Laser-measuring device that allows IBDs to data-mine is the future of speciality retailing

That's the bold claim of XX Production of Germany. Its Body Scanning CRM software and measuring unit (think shoe-shop foot sizer, but for the whole body) is already up and running in 600 speciality retailers in Europe and is to be distributed in the US by IBD-loving Jay Townley, who has secured YaYa member discounts and endorsement by the NBDA, the US dealer organisation.
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The key to the Body Scanning concept is in the acronym: CRM is

marketing-speak for customer relation management.

Whilst the Body Scanning unit measures by laser and measurements are

input into a PC, don't think of Body Scanning as another bike-fit

system. This isn't for dead keen roadies, it's a neat way of getting

key info from non-tech customers before the IBD salesperson starts

presenting bikes.

No need to wait for a custom-built bike, the IBD sells what's in the

shop, but now with a definite whiff of science...

The measurement process takes just a minute or two, with leg length,

height, arm length etc, typed into boxes on the Body Scanning screen on

the PC. There are also boxes for the customer's address details,

including tel and email. The screen also offers prompts for riding

style, pix of the different bike styles available and other basic info

that salespeople ought to capture before presenting bikes, but often

don't.

Pascal Papendorp, development of the Body Scanning concept, believes

those IBDs that feature his units will be able to focus on customer

relational management, rather than blind customers with tech info. He

also believes customers put through the Body Scanning process - who

receive fancy print outs of their measurements and riding preferences -

are less likely to press for discounts.

The concept is not just for the bike trade, there are also Body

Scanning systems for independent retailers in the ski and outdoor

markets. A standard Body Scanning package costs $2500, excluding a PC.

The system is being trialled by 20 IBDs in the US thanks to Jay

Townley, a long-time champion of IBDs and the industry consultant who

provides the monthly economic newsletters to the National Bicycle

Dealers Association of America. He's secured NBDA-endorsement of the

system - a rare honour, says Papendorp - and Townley has also secured

links with YaYa, the US dealer collective. XX Production has booked a

booth at Interbike, Las Vegas.

Townley saw a pre-production demo unit of Body Scanning at last year's

Eurobike.

Distributors are already operating in most European countries but

there's no UK distributor yet.

To read more about Body Scanning go to http://www.xxpo.de The site

starts in German but scroll down and you'll get to the English language

part.

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