In an era when everything you buy online from a car to a coffee can be delivered to your door, one area that has stubbornly resisted change is the retail tyre industry. The traditional tyre stores have done a great job of vamping up their online sales platforms, but at the end of the day their business is rooted in bricks and mortar stores with waiting rooms and ageing workshops. They can be forgiven for continuing to expect you to come to them.
However, with online/at-home service demand for automotive goods already estimated at 60.7%, the big box tyre stores might not want to sit on their hands much longer.
This is because the traditional way Australians purchase and fit tyres is also quietly undergoing a significant transformation thanks to the innovative tyre store, Mobile Tyre Shop. The independent Australian company calls itself ‘a tyre store for the digital age’ and is the first to develop a full end-to-end online tyre sales, delivery and fitting service.
How? In much that same way that online retail giants such as Amazon have taken responsibility for the entire supply and delivery chain, MTS have designed and developed a fleet of their own state-of the-art tyre fitting vans to complement their online store, enabling them to bring the tyre shop to you, wherever and whenever you need new tyres.
Traditional tyre stores stuck in the past.
You’ve been able to buy tyres online for years now, but talk of how you have your online tyre purchase fitted has always been concealed in the disclaimer at the bottom of a website of at the end of a glitzy radio or TV ad. The traditional tyre stores expect you to take time out of your schedule to take your car to them, the online-only tyre stores usually despatch your order to a store where you are charged a fitting fee (undoing much of the saving that came with shopping online), and the merchants and private vendors selling through online marketplaces simply post you your tyres and expect you to fit them yourself. With these guys, buying your tyres online come with very few of the benefits that come with most other modern products online.
A retailer offering true online-to-onsite service.
The secret to Mobile Tyre Shop’s ability to offer a genuine online-to-onsite tyre solution is their nationwide fleet of professional tyre fitters who deliver and fit your tyres to your home, work or anywhere. (You may have seen their bright yellow and white vans in your neighbourhood, already.) But it is clear there is also some very advanced tech operating in the background of the business run buy some pretty clever and passionate tyre people. The company’s website is slick, their call centre seems knowledgeable and brand-agnostic, and they have a clever rego-search function that makes finding the right tyres for your car a piece of cake. You simply shop for the best brands and deals on their online stone, and they do the rest.
The benefits of Mobile Tyre Shop.
The advantages of opting for a mobile tyre store are pretty obvious. Firstly, it saves time. In today's fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity, and having your tyres replaced or fitted without disrupting your routine is invaluable. Secondly, the service is incredibly convenient; no more rearranging your day or waiting in line at a garage. The Mobile Tyre Shop simply comes to wherever your car is parked, does not require you to be present (unless locknuts are fitted), and is usually done and dusted within 60 minutes. Whether the prospect of getting out of a dark workshop and into the world has anything to do with it remains debatable, but many customers also report a decidedly more pleasant service experience with a mobile tyre technician. “Maybe Mobile Tyre Shop attracts a more outgoing sort of technician,” one customer wrote in a recent online review, “they just seemed happier and more helpful.” They may be onto something there. The Mobile Tyre Shop is already Australia’s no.1 ranked tyre store on productreview, averaging 4.9 stars with over 3,150 reviews.
A new age of price transparency.
In the course of writing this article I tested the Mobile Tyre Shop website out numerous times. Combined with ease and convenience the home fitting, it’s a real game changer. However, what genuinely made an impression on me was the transparency of the experience. The price quoted on the website for each tyre is the price of the tyre delivered and fitted – there was nothing more to pay. I loved it.
‘By not hiding fitting fees, our price occasionally appears higher than our competitors in Google search or what-not. But we think once people learn to factor in the value of their own time, and how much money and fuel they waste going to traditional tyre stores, they’ll realise how much more Mobile Tyre Shop is actually saving them.’ Says MTS CEO, Travis Osborne.
Gone may be the days of spending hours in a queue at a tyre shop or waiting for an appointment amidst a hectic schedule, but with Mobile Tyre Shop, gone too may be the days of hidden delivery and fitting fees, indecipherable tyre discounts and intimidating tyre sales talk.
What further tyre changes are to come?
In September, 2019, GoAuto published an article titled, “Tyre e-stores, mobile fitment to remain niche” in which the Dunlop and Goodyear Group was quoted as “seeing transparency, customer loyalty as vital to retail tyre trade success” and “not expecting mobile tyre-fitting services to disrupt the existing brick-and-mortar retail model.”
Nearly four years on, it would seem they could not have been more wrong.
In September 2023, Reuters reported the tyre giant would sell around 100 of its retail stores and fleet locations; essentially the Beaurepaires network, the Goodyear Autocare chain and Dunlop Super Dealer brand. The Group cited ‘rationalization’ as the reason, but there’s no doubt that as consumer demand for online/at-home service and the awareness of new players like Mobile Tyre Shop grows, more change is yet to come.