The U.S. cycling market is a $5.9 billion dollar industry, with independent bicycle dealers capturing about 52% of sales, and the rest of the market taking the remaining piece of the pie. - The NPD Group
As you can see, IBD’s still play a key role in getting products into the hands of the end consumer. Although there are recent talks and trends of declined foot traffic in storefronts, IBD’s are essential for being able to capture the consumer and offer services and purchasing opportunities.
All cycling brands sooner or later are going to offer the ability to purchase items online in order to survive the competition. So how do IBD’s and brands work together to create a consistent shopping experience for the consumer?
Brands and IBDs need to remember two important concepts: Convenience and Choice
79% of U.S. consumers, nearly 8-out-of-10 Americans are now shopping online. - 2017 Pew Research Report
Although selling and purchasing bikes online is still fairly a new concept in North America, brands need to offer the ability to buy-online in order to take advantage of this new wave of online shoppers and serve up two concepts in their favor, convenience and choice.
By 2040, studies on consumer purchasing trends show that 95% of purchases will be done through eCommerce checkout. - 2017 Nasdaq Study
The main benefit of buying online is purely based on the consumers desire to save time, along with the ability to purchase from the comforts of any remote location.
In fact, options such as in-store pickup or ship-from-store has become a sought out feature for many consumers. Brands in the industry can easily enable this buying option by including their local IBDs in the fulfillment process.
In addition, delivery costs play a role in the consumers decision to purchase online now vs. wait and search elsewhere. According to a 2017 Internet Retailer Survey, 57% of consumers having made a purchase online opted to pickup in-store when given the option to reduce delivery costs.
2018 Zebra Insights Report that 90% of consumers agree that delivery is an extension of a retailer’s brand.
Simply stated as, consumers want products faster! To allow for a more convenient shopping experience, brands can easily take advantage of IBDs to fulfill online orders. This leads us to our next important concept to remember, choice.
Selling online not only is convenient for the consumer to find and purchase products, but provides the opportunity to offer a wide inventory of products available for purchase in one online storefront. By doing so, consumers will have the opportunity to find products they want easier and quicker, and be able to purchase on the spot rather then search elsewhere.
Interestingly enough, research shows that by offering choice upon checkout the majority of consumers tend to buy from your brand.
Consumers are twice as likely to buy a product if they are shown a big assortment, rather than a small one. - 2016 Stanford Business Study
What we identified for your brand is the ability to capitalize on a new way to build relationships and transform your brands way of selling.
So how can your brand create more convenience and choice for the consumer?
Simply stated as offering more avenues to find your product. By taking your brand online, you can serve up the wants and needs of the end consumer, and still partner with IBDs to create a seamless buying experience.
Think of it this way:
Once the purchase has been made the brand can ship the new bicycle to your local IBD. In storefront the shop can build the bike, and allow for the consumer to pick up their purchased item in-store. Offering both convenience and choice for the consumer to receive their large item safely already assembled.
By selling online and taking advantage of local IBDs, your stock availability will in-turn rise and so will your average order volume. With more to buy, consumers will purchase more.
Here are some product lines to consider offering more purchasing opportunities for:
Mountain bike sales are on the rise and in-demand!
In 2017, mountain bike sales were up by $577 million, up 3% over the prior year, while the $412 million road bike category were declined by 12%.2017 NPD Group Study
Did you know, that the fastest-growing bicycle type in the market right now is electric?
E-bike sales totaled $77.1 million in 2017, up 91% over the previous year. In addition, sales of electric bikes have grown more than eightfold since 2014 according to that same study.
However, like anything, there is so much opportunity for growth among cycling brands. With the help of consumer feedback and eCommerce strategies to make it easy for consumers to buy online and pickup in-store, brands can create a remarkable experience online-to-offline.
By capitalizing on consumer needs such as the defined, convenience and choice, your brand will boost revenue all around and help the cycling industry continue to thrive.