network!
“With hundreds of millions of tire consumer website visits every year and an increasing preference to shop locally, independent tire shops and distributors have never been in a better position to succeed - both now and in the future as disruption continues to reshape our industry.” said Greg Spence, CEO of Treadhunter Inc.