BrettPurchase vernonfelton's article
Nov 20, 2016 at 17:49Nov 20, 2016
Are you Concerned About the Demise of Bike Shops? - Pinkbike Poll
I owned a bike shop from 2002 to 2010. We saw the internet affecting our business & tried to work with out suppliers to have an online compromise. One of those suppliers was Specialized - who are only now moving to do this ( buying the bike online & comming into the shop to pick it up) .World Techtonic paltes moves faster than the suppliers. These suppliers are 10 years behind the times. Todays bike shop has to many things than what they where in the past. They have to have a very profitable workshop & bike fitting service. Have opening hours like the internet, eg 11am to 9pm; 7 days a week. Charge for technical advice - although this will have to be done with great skill & diplomacy, eg have a bike doctor or tech guru in store; take appointments/ numbering system,i.e. " number 12 " & person number 12 comes up & asked the doctor the question & they say: "what are you prepared to pay for that advice/answer ". If the work or part is bought in store then that can be credited from the transaction. THIS PROCESS IS NO DIFFERENT FROM GOING TO THE DOCTORS ( except the credit ) SO WHY SHOULD IT BE ANY DIFFERENT IN A BIKE SHOP ? CAN'T GO TO THE DOCTORS ONLINE & IF YOU CAN THEY WILL PROBABLY CHARGE YOU FOR IT! Alternatively have a QUESTION & ANSWER EVENING WHERE PEOPLE PAY TO COME ATTEND, eg $10 a person- bookings essential. Have a local cycling celebrity there or new product launch to mix it up. The other things bike shops can do is add value, eg have a small cafe with attached cycle membrabilia/museum. Be heavily involve in the cycling community, eg MTB, Road, Tri, & BMX clubs. Sponsor riders. Have alliances with Councils & Roading initiatives. Use free media, send articles into local newspapers to add interest. Use Suppliers to leverage advertising across all forms of social networking. TEST & MEASURE ADVERTISING, DON'T WASTE MONEY WHERE IT IS NOT WORKING. Have all clothing & shoes in shop with coded sizing. The shopping experience needs to be exciting to the shoper. E.G. the old fashion floor layout of the past - having bikes linned up in a row & product on the wall is dated. Todays shops need to have video displays talking about product or training tips. Have clothing displayed near the front to soften the technical atmoshpere - not scare away the female cliental. Offer a store card- the more you buy more you save. Be involve with local schools teaching safety & awareness. I could OFFER many more ideas, BUT ESSENTIALLY IT COMES DOWNS TO THE POWER OF THE DOLLAR & THE INTERNET OFFERS THIS SAVING! So until the suppliers offer comparible pricing to the internet this phenomenon is here to stay. Suppliers need to cut costs, they don't need expensive advertising, or packaging. Bi- monthly, not weekly sales rep' visits. Be prepared to ship direct to customer, & local store gets a cut ( geo-snyc'ing). Be clever with freighting. Use freight consolidators. Just think one day your job or service could be taken over buy the internet- where would that leave you for an income? If your job is on the internet, then maybe one day you'll be replaced by a computer. So support your local bike shop because one day it may dissapear.