From dealer to consultant
SuperService opened in Milan its first tire concept store; tire replacement and personalised advice on services and new mobility trends
Off comes the tire dealer’s hat quickly replaced by one that reads consultant. The changes currently sweeping through the automotive sector is pushing a growing number of professionals to keep up to date not only with new technologies, but also on how to welcome customers and provide personalized information. This idea led Goodyear and SuperService, a network that boasts over 300 tire dealers, to create their first concept store in the city of Milan. Inaugurated at the beginning of October, the store was created thanks to a partnership with Qui Gomme, a long-standing partner of the American tire maker. The store, separated from the actual workshop, has been designed to make customers feel welcome and support them, in addition to the obvious technical assistance, with useful information to aid the choice of new tires and services.
Inside the store new products (only Goodyear, Dunlop, Fulda, Sava, Kelly tires) can be accessed through a multimedia support, and customers can learn about current services, promotions and merchandising. In essence, with this experiment, Goodyear has decided to promote a new shopping experience, away from where tire changing and light mechanical services physically take place. In fact, after being helped in choosing the most suitable products and services, the customer will hand over the keys to the person in charge of moving the car to the workshop. For Marco Prosdocimi, Goodyear Tires Italia's retail manager, this business model, which is the result of a careful analysis of the retail world, is replacing the previous way of looking at how a workshop should operate.
How did the idea of a concept tire store come about?
"We were inspired by a model developed by Goodyear in the United States and adapted it to the Italian market. The retail world has finally realized the importance of moving from selling products to selling a buying experience. That’s why, as SuperService Network, we are supporting our members in this process, enabling them to provide their customers an additional service as consultants, besides offering additional mechanical services, to enhance their expertise and develop the sector. In Milan, where we decided to inaugurate the first concept store, we are working alongside Qui Gomme. After their decision to revamp the store they were willing to experiment with this new approach to customer relationship".
And what’s that?
"Basically, we created a store that is totally detached from the workshop in order to create an entirely different purchasing experience for the end user. Inside the store, customers will be welcomed by qualified personnel who will provide personalised information on tires and services postponing the actual physical work to a later date".
Seeing that people are increasingly turning to online channels to buy new tires, isn’t this like swimming against the tide?
"Our goal is to lead the customer from an online to a physical experience. In fact, all our communication uses the digital world to provide information and details about products but then we direct the customer to a different, more physical experience and purchasing model. The world of tires is one of the few sectors in which the retailer’s advice is still crucial, and this experiment further enhances the role and expertise of the retailer who is increasingly being viewed by the customers as a partner, who wants to help them to choose the right product".
Where and when will you open your second concept store?
"This experiment means we are a network that wants to innovate and try alternative ways to do business, but we need time. In 2020 this experiment will be limited to the city of Milan where we will analyse the impact and viability of this model. At the end of the day, if this test will produce the desired results, then we will reproduce it in other large Italian cities".
The SuperService Network currently relies on 302 professional dealers in Italy and has a turnover of about 130 million euro, with potential volumes of over 1.5 million car tires and over 1,500 employees in centres distributed throughout Italy.
"Joining the SuperService Network meant becoming part of the Goodyear universe, and to benefit from a privileged view of the changes taking place in the world of mobility - says Maurizio D'Anna, owner of Qui Gomme -. The premises have been designed together with the SuperService team and Goodyear’s vital presence allows me to welcome customers in a renewed environment".