SmartEtailing Blog

Brian Rawlings Featured in Bicycle Retailer

By Ryan Atkinson

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SmartEtailing's Business Account Executive Brian Rawlings featured in Bicycle Retailer's December 2016 print issue. In the feature, Brian notes that "Differentiation is important for local bike shops". The full text of the feature is reposted below with permission from Bicycle Retailer.

(copyright: Bicycle Retailer)

Every retailer we visited on our Carolinas Dealer Tour sold bikes, but each store had a completely unique personality. That was no accident. These are saavy retailers who understand that in a competitive environment local businesses need to deliver an experience to customers and build meaningful relationships.

As much as the bike business is about product, it is more about the customers. What do customers want? How do you deliver it? How do you get the customers' attention so you have a chance to earn their business? 

While every owner we met was driven by cycling passion, none of the shops were hobbyists. They were all running a business, not just a bike shop. 

Entrepenuers who can create a store identity, posses a commitment to the community, invest in the right selection of product, hire and train friendly staff, deliver exceptional service and build an operationally sound business model amaze me.

These stores had character. Shop dogs were everywhere and were an essential part of each business' story. Charlotte Cycles found a niche in the shop pet game by having goats, while at the same time focusing their business niche on the growing e-bike market in Charlotte.

The Spoke Easy created a welcoming environment for cyclists and non-cyclists to congregrate by blending a bar with their passionately curated cycling product selection. The shop shares space with an architecture and design firm. They broke the mold in favor of building something special.

As the guy from SmartEtailing, naturally a lot of my conversations drifted to websites. Every retailer agreed that their websites need to attract and inform their customers effectively, because in many cases it is their first oppurtunity to introduce themselves to new people.

This is the time of year where many stores around the country have downtime to invest in planning for next season. Based on what I saw, I recommend that shops ask what they can do to make the customer experience special and them make sure that the message is front and center on their website.

Brian Rawlings

Business Account Executive, SmartEtailing. 

Do you want to talk directly to Brian? Click here to contact him! If you would like to connect with Brian on Linkedin, visit his page here. To learn more about the Carolinas Dealer Tour, check out the December issue of Bicycle Retailer magazine!

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(copyright: Bicycle Retailer)

Topics: Bicycle Retail Insights Client Updates


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