How to Take the Pain out of Buying Tires Online - Tire Review Magazine

How to Take the Pain out of Buying Tires Online

Sponsored by Anyline

E-commerce has grown rapidly in recent years, and shoppers today typically reach for their phone or computer when buying anything new. But when it comes to tire retail, the vast majority of drivers will still not consider buying their tires online.

E-commerce sales were $870 billion in the US in 2021, making up for 13% of total retail volume. Meanwhile, online tire sales – and more general e-commerce for motor vehicles and parts – only accounted for 3% of total sales domestically. So while online tire sales have increased in recent years, especially during the pandemic, it’s still miles behind the rest of the pack.

Let’s be honest for a second: the main reason for this slower growth is that buying tires online is a challenging, confusing process. Why? Many car owners don’t take the time to learn about important tire details, such as tire specs or what type of tire their vehicle can use.

This is a big stumbling block, since deciding what tires to buy is a high-stakes decision. With prices generally ranging from $400 to $800 for a regular set of tires, getting it wrong can be a costly mistake. What’s more, if a customer orders the wrong tires, returning them can be a major inconvenience. And if the tires are not right for the vehicle, it might be undriveable for an extended period of time until the new tires arrive, or even become a safety hazard if the mistake goes unnoticed.

Tire dealers can take the pain out of the process, and steer customers in the right direction by creating a simpler shopping experience with tire size scanning.

Tire websites are for more than just window shopping

The current state of tire e-commerce websites isn’t great: while 90% of consumers start their tire shopping journey online, customer views on tire retailer websites often do not lead to sales. Many customers use websites to browse retailers’ inventory and offers, but will go through their independent tire retailer for advice prior to a purchase, resulting in low online sales and high cart abandonment.

But with the right technology, tire e-commerce doesn’t have to just be for window shopping. Far more deals can be closed online.

By adding a tire size scanner powered by optical character recognition (OCR) to their website, tire retailers can let customers skip the step of finding and manually recording their tire data. Shoppers simply point their smartphone camera at their tires and grab the tire size and specifications – which instantly auto-fill on the webpage.

In this way, they can be confident in what tire they choose to buy online, without always having to consult a tire technician. The technology gives customers peace of mind when purchasing tires online, by eliminating the worry of making mistakes and ordering the wrong product.

Tire size scanning makes it easy to gather data and manage inventory

For tire dealers, the benefits of using OCR tire size scanning are also tangible, including:

  • Reduction in wrong orders. The less tires will be returned by customers, the less logistics costs and stress will be put on the tire dealer.
  • Increased customer satisfaction. The overall experience becomes less stressful, and customers will know what to expect with their order.
  • Customer confidence in online tire purchases. If customers have more knowledge and confidence about what they are buying, they are likely to purchase through e-commerce again.

With more sales online, independent retailers don’t need to have as many tires in stock at each location. This allows inventory to be centralized, allowing retailers to open more locations with smaller spaces dedicated to inventory.

Tire dealers can improve the online tire buying experience with OCR scanning

With the right software and technology, retailers can easily integrate a tire size scanner to any website or app, so that customers can use the scanner no matter whether they are using an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.

Buying tires online can be a confusing and costly process, especially for customers unsure of what kind of tires their specific vehicle needs. Using mobile data capture allows customers to scan their own tires to buy new ones through a retailer’s e-commerce website. For tire dealers, it is a win-win by increasing customer satisfaction and restoring confidence in their customers’ decision-making.

Sponsored by Anyline.

You May Also Like

Three Scary Threats to Your Vehicle’s Brake Pads

This is the time of year when the shadows stretch a little longer, the wind blows colder and an unsettling feeling puts your nerves on end when you apply the brake pedal. The squeal or skittish stop are portents of service issues that could mean increased operational costs, for there are dangers lurking in the

This is the time of year when the shadows stretch a little longer, the wind blows colder and an unsettling feeling puts your nerves on end when you apply the brake pedal. The squeal or skittish stop are portents of service issues that could mean increased operational costs, for there are dangers lurking in the dark as the weather turns wet and frigid. 

McMahon’s Best-One’s Capitalizes on Growth, Constant Improvement  

In business for over 50 years, McMahon’s Best-One Tire & Auto Center truly epitomizes what a Top Shop is all about: family-friendly customer service with the willingness to adapt to its customer’s needs and industry changes. Now with eight stores –five retail locations and 3 commercial and trailer locations—and one retread plant, the business has evolved

Stock-Up on Brake System Seasonal Maintenance Tips

None of us want to think about it, but winter is coming, and the chemical slurries that coat the road cling to your vehicle’s undercarriage and gnaw away at any intrusions. This causes rust and premature failure of components like brake pads. “But I just replaced those pads!” you yell, cursing Jack Frost. The question

K&M Top Shop: Ronda Auto Centers Enhances Business Through Service

Back in 1918, Art Ronda opened Ronda Tire, a small tire store in bustling Grand Rapids, Michigan, offering tires to the growing community. In the decades that followed, Ronda Tire gradually grew its tire services and also offered commercial tires, retreading and repairs. Finally in the 80s, its third-generation owners decided to make a change:

What to Look Forward to at DRIVE Expo 2022

DRIVE is the largest coaching and management company in North America. Since 1993, DRIVE has helped thousands of owners achieve their goals – both business and personal. The upcoming DRIVE EXPO in Orlando, Florida will propel all attendees with specialized training sessions, presentations from industry leaders, workshops built just for a shop owner’s needs, the

Other Posts

K&M Tire Dealer Benefits: Falken Tire’s Boost Program

K&M Tire’s Mr. Tire and Big 3 Tire Dealer Programs are full of tools for independent tire dealers to maximize their profitability while keeping true to their shop’s identity. Just ask Travis Saari, a K&M Tire dealer with Duluth Tire in Duluth, Minnesota. Travis has taken advantage of K&M’s rewards program with Falken Tire, called

Two Ways That EVs Will Change Vehicle Maintenance, and One Major Way it Won’t

There’s no doubt that the increased market penetration of new EV sales will impact the service process once EVs begin to age. While there’s much to be said about the potential of reduced cost of ownership related to EVs, they will still need to be serviced regularly. To make sure your shop is prepared, here

Why Trucking Companies and Fleet Managers Need to Digitize Their Tire Data

Trucking and logistics companies know that tires represent a big chunk of their marginal costs. On average, the marginal cost of tires is $0.038 a mile or $1.50 an hour, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. And that’s no surprise: an 18-wheeler packs 18 tires that cost an average of $375 each – that’s

K&M Top Shop: Van Kleeck’s Tire Stands Out With Clever Marketing

Clever marketing and business savvy aren’t the only things that define Van Kleeck’s Tire in Lake Katrine, New York. It’s the way the staff and owners Clayton and Karen Van Kleeck think about creating a memorable customer experience that creates repeat customers and a unique–even fun–culture in the business. Those reasons and more are why