US: Goodyear embarking on risky online-sales ride image

Today buying a car tyre can offer two opposite methods: go to the local mom-and-dad provider on the side of the road or use the web and opt for an online retailer, such as

None of the above mentioned methods is perfect: the first might dupe you into paying more than the tyres are worth – since you’re there the vendor knows you’ll do little comparison work. The second is very comfortable but if you don’t know exactly what you want you’ll soon have headaches. Now, during the second quarter of the year, Goodyear has opted to search for the sweet spot in between: they’ll launch an e-commerce platform designed to assist buyers into finding and buying the appropriate tires, with the added convenience of delivering them at the end to a nearby shop for swift installation. “We’re sort of embracing what’s going on, and that’s the change in consumer shopping and buying habits,” believes Goodyear Chief Executive Officer Richard Kramer. The executive says the decision took into consideration mostly the roughly 80 million millennials in the United States.

If it has the necessary success, the new strategy could streamline the purchase process – also bringing some market share and profit margin for the company. But there’s a risk – the company could play against its traditional “sales staff” – the thousands of small businesses that can easily swing a customer in favor of another brand. “The feedback from the dealer network seems to be pretty mixed,” comments Robert Higginbotham, a senior research analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, with Goodyear the first major tire producer to offer an online store.

Via Bloomberg