ECOMMERCE? AN OPPORTUNITY ALSO FOR THE TIRE DEALER.
Traditional and digital trading can not only coexist quite easily, but even “rub each other’s back”. This is the general belief at Picone Pneumatici. The integration of these two sales channels is the basis of the growth strategy of this well established B2B company, with an eye on a growing cooperation with tire fitters and workshops.
“If you cannot beat them, join them”: says an old proverb and evidently this is also the conviction at Picone Pneumatici, a well established company founded in 1920 in Pignano Cilento (Salerno). "There is no point in trying to fight the Internet, rather we should use it as an instrument to be even more competitive", said the Marketing manager Vincenza Del Verme. In fact, the integration between traditional and digital sales channels, is the growth strategy behind the company headed by Sebastiano Picone, the founder’s grandson: "We do not consider these two channels as being in competition - explains Del Verme -. There is no point since, no matter where customers decide to buy their own tires, they will always need a workshop to assemble and fit them". Even though online trading will grow relentlessly, it will not spell the end of traditional tire dealers. Quite the contrary, at Picone Tires everyone is convinced that the Internet represents a not-to-be-missed opportunity for workshops to promote and enhance their services in the eyes of potential and ever-more demanding customers.
A strategy on behalf of affiliated workshops
Launched at the end of 2016, Picone Pneumatici’s e-Shop can already boast 4 to 5 sales per day with excellent customer ratings. However, the website is only one of the elements of a far more articulated strategy and underpins the profound transformation the company has been undergoing since 2014. In just a few years, Picone Pneumatici has really shed its skin, moving quickly from a regional to a national organization: between 2015 and 2016, sales have gone up by 20%. In the past year, however, Picone Tires has also moved beyond the limits of traditional B2B premium brands distribution, addressing the consumers with a more complex and complete offer, which includes digital trading. “We want our brand to become a benchmark for workshops and end users alike," says Vincenza Del Verme. "Our goal is to strengthen the Picone Pneumatici brand, make it a synonym of quality, a warranty seal. We are convinced that, in so doing, our brand will add character, guarantee greater safety and value to our partners' workshops, which means greater benefits for them too, especially in terms of business value. We are convinced – continues Del Verme - that working shoulder to shoulder with us, our affiliates will overcome the e-Commerce phobia and start seizing the great opportunities that this sales channel can offer".
Picone Retail: “tailor made” workshop benefits
The Picone Retail program was launched almost contemporaneously with the online e-Commerce site, which marked the birth of the Picone Tire Workshop network. An initiative that included at first a number of interesting opportunities for the affiliates, such as early access to promotions periodically offered by Picone Tires to its B2B customers, appealing target-based discounts, promotions based on the quantity of goods purchased, dedicated services, interest-free loans and much more. "After just one month from the launch of the Picone Retail program, we received 90 expressions of interest by as many workshops", says Vincenza Del Verme with evident satisfaction. This confirmed the quality of our endeavours and that the market recognizes our reliability and professionalism". Soon after, the Picone Retail franchise project was launched and officially unveiled to the public at Autopromotec 2017 (27th International Biennial Garage Equipment and Automotive Aftermarket event, held in Bologna from May 24 to 28, 2017). The company’s stand displayed a rendering of how the network’s workshops will look like.
A strong network for a mutual growth
The main message the company wants to convey, as the company's own marketing manager confirms, is that being part of the Picone Pneumatici network brings with it many advantages, such as a higher purchasing power and benefits from a variety of services , without any obligations or targets to be reached. "Being part of our franchise network means getting in the market backed by a strong brand image and ensuring quality and professionalism to the consumers - says Picone Pneumatici's marketing manager. "For an affiliate, the opportunity to rely on a solid and reliable company ready to support him in his job is something that should not be overlooked. On our part, "concludes Del Verme," we want to be a true, trustworthy and reliable partner for tire dealers and workshops. Our goal is to set up a network that will enable us to grow side by side with our partners and develop new and innovative ideas, in order to really change the nature of distribution in the sector".