The bike industry is booming right now, and so many retailers are wondering how to maintain impactful relationships with their customers and prospects as the retail landscape continues to evolve. Rob Solomon, Senior Account Executive at Ascent360, recently presented at the CABDA West expo on the importance of using customer data to send the right messages, to the right people, at the right time.

Since so many retailers are still unable to travel at this time, we wanted to recap all the value-packed information that was discussed at the event so you can reap the benefits and fuel your own marketing strategy for greater customer relationships.

Something we hear quite often from bike retailers is that traffic is great, and people are interested and engaged. But how do you maintain relationships with those customers? Simply selling them something and letting them walk out the door won’t cut it.

With a large influx in customers over the last year and a half, retailers may not have had enough time or opportunity to serve the customers that weren’t directly in front of them. Ultimately, your bike shop is a community-based organization, people love biking, and they love your shop. Continuing to communicate with them outside of the shop is a top priority, but it must be done so with data at the forefront.

Most retailers have a customer database, whether it’s point-of-sale, e-commerce, work orders, the shop itself, web analytics, email sign ups, or a combination of these. But communicating with 5,000 (or 150,000) customers on a personalized level is impossible unless you have access to the right data and are putting it to work.

Why it’s important to know your customers

 Every customer has a different set of needs — for example, new riders, experienced mountain bikers, leisure riders, children getting their first bike, and so on. You’re already an expert at listening to what your customers want and need when they’re in your shop, and with the right data, you can continue to serve those needs through your marketing messages.

An important question to ask yourself is, “am I turning off or turning on my customers when sending them messages?” We all have a lot of brands we love, but when they start sending too many generalized emails and other communications, we start tuning them out.

However, if you buy a particular product from a small shop and they send you information that pertains directly to you, you are more likely to act on those emails. For example, if your customer had their shocks serviced last year, you’ll know when it will be time for another reminder for that same service.

The following questions will help you identify your customer’s needs and where those areas of outreach opportunity exist:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Why do they ride and why did they come to your store?
  • Did they come back to your store after their initial purchase?
  • Can you contact them?

Truth be told, your customers are your most valuable asset. They’re essentially what makes everything tick within your store. The secret to keep them coming back is using your data to meet them where they are and provide them exactly what they need.

What segmenting data tells you about your customers

 The “batch and blast” marketing approach simply doesn’t work anymore. In order to tailor your messaging directly to the right customers at the right time, you need the power of sophisticated data segmentation in your tool belt.

Although you may have access to some customer data, it is oftentimes scattered across systems and difficult to gather insights from without manual importing and exporting processes that are time intensive.

Using a data-driven marketing approach allows you to ingest data from every system, aggregate it into one easily accessible place, and cleanse it to create a holistic view of each customer. From there, you can use those records to segment your customers into unique groups based on factors like demographics, purchase history, and how they’ve interacted with your brand.

It will also help you identify who your most valuable customers are. For example:

  • High value customers — 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers
  • Top spenders — The average lifetime spend of your top 20% of customers is five times more than others
  • VIP customers — The customers who purchased recently, buy frequently, and spend the most
  • Repeat purchasers — 51% of repeat purchases occur within 60 days

Another thing to keep in mind is that it costs six to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. The probability of selling to a new prospect is between 5%-20% whereas selling to an existing customer has a likelihood of 60%-70%.

Collecting data and how to act on it

 Many retailers automatically collect some basic information from their customers across different databases, but there are other approaches to collecting data that will provide you with even more information.

 At point of purchase:

  • Warranty information
  • Email receipt
  • Loyalty program sign-up

On your website:

  • Pop-up forms
  • Footer sign-up
  • Surveys

Once you’ve gathered the right customer information, you can act on creating targeted segments. Some examples of messages that are proven to engage bike customers include:

  • Thank you emails
  • 90-day or 120-day campaigns with offers to entice them back to the store
  • Tips and tricks like how to change a flat, how to adjust their brakes, etc.
  • Tune up and service reminders
  • Warranty notices
  • “Happy bikeversary” emails

The best part is, you can automate all of these campaigns to run in the background so you can “set it and forget it” and watch engagement and sales roll in.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to spend less money (and time), send fewer emails, and make a greater impact on your customers. And when your customers feel personally and directly targeted, the easier it will be to build lifetime, authentic relationships.

At Ascent360, our goal is to help make data-driven marketing easy for retailers. Our platform integrates with your existing POS, e-commerce, or other systems and aggregates, cleans, and presents your data in a holistic way to give you the power to identify each customer and meet them where they are. Sending personalized 1:1 messages at scale is the best way to retain customers and build long-term relationships. If you’re interested in learning more, download our free e-book, The 7 Gear Shifts Bike Retailers are Making Using Data-Driven Marketing.

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