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Welcome to the second and final part of our BikeExchange Company Feature. In Part One which you can read here, we documented BikeExchange’s remarkable growth and introduced their philosophy of making it easier for brands, distributors, retailers and consumers to buy and sell anything related to cycling.
Now we will look in greater detail both at the massive acceleration that Covid-19 has induced and the suite of BikeExchange products that will help all bicycle trade members and consumers thrive in a post-covid future.
Once again, guiding us through is BikeExchange’s Global CEO, Mark Watkin.
Atrributing Sales Leads and Enquiries – A Study of 2,000 Customer Calls to Dealers
Aside from e-commerce transactions, the volumes of enquiry sales leads generated
through BikeExchange have always been significant. In Australia, over the last quarter,
this has been averaging a monthly value of $55m across 32,000 individual leads from
product listings. Email enquiries are always collated through the BikeExchange site.
Following a trial period, BikeExchange now has the ability to attribute a phone call lead
from a product listing on BikeExchange. This is an important evolution adding to the significant number of email enquiry sales leads to retailers and brands that come through the BikeExchange site.
“We ran a trial study for 14 weeks across eight stores of varying trading levels. Using software and with the store’s permission we could record the call and specifically see which product it related to.”
The results from this study were significant.
“Across that 14 week period we had over 2,000 plus attributed phone leads from the eight stores,” Mark revealed. “Through the software, we knew that the consumer making the call had looked at an individual listing on BikeExchange specific to a retailer in the trial.
“The consistent theme from reviewing these conversations was how well considered and committed the consumer was towards buying a bike.’.
It was interesting to match up telephone calls with the number of times the number was clicked on, within BikeExchange. 96% of the time, when consumers clicked the special phone number, they then made the call to the relevant retailer. It’s another measure showing that when people are coming to BikeExchange, they’re serious about buying and are highly active and engaged.”
“We’re not trying to compete, we’re trying to enable”
One of the biggest new initiatives at BikeExchange has been the creation of Brand Multistores. These are unique new online destination stores that allow brands, distributors and retailers to work in close synergy so that everybody wins.
Mark explained how the Brand Multistore concept worked.
“Brand Multistores can be for ecommerce transactions while attributing them to stores or for generating sales leads and enquiries into stores. If users put their postcode into the product page they can see the stores closest to them in order of distance from their respective postcode. Then a user can select the store, choose to purchase or send an enquiry or call, dependent on the functionality enabled. We can also enable click and collect, and deposit only purchases. We are also enabling pre-orders with brands more and more, where stock is unavailable (due to COVID-19) or for new model lines yet to arrive.
“All the stock is typically held centrally by the brand or distributor, so if someone enquires to a particular store, they can make the sale as they have been included in the brand multistore functionality.
“Even in the case of a parts and accessory sale that is shipped direct to the customer from the distributor, the retailer is kept within the transaction. That’s an important thing. We’re not trying to cut anyone out in this process.”
Clearly this concept is finding acceptance within Australia’s bicycle industry. Looking at BikeExchange’s home page shows you the brands that have created a Brandstore. On the Australian site these include, Cannondale, Focus, Ridley, BBB, 3T, Whyte Bikes, GT, Gazelle and many others.
“Globally now, we’ve got about 25 brands using Brand Multistore,” Mark continued. “On the site they’ve got a dedicated destination which has all of their branding, look and feel and products. Those products are made available across their dealer base. We’re doing a lot of work in the back end to make this happen.
“In what is a fragmented industry, we’re trying to bring everyone together. “We’re not trying to compete, we’re trying to enable. It’s a really important distinction.
“We don’t hold any stock whatsoever. We don’t have a single warehouse. We’re trying to enable all of the retailers, brands and distributors and make them more successful by connecting them with a highly focussed and engaged consumer audience, topping one million sessions per month over the past quarter.
“There’s plenty happening behind the scenes technically, to get this all connected. We’ve worked hard on our Point Of Sale (POS) integrations and, we’ve established a platform to help integrate into different dealers’ POS systems and distributors’ inventories, to make things seamless.
“We’re trying to join the dots, make a really good experience for the consumer so that they can find what they want effectively.
“We try to take the friction out of the journey. Why make it harder for the consumer, especially those that are not familiar with bicycles?”
An Important Role for Bricks & Mortar Retailers
All of these new, high tech, online marketplace solutions that BikeExchange has been developing and refining bring us back to questions that bicycle retailers have been asking more frequently over the past decade or so.
‘What does the future look like for us? Do we even have a future at all?’
Mark has no doubt that the answer is ‘Yes!’
“Bricks and mortar bicycle shops play a really important part of the consumer journey,” he confidently stated.
“Certainly, the transaction model is changing and digital continues to enable further. After all, the transaction model for virtually every single business category, not just cycling, has been transformed since March 2020, in this COVID-19 phase. But the bricks and mortar bicycle retailer will remain an important part of the journey.
“90% of bikes are still sold in store. Some of the transaction might happen online and clearly consumers have been doing more preliminary research online, but bikes are tangible, technical pieces of equipment. And there’s a service requirement as well.
“E-bikes add a whole spectrum of considerations from a servicing point of view. You need a qualified mechanic and person in store to do it. There’s always going to be a need for the retail store. What’s important is that we all keep adapting and put the consumer first”
If you’re a bicycle retailer or wholesaler who would like to learn more about which BikeExchange service might best benefit your business then please contact email@example.com and 03 9257 3200.
Summary Of BikeExchange Services and Platforms
If you’d like to see more detailed information about any of these BikeExchange services and platforms, then please visit: www.bikeexchange.com.au/promo/product-suite
Offers bike store owners the opportunity to create their own shop and list their inventories on the BikeExchange Marketplace.
Builds upon the Brandstore product allowing any designated product to available across that brand’s dealer base.
A customised store within a store for each participating brand allowing listings of full-range, demonstration or promotional items. The brand can decide if it might be enquiry only or it might be click and collect.
This is BikeExchange’s integrations tool and platform. It enables easy integration into leading POS (point of sale) systems, 3PL (third party logistics) and e-Commerce Websites. This allows BikeExchange’s partners to simply synchronise pricing, stock availability, variations and orders.
Logistics allows stores to access an easy process to ship through reputable logistics providers at competitive and pre-negotiated rates, well below the industry average, arrange pick-up and print off labels. (Coming soon)
Content, Media & Design
Allows clients to have a wide range of content and advertising solutions, without needing to have that creative expertise in house.
For Brands or Distributors who want to maintain control of their brand’s network of dealers.
A fully customisable website solution offering customers the benefit of BikeExchange’s product database, payments and integrations technology.
The store keeps its own website. But the site is driven by BikeExchange’s central product database. Retailers can chose to put a product up on both the BikeExchange website and their own website, or just one or the other. It’s ‘lower touch’ more efficient technology.