Thursday, 18 February 2010

Bike Websites

The internet is the primary search tool that people use, I wonder why so many bike brands have websites that don't fit the purpose? I'm thinking about a new bike at the minute and I have to say it's a slog. Nearly all bike websites you go to are full of glossy images about their bikes, set neatly into sub-sectors of their range (which no-one outside of their business understands) and there is a total lack of pricing transparency.

Part of my day job is marketing strategy (including web). Best practice is to allow people to quickly narrow down their choices in as few clicks as possible. In theory, you should be getting people to some sort of decision within three clicks. People make purchasing decisions on many factors, on higher ticket items, budget is important, show them the money! Once you go beyond the three clicks, you are in danger of losing your customers.

Planet X are probably the closest you'll get to it, as they make and sell their own bikes. They're still not perfect, you get pricing but you don't get pictures of individual components when you are speccing a bike, so more work whilst you go and google individual components to look them up on other websites (another fatal mistake, don't let people leave you're site). I know the reason why most of the big brands don't show pricing, it's because they sell via a dealer network, however they have to realise that in the new world, pricing transparency is key, there are ways to overcome this and they need to think more creatively.

1 comment:

  1. I don't even think it's that simple, unfortunately. There seems to be a limited number of types of bike website to me:

    Type 1. Great site, multiple brands, but retail online only (e.g. Wiggle)

    Type 2. Great site but only one brand (Canyon, Cannondale etc)

    Type 3. Great shop, multiple brands, awful site. (most bricks and mortar bike shops)

    In the age of bricks and mortar retail being under siege from the online gang, it seems bonkers how bad these are. Like me, you're in Manchester - just check out the Bicycle Doctor, Wills Wheels, Harry Hall. Royles is better, but not great. Yet go down there and you'll find great products and knowledgeable staff at any of the above.