Following our less than positive story late last year about the struggle Studentwheels.com was having in signing up bike suppliers, the National Union of Students endorsed site has changed tack and will now not distribute bikes direct to students.
Instead, Studentwheels.com aims to deliver via existing dealer networks whilst utilising the advantages of the internet, says Chip Rimmer of Studentwheels Ltd.
This is the way the car buying part of the site was set-up and the model has been transferred to the bike side.
Studentwheels.com it will be fully operational in February has a contract with the NUS providing protected and endorsed access to 3.2 million students.
The result is that Studentwheels has unprecedented, controlled and authorised access to the UK's student population, says Rimmer.
Instead of making its money from sales of bikes, Studentwheels.com will now make its money from being a portal. Suppliers pay a hosting fee; IBDs pay a listing fee.
Suppliers pay £5000 p.a. per brand and can include details of as many of their bikes as they wish. IBDs pay £(coming in a hour), roughly in line with a half-decent ad in, say, Yellow Pages, says Rimmer.
As is the way of the world, students will be after a bargain and its up to suppliers to either keep the SRPs static but bundle a free helmet/lock combo, for example, or to pitch their bikes at levels below the rate the general public pays.
The UK's 3.2 million students spend over £10 billion on goods and services
each year and are likely to go onto become tomorrows high earners. Each year as 600 000 students leave further education, a replacement 600 000 arrive, creating fresh retail opportunities.
Suppliers can contact Chip Rimmer on 07074 861000 or 08700 77 44 88
IBDs can call 01179 44 55 35 for their Studentwheels dealer pack.