News rolls out a website redesign to appeal to the everyday tire shopper

June 1, 2015 12:48 PM has a new look, as the Top 500 tire and auto parts e-retailer rolled out a redesigned consumer e-commerce site in May that was nearly two years in the making.

With the new design, Tire Rack Inc. aims to appeal to a wider audience outside of tire and car enthusiasts, who have historically been its core customer base. The site features much of the same functionality, but it’s all packaged in a simpler, less intimidating way, says online marketing manager Tammy Blanchard. That includes larger imagery, photographs of smiling customer service staff members and bigger, bolder fonts.

Search results also are presented in a more streamlined fashion. “We were going for a very open, inviting feel,” Blanchard says. “In the search results, we’ve just featured the most important thing about the tire, then shoppers can click through the product detail pages to learn more if they choose. The search process a little easier and less intimidating.”

Tire Rack, ranked No. 142 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, also aims to help new customers understand the various options for tire delivery and installation. A “Here’s How It Works” section of the home page, for example, highlights through video and step-by-step instructions’s database of 8,000 tire installers that the e-retailer recommends to consumers for installation of their purchases.

Once a consumer adds a product to his shopping cart and begins the checkout process, he is prompted to choose between one of three delivery options: shipment to his home or office, pickup at a local Tire Rack distribution center or shipment to a recommended tire installer in his area. Around 10% of purchases are shipped to local installers, says vice president Matt Edmonds.

The merchant considered hiring an outside web design firm to help facilitate the redesign, but found the project was better handled by in-house staffers. “We worked with an agency at the beginning of the redesign and they were so overwhelmed by the project that we determined it was better to deal with ourselves,” Edmonds says.

Tire Rack, founded in 1979 as a mail-order catalog company, features more than 12,000 tire SKUs on its consumer e-commerce site, in addition to thousands of automotive parts and accessories. The merchant gets about 50% of its revenue from online sales to businesses. Those purchases are made at, which was not part of the redesign. 




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