Earlier this month, Ascent360’s CEO & President, Scott Buelter, sat down with Heather Mason, President of the NBDA for a recent episode of Bicycle Retail Radio. They discussed optimizing bike retailer marketing through data, analytics and technology, best practices of data collection and the importance of offering personalized, customer-centric service. The following is a recap of their conversation and includes tips & tricks to creating customers for life.
Individuals like to be treated like individuals. Over time, many of us have grown wary of big corporations who treat us all like numbers. When so little effort is put into personalizing a retail experience, buyers tend to pay less attention (& money!). Mass emails sent to an entire customer base does more harm than good, especially for people who are extremely passionate about their sport, like bikers.
Every retailer has gratitude for their customers because they wouldn’t have their business without them. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin in showing them your appreciation. That’s where data-driven marketing comes in — it not only helps retailers formalize how they interact with their customers, but it also helps to create a more personal experience for every type of customer.
How data-driven marketing drives retention
Data-driven marketing uses software to integrate with POS and eCommerce tools (like Lightspeed, Ascend, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more) to pull all the customer data into one platform. It then runs analytics on that data and creates a crystal-clear picture of who your most valuable customers are, their purchase behavior, and other identifiers. This is incredibly valuable for getting customers back to your store or website, especially considering that 80% of revenue comes from existing customers.
"Your most likely next buyer, is someone who just bought from you. We see that 100 times over in data."
- Scott Buelter
Bike retailers typically live in a couple of worlds: they sell relatively high-priced core products, but they also have a large accessory and service trail. In addition, the bike industry is very community centered — retailers will create rides or other events for certain groups of customers, which flows into rentals, demos, etc.
The key is whether bike retailers are using their accessories, services, or community rides to foster relationships with customers. If someone rents a demo bike, will they buy it from you later? Will they go somewhere else or buy online?
Retailers have access to the data that shows how their customers have behaved in the past, allowing them to tailor their marketing toward what they’ll likely need in the future and interject in the decision to buy again. For example, someone buying a mountain bike spurs other purchases in accessories — maybe they don’t have the right shorts, gloves, or helmet — your data will tell you what you need to know in order to influence their next purchase.
Best practices for communicating with customers
Communication between retailers and customers is dramatically changing. The simplest way for retailers to prioritize collecting data is to change their mentality surrounding it. It often used to be looked at as an imposition to the customer, but that’s no longer the case. Customers are more willing to provide their personal information in exchange for better, faster, hands-free service. Then, rather than sending impersonal emails that don’t apply to them, use their personal data to keep them informed of any future rides, recalls, specials, etc. that are pertinent to them. Afterall, they’re far more willing to part with their information when you make it worth their while.