The Ass Backwards Ways of the Bicycle Industry
If you are a common visitor to BikeShopGirl.com (thank you) than you may have noticed that the tag line and description have changed. Originally this site was targeted to specifically women and our niche. We aren’t leaving that niche, and I’m a woman so I’ll continue to concentrate on helping women in the cycling industry. As comments and emails stream in on a daily basis, I realized that almost everyone other than the bike snob elitist related to the words I have been typing. Many people are scared to walk into bike shops, they are scared to try on spandex for the first hundred times and they feel like they are trying to be sold to instead of educated. This is the nature of retail and consumerism thanks to used car and Xerox sales guys.
Here are some recent musings while talking to friends and cyclist of all types
- My impression is most people that ride bikes, do not refer to themselves as cyclist
- They fear shopping for bikes, due to sticker shock and lack of knowledge
- They relate to their friends and family, wanting to include them as much as possible in their experience
- Due to lack of knowledge, they will shop based on friends recommendations or sources they trust (this is where I come in)
My Goals are Not to Crush
Making a bike shop profitable in a saturated market is getting more and more impossible. Margin’s are getting skinnier, there is more knowledge needed by their staff which means higher salaries and more training, more product by more vendors means more room to store it which adds to overhead, and the online retailer (unfortunately for local bike shops) are doing it right. Call them, ask them tons of questions, price shop, and repeat.
Today, across all industry’s, it is the time for the consumer. Consumer’s want you to save them money, to be treated like your long lost first love and for it to be all about them. Because after all, they are giving you their money and they want you to earn it. They will be needy, helpless and walked through many things. But, hey, that’s okay!!! Treat them right and they will be your loyal customer referring you to friends for years.
We’ll talk about what bike shops could do, and hopefully get more feedback from end users. But in reality, my goal is to help the consumer. EMPOWER the consumer to shop smarter and have a better experience riding their bike.