US-based e-commerce provider Shopatron has hailed the growing online retail market for bikes, revealing a 56 per cent rise in the second quarter of 2010 for brands using its system.
Last year sales grew online by 41 per cent - making online the fastest growing sales channel in the trade, according to Shopatron.
A number of bike brands use the firm's e-commerce system. Brands can generate sales on their website, with orders then driven to retail partners for fulfilment.
“We believe that 2010 has been the year when online sales in the cycling industry has gone mainstream,” said Mark Grondin, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Shopatron.
The firm works in 35 industries, but cycling has been among those with the greatest growth, its says.
“Major brands in the industry have realised that they can no longer ignore online customers, shuffling them off to one of the large online retailers. Because of this, Shopatron has been able to significantly grow its cycling client list. With our retail-integrated model, allowing branded manufacturers and specialty retailers to work together to better service online customers, we can offer online sales with an in-store component. This allows any cycling product to be sold online, from apparel, to accessories, to fully customised bicycles.”
Shopatron deals with a number of brands in the US, including Louis Garneau, Dahon, Raleigh, Cannondale, Cane Creek, Chariot Carriers, Fly Racing, Light & Motion, Litespeed, Nathan Performance, Princeton Tec, Quintana Roo, Ritchey Design, Scott USA, Softride, Sugoi and Thule. This year the following have joined that roster: Wilderness Trail Bikes, Street Strider, Saris Cycling Group (Saris and Cycleops), Magura (Magura, Uvex and Vaude), Serotta (Serotta, Etxeondo and Catlike) and Veltec Sports (Descente, Shebeest, Lake and Vredestein).
Shopatron also forged a deal with The Bike Cooperative - a member-owned co-operative of US-based IBDs - earlier in the year.
Bike Cooperative MD Greg Brodsky said: “eCommerce is going to be the driver of future growth for both manufacturers and retailers. Rather than try to fight the inevitable reality, we feel it’s in the best interests of our member retailers, supplier partners and the industry to embrace eCommerce. With Shopatron’s model, brands can capture sales without competing with their retailers, by sending completed transactions to the bike shops for fulfillment. Because the store gets paid directly for the sale, it’s a win-win for both sides.”