SimpleTire – Market analysis and strategy helps online retailer navigate the road ahead


Market analysis and strategy helps online retailer navigate the road ahead

SimpleTire had grown quickly by simplifying tire buying online. But they saw a bigger opportunity to transform the tire replacement process: let consumers shop for and schedule installation online, too. This would add a services revenue stream and allow SimpleTire to appeal to consumers who shop for an installer first and a tire second.

So they engaged us to design and lead a multi-stage research and strategy effort. Our work identified insights that could drive growth, inform a website redesign and improve the installation process, which helped SimpleTire expand in three important markets: consumers (beyond core segments), installation services, and commercial buyers.

An untapped opportunity in installation

While expanding beyond sales into services was a priority, SimpleTire first needed to address certain business and operational pain points in its service network.

Through 1x1 interviews, we analyzed the installation service process and business model from the perspectives of both the consumer and service partner. For consumers, we dug into the process they use to choose installers and the benefits they expect. For service providers, we examined the economic model and requirements for a genuine partnership.

Qualitative research leads to breakthrough UX results

To win over new consumers, we took an unusually deep dive into their needs through a 4-day interactive online bulletin board. We probed the role of their vehicle in their lives, as well as their previous buying experiences and underlying motivations. This process enabled us to validate four distinct buyer personas and create a unique customer journey map for each.

These learnings – plus our research on installation and a competitive analysis of ecommerce disruptors – resulted in a new UX prototype for the purchase experience, with different entry points for each persona. After UX research to validate and refine the prototype, we tested it. Consumer perceptions among all personas soared.

Zeroing in on a value proposition

With a firm handle on the emotional drivers of purchase as well as attitudes toward installation, we conducted quantitative research with over 1,200 buyers to uncover the messaging that would resonate most. Their responses to product offers, features and benefit statements yielded highly projectable data for the broader buyer universe.

Using these insights as a springboard, we developed a new value proposition with precise hierarchies of messages for different buyers, down to the hidden benefits that would seal the deal.

Getting reacquainted with commercial customers

Finally, we helped SimpleTire better understand the needs of their commercial customers, whose businesses literally run on their tires. These customers were a bit of a question mark to SimpleTire, due to gaps in firmographic information.

After we augmented their customer database by matching it to 3rd-party business and consumer databases, a much fuller picture emerged. Based on behavioral data, we zeroed in on four priority segments to target. Our qualitative research delved into their needs and purchase journeys to reveal valuable insights and go-to-market gaps to fill.


40% increase

SimpleTire revenue growth

20% increase

In usability rating for key persona

Top 4%

New UX concepts ranked above most consumer websites

What we did

eCommerce Trends Research  /  Online Bulletin Board  /  UX Testing  /  Competitive Analysis  /  Value Proposition Development and Testing  /  1x1 Consumer Interviews  /  1x1 Service Provider Interviews  /  Customer Database Augmentation  /  1x1 Commercial Interviews