Goodyear (IW 500/61) is heading off-road and online with some of its tire sales in an effort to keep up with other web retailers.
The company announced it was planning a second quarter launch for the Goodyear.com site making it the first big tire maker to offer sales through an online marketplace.
Buying tires online is not new, but in most cases the consumer would get the tires, then have to find a shop to install them.
Goodyear’s plan is to not just sell the tires, but to align the customer with an authorized installer of their choice. It would handle all the logistics of making sure the tires were delivered and installation scheduled. The entire transaction would be handled by Goodyear making it one-stop shopping for the customer. The shop would then be paid by Goodyear.
The decision is based on research from a Millward Brown Digital-Google Auto Tires Purchase Study showing 83% of tire buyers did some research online before making their purchase. Goodyear also cites its own metrics showing more than 20 million online visitors looked for info and to shop on the goodyear.com website.
Goodyear is looking at the process as a win-win, and so far about 20% of its authorized dealers have signed on. However, feedback among them has been mixed, according to Bloomberg Business.
Some in the industry are skeptical and there’s concern small businesses, that can make a difference when it comes to choices for customers, will be shut out. And, things can get complicated with all the different tire types and numbers, something a sales associate is better equipped to handle when a customer asks which is tire better for their kind of vehicle.
Goodyear says it’s just trying to offer the best service for those who shop online, while keeping up with Amazon and others. It also gives the company a leg up on buyers from outside the U.S.