Welcome to our Annual Feature for bicycle lights and cameras. We’ve deliberately timed this for late March as next month, daylight savings ends in those states and territories that adopt it during summer. This is almost like the starter’s flag falling to get the peak lighting sales season underway.
It says a lot about human nature that many of our customers go though the summer knowing that their old lights are really due for an upgrade, but it’s not until daylight savings ends and they suddenly find themselves riding home from work in the dark again that they do something about it.
Of course, not all lights are sold to commuters. The technical requirements of mountain bike lighting systems are completely different and more demanding.
It’s one thing to have a lower cost ‘be seen’ light for a commuter riding in lit streets and completely another to design a lighting system to illuminate completely dark trails to a brightness that they can be safely ridden.
Being electronic products, it’s not surprising that the ‘performance per dollar’ equation for all types of lighting has been continuously improving. Lights are now brighter and run for longer between charges than previous models, or can be made with smaller, lighter batteries for the same run time.
Speaking of batteries, with long distance bikepacking, gravel riding and mountain biking becoming more popular, look out for a growing market in solar rechargeable systems and reserve batteries that can recharge the lights via USB or other systems.
All of these are great selling points to encourage our customers that it’s time to upgrade before this winter.
Whilst lights have been one of the ‘must have’ bread and butter lines for every bicycle shop to stock, cameras, so far at least, have never achieved the same level of market penetration.
Some of the reasons for this have included relatively high prices, lower margins than retailers are used to expecting and limited battery life.
There are two main customer motivations for buying bike mounted cameras. One is safety. We’ve all seen video of cyclists’ altercations with drivers, where drivers have done everything from passing too close, to deliberately sideswiping cyclists, to jumping out of their cars and starting to throw abuse and even punches.
Although legal jurisdictions vary, a clear video recording has often been pivotal in the cyclist achieving justice through the court system after incidents such as these.
Hopefully these cases and the publicity surrounding releases of incriminating videos is making potentially violent motorists think twice before putting the next cyclists’ life at risk.
For this reason, perhaps you should consider safety camera sales to be part of your community service to your customers, even though the margins are not great.
The second motivation for cyclists using video cameras is to record their cycling adventures. In these cases they’re often looking for a more advanced, feature filled camera, which will be slightly more expensive and requires the customer to spend some time learning about all its features in order to get the best results.
These cameras are getting even further away from ‘core products’ for bicycle retailers to sell because of the rapidly updating models and technology, high technical knowledge required and strong competition for online electronics specialists and mass market electronics retailers, but some bike stores do it well with great point of sale displays and live video displays.
Now is the time for you to be reviewing your lighting and camera range and stock levels, checking up on new products that are available and stocking up.
Lighting is one of the few product lines that typically sells better in winter than summer. So it’s vitally important to make the most of your lighting sales to help smooth out your cashflow during those quieter winter months.
Our Annual Feature for May will look at Indoor Trainers. Please contact us if you’d like to take a Product or Company Feature in this edition.
Guide to Lighting Distributors in Australia
- 100% Knog
- Advance Traders
- Ay Up
- Bicycle Parts Wholesale
- Bicycle Peddler
- Bike Box
- Cyclewest Agencies
- Cycling Connections Diggari
- Echelon Sports
- Emporio Cicli
- Jestrac Imports
- KWT Imports
- Musk Distribution
- Pyramid Imports
- Queensland Bicycle Company
- Rex Imports
- SCV Bicycle Imports
- Sheppard Cycles
- Specialized Australia
- Sports Logistics Australia
- St Kilda Cycles
- TMO Sports
- Trek Bicycle Corp Australia
- TripleSix Distributons
- WeeRide Australia
Guide to Camera Distributors in Australia
- Contour Australia
- FE Sports
- Replay XD Australia