With evolving technology and consumer preferences, the digital presence of a bike shop plays a crucial role in its success. An outdated website can hinder growth, limiting customer engagement and potential sales. In contrast, a well-updated, user-friendly site drives more traffic, improves customer interaction, and elevates a bike shop’s overall business performance.
My name is Scott Waters and for close to a decade I managed retail stores, building their online presence through SEO, web development, and digital marketing. I have helped countless bike shops take their business from a small local retailer to a successful player in their community.
In this post, we will discuss some of the reasons why you need to update your website, today. I will give you a quick overview of how having a modern website can bring you more customers and give you more time to hit the road.
Let’s hit the trail!
- Your website is like your shop window on the internet. Just like you wouldn’t leave old sale signs in your shop window, you should keep your website updated too.
- Making a website seems simple, but there’s a lot to think about like SEO, making sure everyone can use it, and more. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a web developer.
- Having a website is always better than not having one, no matter what your business is.
1. Your Customers Are Looking For You Online
In today’s world, every customer journey begins online. As a bike shop owner, your digital platform is your new front window display. It’s the first impression customers have about your shop, and it could be the difference between attracting new business or being overlooked.
A Nielsen study found that 81% of consumers do online research before making a purchase, meaning your digital presence is the first impression many customers have of your bike shop. As mentioned before, your website is your new digital front window display. You wouldn’t want to advertise last year’s Black Friday sale in your store window, so why do it on your online window?
It can seem like a lot of work to build and maintain a strong online presence. While there is a lot that goes into it, most of the work involved is habitual. If you write a blog post every day, after a certain amount of days, you will begin to see more people visiting your website. Google and other search engines will start to send customers to your website as they begin to believe it offers valuable information to your local demographic.
2. Your Competition Is Doing It
That’s right. Your competition has a great new website they paid a developer top dollar to make sure they have the cleanest and most modern site. It may feel hopeless to try and compete with their brand new website but I am here to tell you that is not true. Google and other search engines do not care about the bells and whistles, they care about the quality of your content and the engagement of your customers.
When Google is deciding what content to show a customer, they use bots to read websites and determine the content, its quality, and its relevance to Google customers. Having intentional content on your website that is relevant to your customers is paramount to your success online. For example, if your business is located in Sarasota, FL and you want to increase your traffic on your website, writing an article about the best-hidden spots to ride in Sarasota, FL will engage your local audience. In turn, when visitors come to Sarasota and search for the best places to bike, Google will populate your article for its relevance.
Although that article might busy up some of the local spots to ride, it will also push a lot more traffic to your website.
Now if you are reading this thinking, where do I even start? Not to worry, The Bike Collective has you covered. We have worked with business owners to make sure they have the right information to deliver the best content to their customers. We offer free and paid services to help you stand out from the competition online.
3. It Costs Far Less Than Other Methods
According to Small Biz Trends, a bike shop should spend between 10-15% of its revenue on marketing every month. The average cost of marketing services for small businesses increased 8.7% last year. That means it costs more money than ever for you to reach your future customers. In a world of inflation and never-ending cost increases, your website can save your profit margins by providing your customers with an easy way to connect with your business.
It is a common misconception that business owners can make a website for free. Although there are tools that boast free website builders, for a business it is important to look professional online. Instead of using a free tool, take the next step and hire a professional team to develop your website. With as little as $500 you can have an online presence that is optimized for all devices and is visually appealing.
From there, you and your team can write engaging content to publish on the blog section of your new website. This content should engage with your local audience and show your expertise in the industry. As your blog grows, the traffic to your website grows. This combined with a powerful marketing message will turn into conversions aka people walking into your door, money in hand.
All of this comes with a low startup cost and a low maintenance cost compared to other marketing strategies. Even though we agree to put 10-15% of your revenue back into marketing, that does not mean it needs to be cash. Instead, invest your team’s time into creating engaging and educational content for your customers.
4. Your Customers Get Immediate Gratification (You Do Too)!!
Cha-ching!! We all know what that sound means. If you have a website already but do not have an online store, you are leaving money on the table. The landscape of retail shopping has changed dramatically in the past 30 years. Since the dawn of the internet, consumers have had more information accessible to their fingertips than ever before. This newfound information enables customers to have a stronger sense of confidence when purchasing the items they want.
In other words, before a customer even walks into your store, they want to know what you have and how much it costs. They want to research your competitors to see if they offer a better value proposition. The research the item they are buying to make sure it is truly the one they want. Generally speaking, by the time the average customer enters your bike shop, they already know what they are looking for.
So how do you make sure that you give your customers that instant gratification? Build an e-commerce store. Even if you are just targeting a local audience, enabling customers to place orders, schedule repairs, and communicate with your team makes a big difference in the customer experience. Modern shoppers want an easy experience and will show more loyalty to your brand the easier you make it for them.
5. It Will Make You More Money
Plain and simple, the more you invest in your business the more your business will be worth one day. Building a business is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The more quality effort you put into your bike shop’s online presence will equally correlate to the volume of revenue it generates. A website is huge and it is important now more than ever to make sure you have a good position online.
A study shows that 76% of consumers look for a company online before visiting in-store. If you put all the right messaging out to your customers in a visually appealing design, they will trust you even more and spend more money with you. You will capture a larger audience and drive more traffic into your store. All of this means more money for you.
It seems like an obvious move but for so many, starting online can feel like an uphill battle. When I first got my start as an entrepreneur, I struggled with how to properly build marketing campaigns. I thought I had to pay for expensive billboards and radio ads I could not afford. It was not until I created my website for my store and started publishing valuable content on my blog for my customers that I started to see real growth.
Getting online is important but if you ignore the first 4 reasons in this article, you won’t want to ignore this one. Simple put, having a well designed website will make you more money online. It will give you a competitive advantage and if you enable an online store (even just for your local customers) you will see a drastic change. The change won’t be overnight but after three months of a solid effort, you will see huge success.
It is important to make sure that you have a strong online presence. Your customers want to see you online and more importantly, they want to buy from you online. Even if you are not offering a shipping service, you can still capture payments, confirm orders, and communicate with customers, all from the comfort of their own home. Once they are confident you are the right one, they will make their way to your store.
To summarize, while there are many important reasons your business should have a strong online presence, the main one is money. If you want to stay competitive in this business landscape, having an up-to-date website that is accessible to customers, allows them to place orders, communicate with the team, and schedule repairs is paramount to your success.
If you are reading this and still feel lost, no worries, The Bike Collective has you covered. We work with business owners in the bike shop space to ensure they are up to date on all the latest industry trends. We suggest joining our newsletter or reaching out to one of our pros to talk more about how we can help.