Every business owner wants to drive more sales and boost their online business. Cycling is an incredibly competitive industry that requires a huge amount of work to sustain a business. Fortunately, bicycle accessories is a niche in which there are always new products being made and cyclists are always looking for new ways they can boost their experience cycling. Everything from improving the comfort of a cyclist to adding cool novelty items to bicycles can be an opportunity to sell exciting accessories.
Without the proper techniques being implemented when marketing, it doesn’t matter how cool your product is — you’re unlikely to drive any sales, as will all businesses. Getting people to pay attention to your product is a tough skill at the best of times, but when you’re competing in one of the most popular sports industries in the world you may need to be creative with your methods.
Connect with Existing Customers
It is unbelievable how many people in the world of e-commerce aren’t doing this. Your list of existing customers is an unbelievable tool. If you have been operating for a while and have already built up a bank of customers who have purchased something cycling related, then you have a list of people with buyer intent to market to. New customers are great and there are millions of potential customers out there for any business, which is perhaps why so many people focus on new business, but existing customers should never be ignored.
Reconnecting with people who have purchased items from you before can come in the form of sending them a coupon code, but why not go a step further? Start a mailing list and create relevant content that you can send them weekly, reminding them your brand exists and making it more likely that they will return. You can even check in on purchases individually, email someone to see if they are satisfied with the products they have bought from you. This kind of personalised service is a way smaller brands can compete with the big boys and consumers appreciate a brand they know has their back.
Utilise Influencer Marketing
Most sports and fitness-related fields are starting to realise the incredible impact that influencer marketing can have. Contacting other brands or individuals on Instagram or through other social networks and encouraging them to feature your product in return for either cash or freebies can be a wonderfully affordable and clever way to get the word out there.
Many Instagram cyclists and bloggers will be perfectly happy to have the opportunity to make even a little bit of money out of their following.
The reason influencer marketing is so popular in these sorts of fields is that people are aspirational when it comes to health and fitness and sports. They want to see others who they aspire to be like and will follow a lot of different cyclists looking for inspiration. Being able to tap into this aspiration you can associate your products with other brands and professionals, driving sales and building awareness of your products in the process.
This is a bit of a quirky advertising technique. Hang tags are what you might put over the door in a hotel and they are very affordable. It will need to be your call whether this is too intrusive or whether this could be a technique that works for your business but putting hang tags on parked bicycles is a technique we’ve seen used to good effect. Using a QR code or simply putting your website on the tag is a way to take offline, physical adverts into online sales.
Be Socially Active
Social media and social networks are free and immensely popular. Every brand out there should be using them in one way or another to promote their brand, show product photos and engage with existing and potential customers. Create content that answer cyclist’s questions, try blogging and linking this to your social media and even run contests and share other relevant content to the target audience. There are loads of creative ways to turn strangers into followers and then turn followers into potential sales, but the key is to keep providing value. You can do this for free, giving constant value knowing that somewhere along the line you should be able to cash in on your following and get the sales to back up the hard work you’ve put in.
Hardly a new technique, but we live in a culture where discounts are still a relevant and popular method of marketing, used all over the world in every industry. The best results will come from creative uses of discount codes. Get in touch with owners of bicycle forums and blogs and offer to give them a unique discount code for their readers, give existing customers a discount to try and drive them back to your shop and encourage repeat purposes. There are many ways discounts can make a difference and if you budget for them in the bottom line of your business then you won’t feel a financial hit.
Search Engine Optimisation
A huge portion of sales transactions carried out online start with a search engine. What better way to find customers than to be the first result of a search? If someone is looking for a certain type of bicycle accessory they will be likely to go to Google to find it, if you are on the first page you give yourself a chance of being the item they end up seeing. This is such an incredibly targeted method of advertising, showing your products to the exact people looking for them. Search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t easy so it is often worth getting an agency involved or taking the time to learn how to do it properly — but the results for driving sales can be absolutely massive.
The reality is that the more angles savvy business owners can approach marketing from, the higher your chances of success in reaching your target audience. A little thought about the methods you will be using, and the buyer intent of people within the cycling industry can help you to understand the best ways to build your business.