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5 tactics bike retailers need to boost customer engagement

In the aftermath of the pandemic cycling boom – and amidst ongoing supply chain issues – it’s not enough to simply sell more bikes. Instead, bike businesses are looking for ways to engage their riders and create more meaningful touchpoints post-sale.
Words by
Alex Vickery
Time to read
7 minutes
Last updated
April 4, 2022
In a nutshell
  • Successful customer engagement should inspire riders to interact with your brand across the entire sales cycle.
  • Increased engagement can benefit bike retailers by creating long-lasting customer relationships.
  • Ways to boost customer engagement range from providing a seamless omnichannel experience to value-added services like bike insurance.

The journey doesn’t end when customers ride away from the store or receive their new bike at home. In fact, if bike businesses employ a successful customer engagement strategy, then it’s only the beginning.

Read on for why engaging your riders is so important and 5 things you can do to grow your customer relationships. 

See the product bike retailers need to boost customer engagement → 

Woman on computer sitting on bed next to bike
A successful customer engagement strategy should inspire your riders to regularly engage with your brand.

What is customer engagement?

Customer engagement is all about how a customer interacts and communicates with your brand. Although it contributes to the overall customer experience, it’s more than just a simple transaction – your touchpoints should inspire customers to engage with your company not because they need to, but because they want to.

A successful customer engagement strategy considers the entire sales cycle. If done right, it can answer consumer demand for increasingly personalised and sustained brand relationships – all of which builds up customer loyalty, ambassadorship and enthusiasm for your services. 

Here’s how Cowboy boosted customer satisfaction and engagement → 

Why is customer engagement important for bike retailers?

A successful customer engagement strategy can help bike retailers and manufacturers in a variety of ways – namely by creating opportunities to interact with your customers, understand them better and therefore better meet their needs.

Benefits of increased customer engagement for bike businesses include:

  • Better customer experience, therefore attracting more customers
  • Increased customer retention and loyalty
  • Stronger relationships with your riders
  • Added revenue by upselling to loyal cyclists
  • Improved brand value, image and reputation

Bike brands should consider a holistic customer-centric approach when it comes to customer engagement, especially since more and more riders view their bikes like they would a car. 

As bikes become a main method of transport for many European city dwellers, cyclists expect more from their provider. In the end, building an ongoing relationship with your riders is all about listening and being responsive to their needs, even long after they buy a bike. 

Happy woman having fun on a bike
Building an ongoing relationship with your riders is all about listening and being responsive to their needs long after they buy a bike.

5 ways bike businesses can increase customer engagement

1. Provide a seamless omnichannel experience

Whether you’re a digital-first bike brand or focusing more on in-store sales, an increasing number of bike businesses are doing a mix of both. MATE.Bike is one example of a digital-native manufacturer that has started selling their bikes at physical locations over the past year.

According to research by McKinsey & Co, for retailers, ‘offering a compelling omnichannel experience … is a requirement for survival.’ What’s more, making that journey seamless is key to engaging your customers.

Harmonising your services between online and offline channels will improve the customer experience by meeting your riders where they are. So if a customer is looking at a bike, accessories or additional services in-store, they should be able to finish their transaction online and vice versa.

Removing any friction from the sales process makes the customer experience more convenient and keeps your riders engaged throughout the product life cycle.  

2. Create a community of cyclists

Research by Salesforce found that 80% of customers think the experiences provided by a company are as important as its products and services. As consumers look for more personalised experiences, some retailers can benefit from becoming more than just a brand, but a lifestyle.

McKinsey says that creating an omnichannel ecosystem can provide ‘consumers with an ever-growing platform of content, offers and community-based interactions’ to become an ‘always-on relationship’. 

Woman and man on bikes in the city
Creating relevant content for your community gives them more incentive to engage with you in their daily lives.

Dutch bike brand Mantel, for example, uses their Instagram account to share how-to tips, interactive quizzes and user-generated content from their riders using the unique hashtag #MantelMoment.

Creating relevant content for your customers and allowing them to be part of a community of like-minded cyclists increases their sense of loyalty and gives them more incentive to engage with you in their daily lives.

3. Collect and address rider feedback

Once you’ve created an engaged community of riders, it’s important to continuously ask for feedback. Ed Ackerman, VP of Customer Success at Qover, says listening to your customers is key to understanding their needs.

‘What is the customer telling you about their needs? What are their unarticulated needs? Make sure you’re not jumping to solutions, but listening to understand,’ he says.

Not only should your customer care team flag feedback they’re getting from riders, but you could also consider sending out surveys or questionnaires to see what you can improve upon. Creating regular touchpoints with your customers gives you the chance to connect and makes them feel heard.

boost customer engagement with bike insurance
Value-added services like insurance create post-sale touchpoints, and therefore long-term relationships, with your customers.

4. Implement value-added bike services

Once you’re in touch with what your community is saying, it’s time to think about adding services that will truly drive value for your riders – and create ways for them to engage with you along the way. 

For instance, are your riders worried about theft? Consider adding bike insurance to your offer. Are they having a hard time putting their bike together when it’s delivered? Put more emphasis on video tutorials or live chat support to enhance the unboxing experience.

Maybe your customers are struggling with where to take their bike to get serviced. If you offer an affordable service package at checkout, then those customers will return to you instead of going to a random service centre. Belgian bike brand Cowboy recently introduced on-demand servicing by their own technicians, which customers can conveniently book through the Cowboy app.

E-bike providers can easily leverage value-added services through built-in tech. Apps, for instance, provide a huge opportunity for bike brands to connect with customers. Connecting GPS trackers or bike-related programs to your app can keep cyclists engaged throughout their rides. If a customer can track their rides directly from their e-bike – through a Strava-like platform, for example – then they have an additional way to connect with your brand.

See how bike theft insurance can help you sell more e-bikes →

The more information you give customers, whether it’s data on how their bike is performing or stats from their rides, the more value you add to their daily lives.

Hand holding mobile phone showing digital bike insurance
Bike insurance can foster customer engagement and give your riders more confidence on the road.

5. Offer bike insurance

Bike insurance is one way to add value to your offering and put your riders’ minds at ease, but it can also foster customer engagement through a variety of touchpoints.

  • Assist your riders if something bad happens. If a customer’s bike breaks down or is stolen when they’re far from home, they can call an assistance line to find additional means of transport or take a taxi home knowing they’ll be reimbursed – which all leads back to you being able to solve their problem quickly and efficiently.
  • Be there when they get a new bike. Theft coverage can include a voucher for a new bike from the original supplier, which means that customers will return to your store if their bike is stolen. In fact, our survey of bike users found that 94% of bike theft victims would buy a new bike from the same brand if reimbursed by Qover insurance.
  • Engage riders who’ve already purchased a bike. At Qover, our bike insurance covers bikes up to a year old, which means you can reach out to recent customers to upsell bike insurance. This can be especially useful as supply chain issues continue to disrupt the industry.
  • Upsell additional services. The more trust your customers have in you, the more likely they are to buy accessories or additional services down the line. 

Everything you need to know about pan-European bike insurance →

Find a bike insurance partner that can boost customer engagement

It’s up to you to give your riders opportunities to interact, but ultimately your customers will choose whether or not to engage. By exploring the strategies described in this article, you can inspire your riders to connect and pave the way toward long-lasting customer relationships.

At Qover, we help our bike partners engage with their riders through seamless, omnichannel insurance.

Get in touch with us to see how insurance can act as a gateway toward successful customer engagement.