It's a Match!
Online shopping is modern, and not just since the Corona pandemic. But a hurdle-free customer journey is not trivial to implement, depending on the product category. Even before the pandemic, we at Smartfit suspected that it would not be easy to transfer an optimal advisory concept for bicycle sales from the offline world to the online store. Lockdowns and restrictions have underscored this in the long term. The range of digital consulting tools is not (yet) at the level of current demand.
Bikes are being bought like hot cakes. We in the bike industry have clearly noticed the boom. According to surveys, the demand for bicycles and the willingness to use the two-wheeler more often continues. In the Bicycle Monitor 2021 of the German Federal Ministry of Transport, 41% of 14-69 year olds said they would like to use their bicycle more often in the future. Already due to or during the pandemic, 25% of the respondents got on their bikes more often. The willingness to buy a new bicycle in the next 12 months is 27% in the study. The sales figures of the Zweirad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV) prove this trend and read as a real success story in the last two years.
Interestingly, one assessment of a ZIV press release on the 2021 market figures stands out: "Online retail is booming everywhere - but not in the bicycle industry. Last year , bicycles were predominantly sold in stationary specialized trade. The latter was able to significantly expand its market share to 73 percent, while 20 percent of the volume was sold via online sales channels. The consultation-intensive product of bicycles, especially those with e-drives, clearly remains the domain of the specialist bicycle trade."
Modern bicycles and pedelecs are not self-explanatory, especially when it comes to add-on parts, motor performance or simply which frame size to choose. What the specialized trade can accomplish by personal consultation, becomes in the E-Commerce world more often the hurdle than one thinks. Abandoned shopping carts, indecisiveness - in short, a lack of digital consulting tools lead to the 'trend' that the ZIV addresses above and the shift of market share towards specialist retailers.
Our intuitive online sizing proves why it is still possible to shine in the consulting-intensive area of frame size and ergonomics consulting. Our research and experience in the bike lab at bike fittings and independent bike buying consultations have shown one thing for years: Everyone has individual body proportions and the majority of end customers find it difficult to find the optimal frame size, geometry and adjustment values for their own dream bike themselves. This is no wonder, because there is literally a science behind it. Professional ergonomics advice that also includes medical aspects is only possible with the appropriate training. Acquiring the expertise to do so is feasible but tedious and time-consuming. Knowing geometry tables and manufacturer nomenclatures by heart, however, is almost impossible. We at Smartfit know this circumstance very well. That's why we develop bikesizing systems and intelligent bike databases that support all dealers in sales and always lead to the selection of the correct frame size.
Optimal ergonomics and thus long-term customer satisfaction starts with the purchase of the bike, especially with the decision which frame size to sell. In this central decision, every specialist dealer, whether online or at the point of sale, should stand by their customers and offer optimal advice. In the specialized trade, this can be done in direct conversation and with various measuring tools, such as our Smartfit systems for the point-of-sale. Online, advice and measurement is only possible digitally and, in the best case, must be available 24 hours a day. This requires a smart solution that can be operated intuitively. Our online sizing offers exactly this solution. For years, we have been the leading tool in the field of online frame sizing advice on the market.
For each sizing request, our tool creates an optimal match between the individual body data and the actual model geometry. Our algorithms calculate in each sizing based on 40 individual body and bike geometry factors and draw on a database of millions of body measurement data to always deliver the optimal recommendation.
So that's the good news: the hurdle of frame size selection can be skipped. Customers and retailers can rely on our databases and the Smartfit algorithm. Excellent frame size advice can be realized offline and online with our tools and systems.