The state of online tyre sales in Australia

Posted by: Dan on 24/01/2013

Category: News and Events

We at Tyreright are very proud of the fact that we were the first large retail group in Australia to bring tyre sales online and make it fast, simple and secure for Australian car owners to find the right tyres, the right advice and have the right experience.

It’s a tricky business to get into, because tyres are an unusual product compared to most ecommerce ventures. Most of us aren’t thinking of buying tyres very often, usually only when we need to replace them to have our registration renewed.

And for most of us, we just don’t know that much about tyres or the technology that goes into making them. What is the difference between the $95 tyre and the $99 tyre? On top of that, we’re often caught a little by surprise at the need to buy tyres. An unexpected and somewhat expensive purchase is never someone’s idea of a good time. Here’s a trade secret, in our business we refer to tyres as “the ultimate grudge purchase”.

All of this is why we’ve put a lot of effort into building a system that we believe makes it a lot easier for you to buy tyres online safely, comfortably, conveniently and simply. We have our characteristics scored out of 10 so that you can compare tyres across price and brand names. We’ve got customer reviews and ratings, we’ve got multiple search options and a live-chat function so you can ask one of our customer service team a question any time you want. And of course, we book your fitment as part of the simple 3-step checkout process, so you spend as little time as possible waiting in-store for your tyres to be fitted.

With all of that in mind, it’s been really interesting to us at Tyreright to hear news about other companies now looking to get into the online tyre sales business in Australia. There are traditional competitors who are building their own ecommerce websites, and we’ll be curious to see what they come out with.

From what we’ve heard, most of these companies are building sites similar to our own, some even choosing to use the same underlying technology as we have used. It’s quite rewarding and validating to learn that our initial vision for being able to buy tyres online in Australia has spurred others into action. This only improves the state of things for Australian buyers, and keeps us on our toes. We’ve had confirmation of several companies actively working on building online tyre sales portals, including Bridgestone, Jax and Yokohama. It’ll be interesting to see how each of them manages the distribution and fitment challenges, along with the types of innovations that they bring into the industry.

One of the interesting competitors is a new business called Tyresales who are affiliated with the Carsales group of companies. There’s no question that they’re a huge business and that they already have a lot of experience operating in a digital environment. Somewhat surprising to us though is that they’re not launching with any ecommerce function on their site. Despite the name, Tyresales aren’t actually selling tyres online. They’re allowing you to submit enquiries to dealers online. It’s a different model, and it’s consistent with their other businesses, so we’ll be curious to see how it plays out over time.

I, for one, won’t be surprised if they quickly switch to selling tyres online. I can already tell you that Australian are more than ready for it.