Rapidly securing its place as the leading online tyre retailer in South Africa during its first year of operation, Blackcircles ZA is now looking to improve its reach and value, with a focus on providing a seamless shopping experience and competitive prices.
Launched in December 2021, the platform houses an extensive selection of passenger car, SUV and 4×4 tyres from over 20 brands. Its aim is to make tyre selection and fitting as simple and stress-free as possible for South Africans, while enabling manufacturers and suppliers to promote their brands and provide specialised offers.
Devlin Moodley, General Manager for Blackcircles ZA, says the platform has seen significant growth in sales volume, outpacing industry benchmarks.
“Blackcircles.co.za is modelled around the successes of Blackcircles.com, which was founded more than 20 years ago as one of the world’s first online tyre retailers. With Blackcircles.co.za, we were able to quickly set up systems and processes to allow for a seamless customer experience, from research to fitment. In the first year, tyre sales via the platform saw consistent growth month on month and we overachieved against preliminary targets,” he says.
Moodley said the focus on innovation and customer service has attracted a growing number of traditional tyre retailers into the digital fold. By partnering with BlackcirclesZA, these tyre dealers have been able to leverage the company’s expertise, reach and technology to grow their businesses and tap into new and niche customers.
Over 200 tyre dealerships from around the country now benefit from being listed as Fitment Partners on the website and gain an appointment booking system through Blackcircles.
“We have grown our fitment partner base by 400% since launch and continue to endeavour to reach every corner of South Africa. We have also increased the number of brands, profiles and specific products available to customers, ensuring we are able to meet the needs of every customer,” he says.
Convenience is key
Learnings and data from the first year of operation confirm that digital platforms are already the main entry point for a growing number of tyre customers. In response, Blackcircles ZA has continued to invest in technology to improve the user experience and provide fast, efficient delivery options.
Customers seek comparative data to make the most informed tyre purchasing decision. Easily accessible consumer reviews and advice from a team of online experts also add to the Blackcircles ZA appeal.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of customers using the click and fit functionality, with many taking advantage of the convenience and savings offered by this service. Once you’ve browsed the site to choose the tyres that perfectly suit your SUV, 4×4 or bakkie, the next step is to decide on the fitting centre. To assist, we provide clients with their closest locations and they input the date and time they would like to arrive for the fitting. Once secure payment is made, they just need to show up for the fitting,” explained Moodley.
“In 2023, Blackcircles will look to increase our market share and maintain our customer-first approach. With exciting enhancements and launches planned, we are confident of a successful year ahead,” he added.
Blackcircles.co.za is as an independently run subsidiary of South Africa’s largest tyre manufacturing company Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (SRSA), which holds the South African rights for the platform.