Micheldever Group tunes up Protyre retail brand with Composable Commerce and improves conversion rate by 98%

Key Success Metrics

Website load time improved 28.4%, overall conversion rate improved 98%

Technologies used

What the client said...


How does Micheldever Group, the UK’s largest independent wholesaler, distributor, and retailer of tyres drive strategic growth, enhance customer experiences, and make a step-change from the competition in the fast-moving automotive sector?

Tyres and autocare services are no different to other sectors of society, with an increasing number now being researched, compared and purchased online.  For Micheldever Group – and its Protyre retail brand – here lay the opportunity to invest in the infrastructure that would allow it to take advantage of this change in behaviour and modernise the consumer ecommerce experience for Protyre’s growing customer base

Such a bold step would not only demonstrate to customers that it meant business, but also validate with its employees that the company was investing in creating an agile and customer-centric future.

The challenge

Given how the product is tangibly delivered to the customer, the retail business had grown on the back of expanding its retail presence – with 184 autocare centres providing a range of services locally – from MOTs to wheel alignments, from air conditioning re-gassing to replacement tyres – without a consistent long-term digital strategy.  This led to different customer journeys, increased costs from a lack of efficiencies and missed opportunities from adopting a more digital approach to promoting and transacting its services.  The company had managed reasonably well, but if it was to stay ahead of the competition it had to change.

In a highly competitive market, it became very clear that Micheldever Group needed to reconsider its entire approach to eCommerce in order to achieve its ambitious growth plans.

The plan

The project commenced with an initial Discovery phase to establish how the strategic aims of the Group could be realised via its Retail network and the role of (any) digital component.  This included researching the customer experience requirements in order to inform a compelling user experience. Following the Discovery, it was agreed that modernising the consumer ecommerce experience was critical to winning in this changing market.

The Micheldever team recognised that any digital transformation would not drive efficiency or enable growth unless it ultimately improves the experience for internal users and external customers.  It was also critical to look ahead and future-proof (as much as is possible) in light of predictions about the changing consumer landscape.  This is why Micheldever asked Profound to assess Protyre’s target personas, map out all the user journeys and define a technical architecture, website structure and creative design based on this solid customer evidence.  This also served to remove any bias or opinion, and avoid any poor decision-making.

The combination of customer evidence and first class UX design would then be used to inform the technology choice and implementation of a modern platform.

Technology approach

It was important to set some key technology principles.  In order to meet the strategic aims of the business it was clear that the flexibility and agility needed would best be served with a composable digital estate.  This would also facilitate better operationalisation of data which needed to flow seamlessly and surface quickly in the right front-end customer facing areas.

By separating the front-end experience from the back-end technologies (a headless, composable approach), the company knew they could also ensure a customer experience that was unconstrained by old rigid systems.  The back-end technologies would also need to provide a best-of-breed set of capabilities for ecommerce, website CMS, PIM, DAM and Search.  The focus was on creating a composable MACH architecture – Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless – and Profound worked with the company to select the best technology mix of modern cloud-native, API-first, headless systems.  This consisted of Commercetools (ecommerce), Storyblok (website CMS), Pimberly (PIM), Bynder (DAM) and Algolia (Search).  Each of these play a critical part in the composable architecture, and Profound designed and developed both the front-end experience, and an integration mediation layer that orchestrates all the APIs, product data, legacy system integration and content.

With the new technologies selected and combined, Profound could then integrate the platform into Protyre’s existing stock and scheduling systems, to provide web and mobile visitors with tyre recommendations for their vehicle based on their registration and historic behaviours.

Value delivered

The transformation delivered now helps Protyre provide a frictionless buying experience, where users can order tyres online, book into a tyre centre with ease, and arrange an MOT check at the same time.

The platform is a composed architecture based on MACH principles (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native, Headless) and Profound helped the client to select and implement the range of technologies that make up this platform. This has enabled much faster performance, more business agility, and with the technology vendors (ecommerce, CMS, PIM and DAM etc) handling hosting from their own public cloud, this has shifted much of the infrastructure responsibility of speed, performance, auto-scaling, uptime and security that previously sat in-house. It has also allowed data to be far more efficiently operationalised and surfaced where needed. 

The modern digital tools mean that Protyre (retail) and Micheldever (wholesale) can now use all aspects of an advanced digital platform to help meet their strategic objectives. This ranges from content management to online marketing and ecommerce merchandising whilst accommodating complex price scenarios and scheduling for tyres and MOT’s in hundreds of centres across the Protyre estate. 

About the client

The Micheldever Group began over 50 years ago as a small part-time venture, offering car servicing and tyres to its local neighbourhood.  From these humble beginnings it has grown to become one of the UK’s largest wholesaler, distributor, and retailer of tyres, selling close to seven million tyres nationwide annually – nearly a quarter of the total UK market.  They do this as both a B2B wholesaler and D2C retailer through their new Protyre.co.uk website and 184 wholly owned centres branded as Protyre Autocare, whilst also providing MOTs and mechanical services.

The business now has over 2,500 Employees.  Headquartered in Micheldever Station, near Winchester, with teams based right across the UK – from Southam (near Coventry) to Chepstow, Halifax, Airdrie, Bury St Edmunds, Walsall, Heydock, Ashford, Nottingham, Exeter, Washington, and Greenford (West London).

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