It seemed only a few years ago that the bike shop was going to disappear from our high streets. With retailers struggling to gain sales and attract footfall, the chances of achieving high sell through seemed to be slipping away faster than the integrity of professional cycling.
Today we’ll look at ways in which cycle brands can help retailers to create unique customer experiences.
Whilst retailers struggle to compete with the convenience and pricing of the online marketplace, vertically integrated stores have been steadily building up a solution that all brands can play a part in.
Deemed ‘’The future of retail’’ the Nike store in Soho is tackling the issue of declining retail shopper numbers head-on by connecting them to their brand in a way they have never done before and in a way they cannot do online
‘’Creating a unique and captivating in-store experience has become a mandate for traditional retailers that are watching their sales slip away…’’ offering the in-store customer more than just a just a place to buy, but a place to engage all their senses.
Whilst we understand that it may be easier for Nike within their own retail operations to control the customers experience, there are definitely elements that can be borrowed from Nike and others that will drive success for your brand in your dealers stores.
‘’The internet won’t take over completely. People still want to sit on a bike, pedal it on the turbo and touch and feel it. They want the right size and they want that extra bit of personal service that we can offer’’ Matthew Drake, Owner of Drakes Cycles
Creating the right in store experience is nothing new to cycle retailers; whether it’s in-store cafes, bike fit, offering sports massages, delivering seminars or hosting event nights, retailers are always finding new ways to attract customers into store. Prologue in Harrogate is a great example of this. But whilst cycle retailers are using tactics like this to drive foot fall; what is your brand doing to drive specific “theater” around your products and how can you work with dealers to ensure this experience is consistent for consumers.
Lets explore some simple steps brands can take to help retail partners create these shopper experiences that are proven to drive sell through?
Mystery Shop your retailers
Arrange for someone to walk through your dealers’ store and assess what experience customers are having with your brand. Is your brand standing out from the others on offer? Is there anything to draw customers to your products and can they experience the product in the store? Are associates confident when talking about your products? Write down areas of improvement and areas where you are seeing success in order to tailor in store strategy and spread best practice.
Consider Opportunities to Create in Store Experiences
From handlebar walls to test grips and gloves or mounted cycle seats to allow customer to compare comfort, all the way through to dark rooms for testing lights and safety equipment. There are many ways to aid the retailer in creating a more sensory experience with your brand. Our advice is to ensure customers can get hands on with your product and experience its key features.
Subject to resources these options can be limited, but the more you can recreate the experience of using the product outside, whilst in-store, the more likely you are going to be able to help the sales associate close the sale.
Make sure staff are knowledgeable and engaged with your brand
Whether through face-to-face training, online training or a combination of the two, you need to make sure sales associates understand the experience you want customers to have with your products, and ensure they are knowledgeable and confident to deliver that experience.
What ever you do – do something! Consumers expect more from their in store experience and if your not helping your retailers to create the “theater” needed to engage the modern consumer – another brand will!
Stay subscribed to the blog as next week we will be exploring that final point in more detail, getting into some practical examples of Cycling brands utilising Myagi
If you have any ideas you’d like to share about making the cycle retail more experiential, we’d love to hear them! Email firstname.lastname@example.org