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omnichannel

How cycling websites can step up a gear

Another day, another lockdown announcement for the UK. With gyms closed and the days starting to get a little bit lighter, thoughts of many will turn to how to get their cardio hit. In the previous lockdown, bicycle demand hit new heights. It may be slightly different this time, but there is certainly still demand, especially as more people have moved out to the country (1).

Bikes, like cars, are items that people could likely not countenance selling online some years ago but now it is commonplace to research and make the purchase online. Brompton bike sales were up 5x in the first lockdown (2). Cycles are high ticket items but it seems like the public are willing to part with their cash online to secure one. Does the customer experience meet the expectation? Particularly in a world where a basket value can quickly move into the four-figure stratosphere.

I recently went through the bike purchasing journey myself, and found it sub optimal. I used to ride a lot in my childhood but this was my first purchase for some 20 years, so I did have questions. Whilst the Cycling website drew me towards the bike I wanted, my questions remained unanswered. For example, most cycling sites offer a build a bike service, which I imagine most people opt for. But would extras that I purchased, such as mudguards and water bottle cages be included in that? If not, could they give me some pointers? I ended up none the wiser.

Furthermore, whilst there is some guidance on the site, some re-assurance about the bike size would have been useful. Different frames fit different sizes, and a chat about this may have been the difference for some users between hitting buy or pausing.

In addition to my unanswered questions, was the missed opportunity of upsell. I was ready to get all the gear but had no idea as to what else I needed. If I had been speaking to a salesperson through this process, they could have easily added gloves, bell, hi-vis top, pump to my basket, but again there was no one taking me through the process.

Incidentally, I did go to a physical store, but unfortunately the staff were taking social distancing so seriously that in-spite of hanging round the bikes for 10 minutes, no one was seemingly available to help me.

The solution? Video commerce. Having taken off in Asia, video commerce will be a worldwide practice within a few years. It’s the first movers who will get the advantage however. Video shopping technology such as Confer With offers the opportunity to speak with your users whilst they use the website. As a vendor, you can add or remove items from their basket, discuss upgrades or upsells with your customer and answer any other customer service questions they have.

As a way of increasing the website conversion rate of your cycling website, I could not think of a better add-on than this. There is a reason why questions such as ‘what is a hybrid bike?’ are asked 6600 times a month via Google. People need to feel informed before making their purchase and this will give them what they need before checkout.

Interested in adding the power of video to your cycling or any other type of ecommerce website? Talk to us today.

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/26/escape-country-covid-exodus-britain-cities-pandemic-urban-green-space

2. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/may/09/coronavirus-cycling-boom-makes-a-good-bike-hard-to-find