As long time enthusiast for cycling I have had the opportunity to work with several bicycle specialty retailers. This has been the best of all worlds for me. I can spend time in an industry that I have passion for and help bike shops introduce more people to riding bicycles
Continuous promotion is not just for the new business. With only 5% of the population riding bikes, there is always a great upside for the bike shop that continuously promotes their shop. You want your shop be the first place people find when they are considering purchasing a bike. Historically this has been a very expensive, time consuming task, and beyond the means of a single independent bike shop.
In the past three years this has changed considerably. Bike shops have a great opportunity to use the latest trends in advertising and marketing. Bike shops can make considerable use of the free and low cost tools that the internet provides. However, it does take a commitment to become the local resource for all things bicycle. As shop owners and managers, manage that effort by leveraging the efforts of others. Never build it yourself if you can rent it from others.
The first opportunity is maximize local internet information about your business. Between iphones, Google, Yahoo and Bing you can be positioned on the top of the first page of internet searches for your products. Forget about getting your website on the first page of searches. Get your business on the Top 10 Box of Google or Top 3 on Yahoo. This is always shown before top website searches and once accomplish is free advertising for your business.
The second opportunity is using specialized websites like Smart-Etailing to have a content rich site that becomes the center of information for your local cycling enthusiast. I am a strong believer in providing a product website that has all your products that you offer, especially those products that you can order, but do not inventory. You could never do that on your own, but an application like SmartEtailing cost effectively provides that to a bike shop.
The third opportunity is what I am calling Guerrilla Marketing. There has never been a better time for local businesses getting the word about your promotions, events, and new products.
- Learn more about effective emails and newsletters
- Lean about using craigslist for your bike shop
- Learn about Social media for promotion and community involvement
The best part is that by a small weekly committing to each of the three activities outlined above you will get internet synergy. With more people finding your website because you have a top 10 local business listing, you get more traffic on your website. By updating and creating new content on your website search engines like google will continue to create links to your site and bring more people to your website.
By developing your specific Guerrilla Marketing tools you can quickly get the word out about new things your shop is doing. Each activity helps the other and greatly increases your exposure for the other two activities. With a 1-2 hour a week effort, you can 5 to 10X visits to your website, get new customers to call and visit your shop and ultimately increase and broaden your sales base.
The internet of today was tailor made for the local bicycle retailer and market your shop effectively against any competitor large or small.