How to Start Online Bike Shop and Ride the eCommerce Wave
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How to Start Online Bike Shop and Ride the eCommerce Wave

13.12.2023

How to Start Online Bike Shop and Ride the eCommerce Wave

Starting your motorcycle shop is an exciting journey. At the same time, it requires careful planning and strategic execution to get it done. As you embark on this adventure, we’re here to guide you through the most critical steps.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll tell you how to start online bike shops, including market analysis, setting up your online store, curating a winning inventory, marketing it, and finally making it a success.

So, without further ado, let’s start making your bike shop dreams a reality.

Understanding the Market

When learning how to start online bike shops, the first step you need to know is understanding your market. If you’re not a subject matter expert yet, don’t worry – you’ll become one!

This 3-step process will help you understand the bigger picture, estimate your potential demand, and find the niche for your online motorbike shop. Let’s jump right in.

Analyzing the Online Bike Market

You must conduct a thorough market analysis if you’re new to the online bike market. With this step, you’ll start understanding your customers’ preferences and trends in the market and start pinpointing your potential competitors.

Online tools like Google Trends can help you identify where your market is going and where your focus should sway.

When looking for competitors and big players in the industry, you can use tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to gauge online traffic sizes.

Next, you should focus on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to start giving shape to your business strategy. Once you understand the market dynamics, you can choose your niche and position within the industry.

Researching the demand for online bike shops

Before starting a motorcycle shop, dive deeper into your customers’ preferences to understand their potential demand. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal, run surveys, go to forums, or engage on social media.

Try using SEMrush to identify search volumes for bike-related terms when gauging online demand. For example, the term “electric bike store” has a search volume of 4.6K.

If you scroll down on any keyword overview, you’ll also see related terms and the search volumes for those terms.

Pro tip: Pay attention to the trend of the search volumes. Are they increasing or decreasing?

Identifying niche opportunities

Finding your niche is vital when starting any business. Dig deep into the online communities of bike lovers on Reddit and Facebook, and even run your surveys to get a grasp on the topic. This way, you can narrow down the niche you want to explore.

Pro Tip: Pay attention to finding market gaps that you can fill. It will later help you find your product-market fit.

Setting Up Your Online Bike Shop

Once you’ve done all your research and know your industry like the back of your hand, you can start building your store’s core.

For this next step in learning how to start a motorcycle shop, you’ll begin setting up your online bike shop. You’ll choose the e-commerce platform you want to use, design your website, and more.

Building the Foundation

Before you build your online store, you’ll need to make your brand’s identity. Here are some crucial elements you’ll need to get started:

  • Think of a name for your brand that will resonate with your customers.
  • Buy your brand’s domain name and SSL certificate.
  • Register your business in your local area to obtain any necessary licenses.
  • Create a logo for your brand.
  • Come up with a color palette and an overall brand style.
  • Create your brand’s tone of voice and personality.

After completing these essentials, you can start rolling the ball on your online store website.

Choosing the right e-commerce platform

One of the most crucial steps you’ll need to do when understanding how to start online bike shops is how to create your website. Luckily, tons of online tools can help you set up your online store without the need to code.

Some of the most popular e-commerce store builders are WooCommerce, Shopify, or Wix for WordPress. Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose which platform works best for you.

The good news is that these platforms have user-friendly interfaces and customizable templates to build your store with a drag-and-drop editor.

Carefully evaluate each platform’s offerings, features, and transaction fees for your location to choose the best option.

Designing a user-friendly website

Once you’ve chosen the platform you’re comfortable with, you can get right on it and build your site! Although all of these website builders offer customizable templates, you’ll still be in charge of the final product. So, design your website and curate your content with your end user’s experience in mind.

When building your website, remember these tips:

  • Make it mobile responsiveMore than 55% of online traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • Pick a good color palette. It can control the mood of your website visitors.
  • Make sure every element is in line with your brand guidelines.
  • Pay attention to navigation. Users don’t like to be confused.
  • Insert CTAs wherever applicable. Sometimes, visitors need a little nudge.

Offer free shipping

It might seem minor, but trust us – it can make or break your success. Offering your customers free shipping will make them trust your brand way more.

During the checkout process, customers are vulnerable, so don’t surprise them with any additional costs. You will likely scare them off and lose the sale altogether.

Sourcing Quality Bikes and Accessories

The next step of our guide on starting online bike shops is about your supply. If you build your bikes, you’ll need a good supplier for parts.

On the other hand, if you’re starting a dropshipping business, finding the right partner with the right products is vital.

Curating a Winning Inventory

If you are starting a custom motorcycle shop, you must get creative. As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun, and reinventing the wheel is impossible. So, go ahead and innovate – give your customers the inventory they’re looking for!

Remember to consider your customer personas and match each offer you create to a specific segment, including different bike types, sizes, and accessories.

Pro tip: Sourcing accessories can be an excellent opportunity for upselling and cross-selling.

Ensuring product quality and diversity

Today’s consumer is less motivated by price and convenience than by quality and purpose. They are conscious about the brands they wear and ride. So, test each product yourself before adding it to your catalog.

Don’t forget that your audience segments will have differing preferences. Find the right balance of diversity in your product offerings to serve as many people and budgets as possible. But remember – if you give too many options, they might give up on choosing and abandon that precious cart.

Managing inventory efficiently

Lastly, set up your logistics and operations on the right foot from the start. Implement an inventory management system like Zoho inventory or another plugin from your ecommerce platform.

