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Bike insurance: how to engage your customers amid supply chain issues

The pandemic has been an interesting ride for bike businesses. Demand has skyrocketed, governments around the world are increasing cycling infrastructure and bike usage is through the roof. But the flipside is that supply chain disruptions continue to test the nerves of many bike retailers – raw material shortages, months-long delays for spare parts, toned-down production volumes, you name it.
Words by
Alex Vickery
Time to read
5 minutes
Last updated
January 27, 2022
In a nutshell
  • The bike industry is suffering from ongoing supply chain issues.
  • As the busy season approaches, bike retailers need to come up with solutions.
  • Bike insurance is an easy, no-inventory accessory that can boost customer engagement and revenue now.

These issues don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, with experts saying they’re likely to last until 2023. Supply chain tensions have been building during the pandemic, leading to a bottleneck that’s only worsening with the arrival of new Covid variants.

Bike brands and retailers find themselves in a pinch – with fewer bikes to sell, they’re seeing lower sales volume and increasingly frustrated customers. But if bike businesses are willing to get creative, they’ll find that there are ways to boost customer engagement and revenue that require no inventory whatsoever; and one of the most successful is embedded insurance.

Learn more about embedded insurance for bike businesses → 

Shipping containers stacked up at a busy port
While the pandemic shift toward cycling was largely positive, it also exacerbated bike supply chain disruptions.

Supply chain issues: How did we get here?

At the start of the pandemic, the bike industry was booming. With lockdowns closing gyms and forcing people to stay home, many were eager to get outside and be active; parents wanted to give kids something to do; and others wanted to avoid public transport.

While the shift to two-wheeled transport was largely positive – and led various governments to support increased cycling infrastructure – it also exacerbated bike supply chain disruptions.

A survey by Cycling Industries Europe found that 85% of bike companies are experiencing problems with the supply chain.

With stalled production at major manufacturers in Asia and a shortage of raw materials used for bike parts, many retailers have struggled to keep up with demand. That, combined with fewer shipping containers – among other issues, such as Brexit-related snares – has meant that some customers are waiting weeks, if not months, for a new bike.

As the busy spring season approaches, the pressure is on for bike retailers to come up with solutions.

Lack of inventory hurting European bike retailers

Naturally, the lack of inventory has had a negative impact on many bike brands. Halford’s, the UK’s largest cycling retailer, even blamed its dip in sales on global supply chain problems.

In an era where we’re used to having anything and everything available at our fingertips, a long wait time for a new bike can be a huge deterrent to purchasing. If people see that they have to wait weeks to months for delivery, they’ll likely look elsewhere or unfairly hold your business accountable.

Two women riding bikes on a city street
As the busy spring season approaches, the pressure is on for bike retailers to come up with solutions.

While bike supplies stall, so does the influx of new customers. Instead of simply waiting for the supply chain to bounce back, bike brands should explore other ways to interact and engage with current customers, such as offering value-added services like bike insurance, post-sale support or even exploring warehouse insurance options to mitigate potential risks.

Upselling bike insurance can engage your riders and boost revenue

Whilst these challenges have been quite nerve-wracking for both bike businesses and riders, it has pushed no-inventory accessories to the forefront, like online bike insurance. 

How do you get people to buy insurance without any bikes to sell?

With our cover, you can offer insurance to any of your customers who bought a bike from you in the past year. With no stock or maintenance required, it can be an easy upsell while waiting for the supply chain bottleneck to clear. 

But perhaps one of the biggest benefits of upselling bike insurance to your riders is that it creates post-sale engagement. 

insurance enhances customer engagement for bike brands
 Leverage bike insurance to foster long-term relationships with your riders.

Let’s say one of your riders has their bike stolen. Their bike is their baby, their daily method of transport and their weekend exercise. If they have bike insurance, you – along with your provider – could help them get a new bike in no time.

If the entire claims process goes smoothly, this negative life experience could become a positive one that the rider associates with your brand. This in turn fosters customer loyalty, and not only are they more likely to be an ambassador for your brand, but they’ll also be more inclined to get their bike serviced by you or purchase additional accessories.

Insurance can be the gateway for you to engage and upsell your current riders by giving you a necessary touchpoint to connect with them.

And if you add bike insurance to your online store now, you’ll be ready to attract to new customers when you do have more inventory available – which offers a host of benefits, from adding value to your service to giving cyclists added peace of mind.

Top-rated bike insurance anywhere in Europe? Here’s how it works → 

embedded bike insurance on veloretti's website
With no stock or maintenance required, bike insurance can be an easy upsell while waiting for the supply chain bottleneck to clear. 

At Qover, our bike insurance can be easily integrated into any online – or offline – store, which means that customers have the option to add coverage at checkout in just one click.

We’ve seen a 60% conversion rate for our embedded insurance when it’s bundled with their new bike – so you could potentially get the majority of your customers to sign up for an engagement program that will feed your additional upselling efforts. (We’re happy to show you how this works.)

That way, you drive value back to your community, have a reason to further connect with your riders and earn extra revenue as a bonus.

So as bike brands learn to live with the uncertainty of supply chain disruptions, bike insurance can be an effective way for retailers to enhance customer engagement.

Get in touch with our team of bike experts to learn more about how insurance can help your business.

Still not convinced? Here are 3 reasons bike brands should offer insurance →