Customer Focus with Tyreright
While there’s no such thing as “finished”, when it comes to digital transformation, it’s always an exciting time when a customer is close to launching a website. Tyres4U, the parent company of tyre retail brand, Tyreright, was one of Switch’s first ever clients on Sitecore and, eight years on, it’s safe to say we’ve formed a very strong working relationship with the Tyres4U team.
In the lead up to the launch of its new white label platform, we sat down with Tyres4U’s Chief Digital Officer, Daniel Wright, to get his perspective on the project and why selling tyres online helps customers to make safer purchasing decisions.
We’re the largest independent tyre retailer in Australia and have roughly 70 stores nationwide. In 2011 we launched Tyreright and became the first tyre retailer in Australia to sell tyres online and the first in the world to implement a booking system into the check-out process, enabling customers to select a location, date and time to have their tyres fitted at the point of purchase.
We built our mobile commerce site in 2012 and most recently we’ve been working on what we call our white label platform, which is basically a custom-built platform on Sitecore that supports multiple retail sites, in partnership with other organisations, such as motoring clubs. We’re now in the process of migrating Tyreright onto this new platform.
We’ve also integrated an online payment process for Zip, which is important because most people aren’t planning to replace their tyres; they just discover that they need to when they go in for a service or cop a puncture. In most cases, people haven’t budgeted for it so it’s an important integration for us because it means people can purchase quality tyres and purchase the right tyres for their vehicle, with extra payment options to help buy them a bit of extra time if they need it. We already accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and PayPal, so Zip does add a significant tool to our payment options.
I think there’s always a certain optimism you need, when you tackle something like this, especially when it’s the first time it’s ever been attempted in the market. In the early days, people weren’t sure about the process – Do you ship tyres to my house? Am I going to have to watch YouTube videos and learn how to fit it myself? We took care of those questions for customers by integrating the booking process into the checkout, so it was all very straightforward. When we launched our site in 2011, none of the major retailers even advertised their prices online – they literally only showed tyres labelled “from $59”, or whatever their lowest price was, so we were the first brand to be open an honest about what the real costs would be for customers at the online level.
I can see it going that way, yes. I know more about tyres than I ever wanted to [laughs] but most people don’t. For most people, it’s not about the tyre; it’s about where the tyre can take you. It’s getting to work on time or taking my family on holiday, it’s making sure the kids are safe when you’re picking them up from school. Those are the things that actually matter, so a big part of what we offer is the opportunity to research the product before you engage with that purchasing process.
We’ve created five standard categories for each tyre that give customers an indication of its performance: wet weather braking, handling, road noise and comfort, durability and fuel efficiency. These give customers a comparison point beyond “have I heard of the brand and how much does it cost?”. While we don’t expect people to be experts on tyres, we do want them to make informed decisions, because the tyres on your car can have a huge impact on your safety and the safety of everyone else on the road.
We partnered with Zip several years ago at the store level and knew that we had a need for the service online too. Zip has done an incredible job of making its integration points and processes transparent, and it offers good technical support. The Zip integration was one of the smoothest parts of this whole project – it took just one week from start to finish!
There’s no question that transitioning to Sitecore Commerce provides a better overall experience – for a start, the management side of things in the back-end is much more straightforward and it’s particularly helpful for a company like ours, where there’s a relatively low technical knowledge among our customers and so we need to include a lot of content for people who are researching. There’s a really neat balance between being a pure ecommerce engine and having a robust and comprehensively built-out content part of the site. Operating with both of those as part of the same CMS platform is hugely beneficial.
I’ve really enjoyed the challenges we’ve faced on the project. Because of the type of business we are, we’ve had to do a couple of customisations within Sitecore Commerce – it’s a double-edged sword, because you’re trying to be a technological innovator but that means you’re doing things that no-one’s thought of [laughs].
You’re making life harder for yourself in order to make it easier for everyone else. That’s the great thing about these organisations – Switch, Sitecore and Zip – they’re partners who aren’t just trying to satisfy the immediate question, they’re always thinking ahead and going “So what are the implications of this? Where does it take us next, for helping the customer?”. They’re exactly the sort of partners you want to work with when you’re trying to innovate within your own industry.
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