This way, you can track stock levels as you make purchases, automatically reorder low-stock items, and have a streamlined process to keep your inventory in check.

And the cherry on top is to set a reminder to monitor any slow-moving items periodically and learn from your product and sales data.

Once you have your store ready and your inventory set up, it’ll be time to start generating traffic and trying to generate your first sale.

Effective Marketing Strategies

Learning to start online bike shops is only one side of the puzzle. Understanding how to grow and generate sales is a whole other story.

With all your marketing opportunities today, creating a winning strategy for your store targeted at your customer base is essential. So, let’s go through the four main steps you’ll need to follow to craft an effective marketing strategy.

Accelerating Growth through Marketing

Marketing will be crucial in your growth strategy during its three main stages – pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. So, you’ll need to create a scalable foundation on top of which your store can thrive.

Here are the action points you’ll need to take care of:

  • Create an engaging social media presence
  • Start optimizing your website for search engines
  • Gather an email list to start launching email marketing campaigns
  • Consider advertising on social media platforms or through Google Ads

Let’s dive a bit deeper into these points to understand how you should tackle them one by one.

Utilizing social media for brand awareness

Social media is one of the most productive channels for achieving organic brand growth and generating sales. But its main attraction is its ability to bring brand awareness to your products.

So, here’s a mini-tutorial on how you can create a noteworthy social presence:

  • Choose the right platforms for your products.

Since you’re selling a physical product with a younger, tech-savvy audience, you’ll benefit most from Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. These platforms have an excellent engine for organic growth so long as you share entertaining content your audience wants to see.

  • Start whipping up aesthetically pleasing visuals for posts.

Social media is all about content. The more entertaining you make your visuals, the better your chances of going viral. So, don’t limit yourself to simple product shots. Consider creating videos, adding graphic design, and participating in current TikTok and Instagram Reels trends.

  • Create a posting schedule and stay consistent.

You can still grow whether you post once a day or once a week. Social media is a trial-and-error game. So, find the frequency and posting times that work best for you and your brand.

  • Consider collaborating with influencers in your community.

Biking is a popular niche. It would help if you didn’t have too hard of a time finding impactful influencers who can push your brand forward and bring in sales. Dip your toes into affiliate marketing, and you’ll skyrocket.

Implementing targeted online advertising

While your brand isn’t famous, relying on organic growth can be wasted. In this case, online advertising comes in to save the day!

Your two best options for online ads will be Google Ads or Meta Ads (for Facebook and Instagram). Set a budget, whip up the perfect posts for advertising, define your target, and start testing all the metrics you can. After a month, you’ll understand what works best for you and your brand.

Content marketing for the biking community

If you don’t already have or belong to a biking community, it’s time to build one. One of the best ways to do this is to establish a blog on your website. Whether you share video content or SEO-optimized articles, you will eventually engage an audience.

Remember to keep your content informative and value-packed. Consider publishing blogs about product guides, bike maintenance tips, bike reviews, and other such content to build authority and trust in your community.

Now that you have the marketing side down let’s tackle the last 3 points of our guide on how to start online bike shops.

Creating a Seamless Customer Experience

Your sales funnel is critical in taking your audience from potential customers to loyal brand lovers. To create a seamless customer experience, consider adding these special touches to your website:

  • Be responsive.

A helpful customer support line can be a dealbreaker for today’s brand-conscious consumers.

  • Build a smooth checkout.

Security is everything to first-time buyers. So, use trusted payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal and display your security badges.

  • Stay in touch through email.

Whether you’re trying to bring back the sale of an abandoned cart or informing your customers about an upcoming sale, you must keep reminding them about your brand.

Navigating Obstacles in the Bike Business

In this economy, anything is possible. That’s why you must stay proactive and prevent potential obstacles before they even come your way. Here are the two things you should consider:

  • Always keep an eye on market trends

One of the worst things you can do for your new online bike shop is just to set it and forget it. If you want to keep growing, you must keep trying new things. In this case, you need to closely monitor your competition and note when the market trends start shifting.

Pro tip: Subscribe to bike community publications and attend relevant conferences to stay current with trends.

  • Organize your supply chain to the tee.

Running out of stock can put a big dent in your sales and may even affect your customers’ trust. So, manage your inventory with powerful tools and try to anticipate demand. Diversifying your supplier base can also be a good idea for minimizing your risks.

Scaling Your Online Bike Shop

Now that you’ve finally set up your online bike shop and your business is good, it’s time to start thinking about scaling up. When looking for expansion opportunities, look into these options:

  • Expand your product lines, and offer new accessories, bike types, and more.
  • Dive into new markets, list your products on different marketplaces, and try targeting new countries.
  • Collaborate with influencers to create custom-branded products.
  • Attend biking events to find strategic partnerships.
  • Pay attention to your analytics and learn from your results. Modify your strategy according to your insights to continue growing.
  • Always listen to your customers – they know what they want, and they’ll probably tell you if you ask them.

 

Starting online bike shops can take a lot of time and effort if you’re new to the game. However, remember that if it were easy, everybody would do it. The sooner you start, the sooner you can master it.

Start by scouring the industry to understand your market. Next, choose the right ecommerce platform and build your store. After you find the proper inventory set, it’ll be time to market it all to your audience.

We wish you the best of luck to you and your future bike shop. Happy cycling!

 

Angel Poghosyan

Angel is a content, marketing, and strategy professional with over 6 years of experience working with startups and businesses across a range of industries. Her expertise lies in social media, tech, etc., and she has developed a deep understanding of these sectors through her work with a variety of clients.

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