Specialized plans to add a consumer-direct option for online bike sales to US customers next week, our sister publication Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported
While the brand currently offers online sales, customers who buy bikes online must pick up their orders at local dealers or have them delivered to their homes by the local dealers. Those options will reportedly remain, but sales margins for the involved retailers will change: retailers that assemble bikes purchased online for pickup will earn 50% of their standard sales margin, compared with 75% currently, and retailers that assemble and deliver bikes purchased online will earn 75% of the standard margin, according to BRAIN. (It's unclear what they earn on bikes they assemble and deliver at the moment.)
Starting Tuesday, however, customers will have the option to have their bikes shipped directly from Specialized to their doorsteps. The bikes ordered online will be shipped mostly assembled, similar to what consumer-direct brands currently do, and will be pre-assembled at Specialized's facilities in Salt Lake City and Ohio. The shipping boxes will include the tools needed for customers to assemble them the rest of the way, plus QR codes to link to instructional videos.
Specialized has been leading the "hybridization" of traditional retail and consumer-direct models for years, as one of the major brands to offer click-and-collect sales options, but is the first major traditional sales brand to also offer a consumer-direct option.Update:Cycling Industry News
published more details about the news and the following statement from Specialized: "As of 1st February we will be adding another way in which riders are able to purchase and have Specialized bikes delivered. Allowing us to offer the best possible buying experience to our riders, to understand them better and ultimately serve their needs better.
"After nearly 50 years of building the perfect bike for every rider, we decided to go one step further and come up with the perfect way to get the perfect bike to every rider. Now you can shop when, where, and how you want, from your favourite retailer to the comfort of your own home. We’re excited to announce Ship to Home and Specialized Delivery, two new ways to get your new Specialized bike without getting in the car."