Why has The Bike Cooperative launched an ecommerce initiative?
- Losing sales on parts & accessories to Internet competition is our #1 member concern in our annual member survey. So we worked closely with our member owners to develop an ecommerce strategy to capture online sales that go directly to local bike stores.
- The co-op’s website, www.BikeStoreGuys.com helps our members capture incremental revenue from the online buyers currently buying from other ecommerce sites in our industry. BikeStoreGuys.com is a brand name unrelated to the co-op or individual store brands, which gives our members the freedom to promote their own store websites as well. Whether they are a large volume or small volume store, this is a secondary ecommerce strategy that all of our members can benefit from. Our participating members each own a percentage of their very own national ecommerce site in addition to their store site.
Aren’t you encouraging people to buy stuff online?
- People aren’t going to make their decision of whether to shop online because of The Bike Cooperative. We’d love to think we are that important, but we just aren’t. Let’s face it- the Internet doesn’t really need any help. If you search online for any bike-related accessory, there are dozens of online options already, and more each month! Today’s consumer demands the flexibility to buy online, so even if the entire Independent Bike Dealer (IBD) community decided to shut off all ecommerce activity, other parties would spring up to service that market. We simply can’t deny the existence of the online shopper, but ecommerce doesn’t have to be an enemy for local bike stores. The Bike Cooperative’s approach is to create “IBD-friendly” ecommerce, by communicating the importance of supporting our local bike stores, while putting online sales back in the dealers’ hands.
If you’re selling online, how are dealers getting the money?
BikeStoreGuys.com gives customers the flexibility to buy online and pick up their orders in a store, or get it shipped directly to their home. In both instances, our dealers get paid. Here’s how:
- Consumers can order bikes and P&A online. All bike orders are picked up by the customer in-store (there is no ship to home option for bikes). Our stores have the flexibility to choose the bike brands they wish to fulfill orders for, and only receive orders for those brands. The customer also has the option to have P&A items picked up in-store. At checkout, the customer enters their zip code to select the store in their market where they would like to pick up their order. The store that is selected by the customer will fulfill the order, and that store gets the full sale on the order picked up in their store, less site fees. Stores are paid twice per month for their in store pick-up orders.
- A customer also has the option to have P&A orders shipped directly to their home. Our member retailers get a share of sales on all ship-to-home orders with very little work required on their part. On ship-to-home orders, our members get paid twice per year. 50% of the money from ship to home orders is split evenly amongst all BikeStoreGuys.com retailers, and the other 50% is based on their percentage of co-op purchases amongst other BikeStoreGuys retailers.
Who is your technology partner?
- Shopatron is our tech partner behind the scenes, and we chose them because they already have a great deal of experience working in our industry.
- Shopatron is responsible for all fraud risk, not our retailers, and Shopatron has a customer service team that handle all order-related inquiries.
- Unlike Shopatron’s traditional ecommerce model, there is no bid process for BikeStoreGuys.com. Members are simply assigned the order when a customer selects their store for in-store pick-up.
Can I become a BikeStoreGuys fulfilling retailer?
- BikeStoreGuys.com is an exclusive program for co-op members only. You have the option to be a BikeStoreGuys.com fulfilling retailer if you become a member of The Bike Cooperative, pending territory availability. Territory availability is determined by the co-op’s membership committee. In short, if there is a territory opening for you to become a Bike Cooperative member, you will also be able to become a BikeStoreGuys.com fulfilling retailer. A one-time BikeStoreGuys.com investment will be required in addition to the co-op’s monthly fee structure.