SmartEtailing Blog

IBD Ecommerce Index Explained

By Ryan Atkinson
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PeopleForBikes approached SmartEtailing for help in providing timely insights into retail sales. They want to offer suppliers a dashboard to monitor retail trends at this critical time to adjust forecasts accordingly.

We chose to volunteer data in a private and secure way - intending to keep suppliers informed and help you have adequate stock. We also want to show suppliers that independent dealers are capable of meeting online consumer needs.

Index methodology

We published the IBD ecommerce index with PeopleForBikes using an index so we can share relative changes on a daily basis - without revealing actual results. This index uses SmartEtailing platform data, not individual retailer data. 

This index shows percent change relative to 2019 for each date on the SmartEtailing ecommerce platform. A value of "0" indicates the online sales for that date had zero growth over 2019. As a practical example, on March 19, 2020 US bike sales dollars were up 202% compared to the same date in 2019.

On March 19, 2020 US bike sales dollars were up 202% compared to the same date in 2019.

For the purposes of this index, the number of businesses included was not constant. Some portion of change results from a change in the number of websites year over year. Additionally, SmartEtailing platform sales have grown 20–30% annually for the last 5 years — and it would be reasonable to conclude this rate of growth would have continued during this reporting period in the absence of broader market changes.

Retailer data is secure

Data security and privacy is of utmost importance to SmartEtailing. No SmartEtailing client data is compromised when compiling and presenting this index. All retailer data is 100% private and secure. 

All retailer data is 100% private and secure.

There is no way that your supplier partners can determine your business’ sales results. You can trust SmartEtailing as your partner and advocate - we will not violate our privacy obligations to you and your business.

One signal of many

The IBD ecommerce index includes approximately 1,000 bike shop businesses, with about 1,500 locations, in the United States and Canada. The sample includes reasonable geographic distribution and a variety of business sizes. All major IBD bike and aftermarket brands are represented.

That being said, SmartEtailing does not claim that this sample accurately reflects the entire IBD channel. This index provides one indicator of channel sales activity. 

The growth seen in the index is reflective of the actual growth happening at bike shops, but the SmartEtailing data amplifies the rate because of the consumer shift to ecommerce. The shift to ecommerce is an acceleration of existing trends, but also a shift mandated in many circumstances by restrictions on physical retail during COVID-19.

The shift to ecommerce is an acceleration of existing trends, but also a shift due to restrictions on physical retail during COVID-19.

Over time, we can expect the growth rate seen in this index to lessen on a daily basis. A change could mean that physical retail is opening up and more transactions are shifting back to the store point of sale. It could also mean that consumer spending is slowing or bike supplies are dwindling.

It is important that nobody using this index assume that this snapshot is a singular source for decision making. This index is intended for use in conjunction with other sources of data. SmartEtailing is not responsible for any conclusions made by organizations using this index as a resource.

Bike shops websites are performing

This index clearly shows that independent bicycle dealers are more than capable of transforming their businesses to meet the demands of omnichannel retail. Regardless of what drove this rapid growth, SmartEtailing clients were up for the challenge and achieved unprecedented results on their websites in the early months of COVID-19.

IBD's are more than capable of transforming their businesses to meet the demands of omnichannel retail.

At SmartEtailing, we cannot anticipate how consumer behavior may fluctuate moving forward. We are however confident that consumers are broadly experimenting with local ecommerce shopping and some meaningful portion will continue with these new habits regardless of the public health situation. 

If, however, communities change social distancing requirements throughout this crisis then bike shops with adequate technology infrastructure will surely be best equipped to maintain operations or even thrive.

If you are not already a SmartEtailing client, please consider learning more right away so you are prepared for whatever direction the market takes.

Topics: Websites Bicycle Retail Insights Client Updates

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