SmartEtailing Blog

Help Customers Shop Responsibly

By Ryan Atkinson

SE_BlogPost_LocalHomeDelivery20_670x470-blueLike many of you, we are doing what we can to help our customers navigate this challenging time.

In the first few weeks of this crisis, local bike shops using SmartEtailing have been experiencing unprecedented online sales growth. Online sales are trending higher than the holiday shopping season, fueled in large part by an increasing number of bicycles being purchased online.

Needless to say, having an ecommerce website has transformed from a nice-to-have into a must-have seemingly overnight.

Here are some of the ways that bike shops are using SmartEtailing website capabilities to keep revenue flowing during this time of social distancing.

Local Home Delivery now available

We rapidly developed a new order fulfillment option that allows you to configure local delivery zones and prices for delivery to then use your store vehicle to deliver bikes and accessories to your local customers’ doorstep.

Now, a consumer can complete an entire bike purchase online and during checkout select and pay for local home delivery.

The consumer can get a fully assembled bike delivered to their doorstep.

The consumer can get a fully assembled bike delivered to their doorstep. The consumer doesn't need to unbox and assemble a bike that was delivered in a box.

Prior to this feature, the vast majority of bike shops required consumers to physically visit the store to pick up bikes - and offering local home delivery for web orders was cumbersome and confusing for retailers and consumers.

Setup local home delivery today to make it even easier for local cyclists to purchase bikes from your business.

This new feature is available at no additional cost to subscribers with qualifying website packages and an active online shopping cart.

Drop shipping aftermarket products

Whereas local home delivery is ideally suited for selling complete bikes, the online aftermarket business is bustling right now from selling safety equipment, smart trainers, home repair items, and commuter accessories.

For aftermarket items, retailers are leveraging drop ship programs so supplier partners can arrange home delivery via carriers like UPS and USPS.

SmartEtailing has native integrations with Trek and QBP that let you request drop ship directly from these suppliers to the consumer. You can manage the entire process from within your SmartEtailing order manager.

Other suppliers offer a form of drop shipping that does not integrate with SmartEtailing, but you are still able to accept online orders from your website and then visit the suppliers’ B2B portal to manually place a drop ship order.

Your customer gets their purchase faster and you have fewer operational demands placed on your business.

In both cases, your customer gets their purchase faster and you have fewer operational demands placed on your business.

You can learn about how to apply for and use drop shipping in our Help Center.

Curbside pick up

Many bike shops have already revised their “In-store pick up” settings to “Curbside pick up” in order to offer more convenience for shoppers and a safer workplace for staff.

Consumers are increasingly taking advantage of curbside pick up from retailers across all sectors. If your bike shop adopts a similar strategy you will show your customers that you understand their preferences and are willing to adapt accordingly.

Every transaction matters.

Every transaction matters. Maintaining a relationship with your customers is essential. This option can help.

Website order customer service

Many retailers are engaging with a higher volume of website orders than ever before. In order to provide the best experience for consumers, here are a couple of reminders.

  1. Check for order notices hourly. Customers may have higher expectations right now, especially for curbside pick up orders.
  2. Communicate with your customers. Online order customer service is just as important as in-store.
  3. Cycle count. If you have any payroll bandwidth we recommend that you regularly cycle count your high turn inventory to keep your website accurate.

Catalog curation

Rest assured that SmartEtailing stays in regular contact with key suppliers and we make system-wide adjustments related to warehouse closures or changes in sales policies.

Because your online order volume is likely increasing, now might be a good time to double check your Supplier Sync settings to confirm that you are only showing products from your most reliable supplier partners.

You can minimize your customer service concerns.

You can minimize your customer service concerns by keeping your online assortment streamlined to your most effective partners during this period.

COVID-19 Help Center

Our team has pulled together a wealth of how-to and communications articles to help you manage your marketing during this crisis.

We will continue to invest in this content to help you adapt to a rapidly changing retail environment.

Visit our COVID-19 Help Center.

Topics: Bicycle Retail Insights Client Updates