The company has found that a growing interest in tyres is prevalent, not surprisingly, in the galloping SUV segment where the customer is more involved.
Greater access to information through the internet and digital platforms is driving interest in tyres to new highs according to Parag Satpute, Managing Director of Bridgestone India. “With the internet aiding the ability to do research, Bridgestone has noticed more searches for tyres and mobility-related information. The stores Bridgestone has set up offer a digital-led experience in choosing tyres. Consumers can also understand their types and relevance to their driving needs at these stores,” Satpute said.
“Typically, you would go to the local tyre shop and say, ‘I want to change four tyres’ and you would be asked which car you drive for which you get a recommendation,” Satpute said, commenting on how the aftermarket tyre sales is conducted currently. Bridgestone hopes to change this with their Select Plus stores. These stores will have a digital kiosk, which will allow the consumers to select tyres depending not only on what kind of car they drive but also on their usage pattern and preferences, be it performance, efficiency or durability. “Earlier customers had to rely on the shopkeeper and not all of them were interested in giving that information because it was taking power away from them,” said Satpute. “Now we can empower the consumer.” The company has set up about 10 Bridgestone Select Plus stores so far with more in the offing.
Bridgestone tracks consumer behaviour at regular intervals. The company has found that a growing interest in tyres is prevalent, not surprisingly, in the galloping SUV segment where the customer is more involved. This insight has also helped Bridgestone focus sharply on the aftermarket for SUV tyres by offering multiple options in the 17-inch to 19-inch size category.
With around 50 percent of Bridgestone India’s sales coming from the aftermarket, understanding consumer insights and having top-of-mind recall is critical for Bridgestone as it pivots along with the rest of the industry to a new age of electrification where attributes like low noise, efficiency and tyre wear will be important considerations for EV buyers.
In Conversation with Bridgestone India's Parag Satpute
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