The Electric Bike Shop’s mission is to get more people onto two wheels by uniting every customer with their perfect bike and providing a great customer experience throughout the process. To make this a reality, they are leveraging the power of data in their retail strategy.
Despite their startup status, the Electric Bike Shop has an ambitious growth mindset and approach. Clekt is working with their management team as an outsourced data partner, to build the foundations for a data-driven future that will allow them to continue to scale at high speed.
When the UK announced the first national lockdown in Spring 2020, the electric bike market went from steady speed to top gear virtually overnight. With car journeys discouraged and outdoor time limited, an electric bike offered the chance to escape into the outdoors, no matter your location or level of fitness. Since then, demand remains exceptionally high.
Happily, the Electric Bike Shop’s top team was prepared. They already had a strategy to allow them to scale and now they are putting it into action.
Like many SMBs, the Electric Bike Shop is currently not at the right stage to support an in-house team of data and IT specialists, yet they still recognise the need for access to this skill set. Instead, the team is leveraging the external expertise of Clekt to make their data-driven approach to business a reality.
The foundation of this strategy is straightforward: business data is generated from multiple sources and captured at many different points. Data must be brought together into one location and format to be effectively analysed and operationalised.
“Don’t cut corners with data. Small businesses don’t always build an accessible database and capture and keep all the right information. Later down the road, if you have not collected the important information, you’ve missed an opportunity. You have to have a strategy upfront to get more value from data.”
Buying an electric bike is a considered purchase. Jo describes a typical customer journey that begins with online research and then completed after a physical test drive of the fully configured bike at a retail location
This buying cycle presents both opportunities and challenges for the Electric Bike Shop. Their complex product needs to be put together by an expert and then available for collection within a reasonable distance from the customer. Therefore, customers need to access a ‘spine’ of bricks and mortar sites across the UK, with a trained Electric Bike Shop specialist on hand to assemble bikes, manage customer collection, answer questions and later down the line updates, maintenance and repairs. The opportunity is to use customer data to optimise this experience and make every sales and service interaction with the Electric Bike Shop a positive one.
Beyond the customer experience piece, there are more gains to be had through extending their smart use of data across every aspect of the business operation. Point of sale data, store footfall, marketing data, stock availability, best sellers, the list goes on. By capturing every useful retail metric, the Electric Bike Shop is in the position to operate more efficiently, close more sales, drive more profit and be more sustainable at every stage of their growth.
“There are so many other ways we can serve this market, and data is going to be at the heart of what we do next.”
In the first stage of the route for the Electric Bike Shop, riding tandem with Clekt, the team are tackling one of the issues that causes the most pain. Jo’s finance team rely upon a well-known software solution for the cycle retail industry. While this platform presents extremely valuable data in terms of stock and product specification information, extracting the essential financial data from the platform for use in other systems was proving impossible. Instead, the Electric Bike Shop has been running manual processes each week to manage all of their transactions. It was not a smart solution and couldn’t scale.
Clekt have now provided the Electric Bike Shop with the means to extract and upload this data to their financial system, rationalising hundreds of manually uploaded transactions into one automated upload. It’s a change that is set to save the team hours of processing time a week, reduce the possibility for human error and provide real-time data they can act upon.
This is just the start. As Jo says, “there are so many other ways we can serve this market, and data is going to be at the heart of what we do next.”
Over 2021 there will of course be many more stages to complete for the Electric Bike Shop. However, with their smart approach to retail, we predict yellow jerseys all round for this team.