TECH Tire Repairs – Growing Revenue and Finding New Markets
TECH Tire Repairs is the global tire & wheel authority that revolutionized the industry with the creation of cold vulcanization technology. That legacy of innovation continues today with TECH’s world-class lineup of tire repair and wheel service products. TECH’s complete line of repairs, tools and equipment enables technicians worldwide to get everything from passenger cars to commercial trucks to off-the-road (OTR) equipment rolling again.
Throughout TECH’s 80+ year history, it has sold its products directly to independent tire repair facilities/national chains or through distributors. However, beginning in 2018, Marketing Works began working with TECH to create an online product database with the ultimate objective of launching an eCommerce site. The objectives for the eCommerce platform were to enhance TECH’s ability to support its distribution partners by reaching new customers, build brand awareness and establish another source of revenue for the company.
The development of TECH’s digital product database served as the basis for the new eCommerce site. Prior to the product database roll out, TECH maintained the product information on its website through independent pages for each product. This made updating product information very tedious and time consuming.
Significant planning and research was completed to define the optimal product categories as well as the most important information for potential customers. The products were divided into four key categories: Tire Repair Materials, Chemicals, Service Tools & Equipment and Wheel & Tire Supplies. Each of the four key products categories contained several subcategories where the products were ultimately displayed. TECH and Marketing Works also defined the critical product data to be shared online, including product name, item number, unit of measure, quantity, shelf life, product application, commonly used with, safety data sheets (for chemicals), product description and videos.
Marketing Works worked with TECH to outline the technical and functional specifications for the eCommerce portal related to product catalog management, content management, customer management, order management, reporting and payment/shipping options. Throughout the design, development and testing phases, the Marketing Works and TECH teams worked closely together to ensure the eCommerce portal was integrated into TECH’s enterprise resource planning, fulfillment and accounting processes.
Once the eCommerce functionality was technically ready for testing, TECH met with its end customers to review the entire shopping experience. Minor design and product availability changes were made based on the feedback. At launch, the portal provided the ability for customers to order nearly 800 of TECH’s high-quality products, create an account (track purchases, etc.) and request an introduction to a TECH distributor. Marketing Works also ensured the portal was optimized for organic search so that TECH “owned” its branded products and served as the authority for all TECH items.
The portal was “soft-launched” in late 2019 and immediately began receiving orders even though it was not being actively promoted. After a short trial period, TECH and Marketing Works began actively promoting the portal through Google Ads, social media, digital advertising, email marketing and outreach to its network of distributors.
Since its launch, the eCommerce portal has continued to set new sales records month-over-month. Customer feedback also has been extremely positive and TECH has plans to roll out the eCommerce capability to its international operations.
The portal also has been a tremendous success for its distributors. Each online customer has been introduced to the local distributor who can assist the customer with future orders as well as provide important training on how to use TECH’s products.
Another very positive and unexpected benefit happened through launching the portal. TECH saw that several other types of customers were purchasing online – municipalities for their fleets, school districts for their buses, large truck fleet owners, independent farmers, airlines to support their baggage carts, etc. In fact, TECH has identified six other markets to reach and Marketing Works is proactively helping target those markets and drive them to the portal.
Marketing Works and TECH are currently working on a future-looking strategic plan for TECH’s eCommerce Ecosystem, which will be launched in the coming months.