As the world’s biggest online bicycle marketplace, we are privileged to have a unique insight into what’s happening in the business of bikes.
This means we can see the best sellers at work, as well as those with huge potential to increase their sales. The difference between the two quickly boils down to one question - how well do you promote your bike products online?
The retailers who approach this question innovatively are the same retailers who make more sales. We share the top tips on how they do it:
1/ Product listings with multiple and quality images
Images are crucial in the online world for the simple reason that the product is not in front of the shopper. They can’t touch and feel, and they certainly can’t ride, so they need to be able to examine this baby from every possible angle. It’s a wise move to upload as many of the manufacturer’s official brand photos as possible, but that should be the starting point.
Go the extra mile and sell the lifestyle as well as the product. Get the product out into your native environment and take your own shots. Put it into an eye-catching background that promotes the dream. Make sure you feature every component and every angle.
Remember a few housekeeping tips:
1/ Compress all images so that you don’t negatively impact your site’s load time and affect its SEO. Use Tinyjpg or Tinypng.
2/ Name your image files as per good image-optimising SEO guidelines. Every little bit counts towards getting you organic traffic!
3/ Fill in metadata fields such as alt text. This is not a waste of your time. Just like a pro cyclist on World Tour, it’s all about marginal gains.
2/ Product listings with video
The only thing better than a product listing with awesome images is, you guessed it, a product listing with awesome videos! Video content remains king when it comes to SEO (that nifty work that cuts through the search traffic and brings visitors to you instead of a competitor). Sure, you can rely on video from the manufacturer, but it’s not going to set you apart from everyone else using that footage, is it? What will cut through the news - and potentially even rocket you to online fame if you’re unique and creative - is your own content.
Not a multi-media production unit? Nor are most of the viral social media superstars out there. The stuff you can do with your smartphone is mind-bending. Get that bike dirty. Unleash it into its natural habitat and video the whole thing. Wear a helmet cam, too, and get the experience right from the user’s seat. Capture the footage as the rider finishes, adrenaline-charged and professing their love.
Remember a few housekeeping tips:
1/ Read these great tips on how to optimise your video content.
2/ Be careful to use royalty-free music.
3/ Product listings with thorough and clear descriptions
Again, it’s easy to fall back on the default and use the manufacturer’s product description. However, once more, you’ll only end up with a listing that reads exactly like the others, giving the shopper no stand-out reason to come to you. So the answer comes down to carving your own way. You don’t have to be a wordsmith - speak from the heart. Sure, use the official description but take it to the next level and share why you love it, what kind of riding you will do with this bike, where you will take it, why your mates will be jealous.
The trick here is to cater to every kind of consumer. Provide short and sharp bullet points for the shopper who wants a quick overview. Provide the full-blown nerdy detail for the spec-head whose excitement levels rise in direct proportion to the level of tech mentioned.
No surprises when we say; do it all again, but this time on video. Yep, that’s right - include the written word and a version on video for those who learn by watching instead of reading.
If you tick those three boxes, you stand every chance of creating product listings that are head and shoulders more exciting, informative and attention-grabbing than the majority of online content out there.
But wait, there’s more! Now that you’ve got your product listings in tip-top shape, it’s time to promote them!
Promote your products direct to your database
Now that you’ve got your quality product listings, it’s time to give them oxygen.
The most straightforward starting point will be sharing them directly with your database. Do what you can to add your unique angle and make your email stand out. Look for testimonials from influencers, stand-out quotes from manufacturers or pro riders, any techy sexy stuff that you know will get your customers’ pulses racing. Whet their appetite in the email and using strong and clear call-to-action prompts them through to your site to read - or watch - more.
Prepare your social media schedule.
Design a grid, collate your information, finalise a schedule that will enable you to systematically share information over a prolonged period so that you can keep reminding your customers about this product and why people love it. You may also want to consider putting a spend to your organic post so that you boost them.
Are there other businesses that might benefit from promoting this product? For example, is it a new fat bike you know will shred it up in the national parks near your town? Can you approach hotel management about leaving flyers in their foyer? Can you sponsor - or even create from scratch - a local fat bike event?
This blends partly into social media and partly into cross-promotions. Reach out to key influencers across social media and see if they’d be willing to trial the product and talk about it. This conversation may evolve into discussions about affiliate programmes whereby the influencer promotes a checkout code to their following and receives a clip on sales generated using the code.
Participate in forums and relevant communities
Make sure you’re a member of all the relevant online forums and communities that might want to talk about this product. Don’t hesitate to get involved in virtual conversations and contribute meaningful, helpful information. Avoid the hard sell on these platforms - you want to pitch yourself more as a helpful resource. Build your authority and influence, and people should naturally gravitate to you.
Organise demo days
Nothing builds the love and sells the dream faster than a customer experiencing the product for themselves. If it’s a new cleaning product, organise a free bike maintenance class whereby you can teach customers the basics and seed the product simultaneously. If it’s a bike, set up a morning or afternoon out on the local tracks or a nearby sealed road, and offer free use to those interested.
Consider an advertising campaign.
This comes at a cost out of your pocket, but provided you can generate at least a ROAS, then it’s worth considering a PPC (Pay Per Click) online campaign. Here is a word of warning; if you’re not familiar with PPC, don’t learn during a launch. Get someone else who knows what they are doing in this area. Be clear on what your PPC goals are - awareness, engagement, leads? Each is very different from the other and requires a bespoke approach.
Let the BikeExchange Seller Success team help!
In our 15+ years of operation, we have seen the very best - as well as some pretty lacklustre - product listings. Moreover, we’ve seen first-hand the sales data that accompanies each and trust us when we say there is a world of difference. Great product listings promoted innovatively make more sales. And we want you to make plenty of sales! We’re here to help you create the very best product listings, so why not reach out to your Seller Success Team Leader and let’s put an action plan in place that will have shoppers flocking to your online store!