Goodyear is taking the leap, and will become the first major tiremaker to open a direct e-commerce line to consumers.
Driven through its Goodyear.com website and supported by both its dealers and company-owned stores, the new Goodyear e-commerce system will launch sometime in the second quarter, according to Michael Dauberman, senior director of marketing and interactive. The new program was announced at Goodyear’s annual Dealer Conference, held this year at the Gaylord Texan outside of Dallas.
The new e-commerce play was started five years ago, Dauberman said, when the company started integrating dealers into its website via a dealer locator feature. Over the years the website was refined, Goodyear began building new websites for its Tire & Service Network dealers, and the final pieces were put in place to allow consumers to buy tires directly from the manufacturer.
The system itself is fundamentally simple: the consumer goes to Goodyear.com, inputs their vehicle year/make/model and answers a few qualifying questions, and the system provides the best tire options for that buyer. Specific markers, Goodyear said, would prevent a buyer from making an application mistake, particularly with load ratings; on the back-end, the servicing dealer would be responsible for making sure the tires are correct for the fitment and application.
The consumer would have their choice of Goodyear dealers – both TSN members and non-members – as well as company-owned stores to use. The consumer will pay for the tires, taxes and standard installation online and the installing retailer will be compensated by Goodyear, and the tiremaker will handle all inventory and shipping logistics directly with the local wholesaler.
Dealers participating in the program would receive a flat delivery commission, based on the type of tire and its size, as well as 100% of any mounting/balancing fees, disposal fees, and shop fees. After-sale road hazard or treadlife warranties are between the dealer and the customer.
“The convenience means an online buyer is most likely going to make a purchase online. That is what they prefer,” said John Casey of Albert Tire of West Deptford, N.J. “This program is positive; it marries the online customer to the local dealer. It brings them a customer that they maybe wouldn’t get.”
“It’s good to bring customers to our stores that otherwise may not have called or come to the location,” said Joe Flynn III, president of 2014 Tire Review Top Shop Winner Flynn’s Tire & Auto Service, another long-time Goodyear dealer. “With the amount of visitors to Goodyear’s website and people waiting to purchase online, we want to be a part of that purchase process.”
Dauberman said that through Jan. 25, nearly 1,100 Goodyear dealers had committed to the program.
Goodyear said it tested the online tire sales system, and found that 60% of the consumers that purchased tires on goodyear.com were new to the store that performed the installation and often represented added service revenue to the installing location.
“Becoming a participant in the Goodyear.com Installer Program offers Goodyear retailers exciting benefits including an industry-leading compensation package for each installation,” said Andy Traicoff, Goodyear vice president of consumer sales and customer development. “Plus, the Goodyear retailer gains the opportunity to generate additional service revenue at the time of installation and secure a loyal new customer, all while Goodyear handles the customer acquisition costs.”
Retailers interested in the program can contact their Goodyear sales representative for more details.