Grow Business With Buy Online, Pickup In-Store

( Peter Koch /  Freepik  )

(Peter Koch/Freepik)

Help locals find your shop, expand your hours to 24/7 and sell more stuff—all without complicating your business

Words by Ryan Atkinson

You help people discover the joy of cycling. You send kids home with their first bike. You are a local advocate to create places to ride bikes. You build trails, organize group rides, promote events, and work long days fixing flats on charity rides.

Bike shop owners like you are heroes. If it weren’t for you, your community wouldn’t be such a great place to ride. But your bike shop is a business. And your business needs to be profitable and growing if you’re going to continue to provide these great services to your community.

Unfortunately, business competition is getting more fierce every day. What can you do to take control of your business growth?

Open an online store without complicating things
Your physical store, and everything that comes with it, is your biggest investment. You need your store generating profitable sales. An online store can help with that.

The most important job of an online store for a local bike shop is to merchandise your in-stock inventory online. You’ve made a major investment in inventory, and without an adequate website, your inventory is hidden from potential buyers.

Connect your inventory to your online store and you can start winning local search traffic and make it easier for local cyclists to buy from you.

Click and collect makes it easier than ever
Maybe opening an online store sounds interesting, but you’re intimidated by the prospect of shipping product or worry about fraud. With click and collect your life gets a lot easier.

You likely already know that click and collect describes the retail strategy of selling a product online to be picked up at the physical store, as opposed to shipping the item to a consumer.

Click and collect, also called buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), is rapidly becoming the preferred shopping method for many consumers.

Not only do they appreciate the immediate gratification of getting a purchase faster, they can also save on shipping costs and avoid the risk of package theft. Retailers like click and collect because it allows them to leverage their physical inventory locally, an advantage compared to online-only sellers.

Increase customer value and per-customer sales
Retailers like you want interactions with local shoppers. You want shoppers on your website, adding items to a cart, purchasing, then visiting the store, and buying even more.

Click and collect shoppers, “bought more items in the store 51% of the time,” according to Retail Dive. Those same shoppers, “also spend an average of $40 more on additional unplanned purchases while picking up online orders in the store.”

An online store makes it easier to get engagement from existing customers. If your bike shop sends a monthly email, what calls to action do you use? Do you say “Visit us today!” or “Shop Now”? Which call to action has less friction for your customers?

“Shop now” is much easier. Your customer can shop with you wherever they are and at any time of the day, even directly from their phone.

You can get more value out of your email marketing by having your calls to action link directly to your online catalog. In turn, your email marketing helps you encourage more purchasing from your store.

Invite new local customers to shop with you
Winning local search is critical to your business. When a shopper in your area searches for “bicycle floor pump” they are going to be faced with an endless selection they can purchase with a single click.

Your business can offer the same convenience with an online store. With click and collect, you barely have to change a thing about how you do business. You are just adding a cash register online. Since you aren’t shipping product, you don’t have to worry about operational complexity. Just have the order waiting for the customer, and offer good service when they visit.

Imagine how many people in your community are getting into cycling every year, but don’t know what a great resource your local bike shop is. Think about all of the digital natives who go to the internet first to shop. What can you do to get them through your door?

Get started today! It’s important to have a strategy in place when implementing click and collect at your bike shop. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but should be communicated to the team so that everyone can effectively promote and use your website as an additional sales tool.

This post was authored by Ryan Atkinson, President and Co-Owner of SmartEtailing. SmartEtailing provides website, marketing, and data solutions to help independent bicycle retailers compete in an evolving retail world.