Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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MTD April 2017 Online tire buyers are seen as savvy buyers or 'bottom feeders' Each month we ask members of our National Advisory Council (NAC) a question or questions on a current hot topic. Recently we asked, "Do you sell tires to consumers online via your website? If so, how successful is this for you? If you don't now, do you see your company selling tires online in the future? Do you feel more tire manufacturers will go this route — following the lead of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Michelin North America Inc.? And are you signed up to be an installer for these companies when they sell tires to someone online?" Here are some of their responses. 1. Customers are able to source tires online from our website. More and more customers expect a seamless experience online — a turnkey purchasing decision is the expectation. If you come up short, you're behind and are going to miss sales. Eventually all manufacturers will have to have some point-of-sale that is both mobile and digital. We are signed up as a preferred installer for several of the larger, more successful online retailers. We've also partnered with one of the "Big 3" tire makers to install their online purchases. ese opportunities create service sales. When you get the car in and get it on the rack — aer doing your due diligence — invariably, these additional sales opportunities create added revenue. 2. As a wholesale distributor we sell via an online site to our dealer customers. I believe more manufacturers will follow Goodyear and Michelin's lead and go online. Furthermore, I believe we'll see more and more online tire sales competition fill this space. is trend is occurring in virtually every industry. While it won't replace brick and mortar dealers, it adds that element of competition and requires dealers to work that much harder for the sale and sell your competitive advantages to the savvy internet shopper/buyer. 3. We sell tires online through our website. I feel all tire manufacturers will all sell tires online as it is the wave of the future. We are signed up for the installer programs. e vast majority of these customers so far have been boom feeders. e majority don't want an alignment or any other services. e tire manufactures tell us it aracts new customers. What a joke! Goodyear had its Black Friday Sale last year which gave the consumers free tire installation. We could not compete with our supplier. is has strained our relationship with Goodyear! Our dealership has changed our focus away from Goodyear aer our 25-year relationship. 4. Wholesale accounts can purchase tires on our website. Retail can look and call. We will probably offer tires on the web to retail customers at some point. I feel more manufacturers will sell on the web. We are signed up to be an installer for several online companies, but have had very few installations. Our location usually has a beer overall price for the customer than the company website, but the younger population oen will buy on the web no maer what. 5. Yes, we do sell tires online, but it is too early to tell the effect it's had on our business. What's on your mind? We also asked council members what was on their mind. Here are some responses. With the potential tax cuts proposed by the Trump admin- istration, optimism is solid in the marketplace. Dealer and consumer confidence is driving some nice business/tire units. Bring on the warm weather! Jon Shields, Field Sales and Training Carroll Tire Co. Atlanta, Ga. e so winter has hurt our shop. We can't wait for a hot summer! Jerry Reygaert, Owner Reys Auto & Tire Shelby Township, Mich. Why were Chinese tariffs removed from truck tires? Bill Ziegler, President Ziegler Tire & Supply Co. Massillon, Ohio Check out for the latest tariff information. MTD's Senior Editor and Digital Projects Editor Joy Kopcha keeps her finger on the pulse of this topic. For those wanting clarification on the recent tariff decision, check out "Supply and demand: Why there are no tariffs on truck tires om China." e very latest in tariff information, and archived news items, are all easily accessed on our homepage under the "Tariffs" buon. See also page 8 in this issue. – Ed. ■ Your turn Join Modern Tire Dealer's National Advisory Council Each month, Modern Tire Dealer is guided and influenced by a select group of readers — members of our National Advisory Council. ese members' opinions are the heart of the monthly Your Marketplace column, compiled by industry analyst Nick Mitchell. If you'd like to join this prestigious group, please let us know. We'd love to hear from you. Contact Editor Bob Ulrich at or call (330) 899-2200, ext. 11. 74

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