Bike Exchange is one Internet firm that cooperates with IBDs
Bike Exchange is a large, fast-growing bicycle industry Internet company. But that’s where its similarities end compared with Wiggle, Chain Reaction and the like.
Bike Exchange does not stock or sell physical products. It makes most of its revenues from IBDs who pay a monthly subscription fee, then use Bike Exchange to drive business into their stores.
Now that they’re entrenched within Australia’s bike industry, Bike Exchange is looking to grow internationally, starting with a German site it launched earlier this year at www.bikeexchange.de.
It is exhibiting at Eurobike for the first time to drive more traffic to their website and introduce the company to retailers. “We’ve got a launch team of six staff based in Würzburg that we’re looking to expand over the next six months,” Bike Exchange co-founder Jason Wyatt said Wyatt explained the concept behind Bike Exchange, and why it’s different from those other big sites that give IBDs fits (see related story, next page). “Bike Exchange is a marketplace for buying and selling bikes,” Wyatt said. “From a retailer perspective, we let you place unlimited ads for both bikes and accessories to the thousands of people who are on our site, looking to buy them."Wyatt said Bike Exchange drives traffic into IBDs’ stores instead of taking it away from them.
“About 90 percent of bikes sold are actually still in store,” he said. “The core objective is to get that person to come into your store and buy more bikes, more accessories and more parts from your local store. We also have launched ‘Click and Collect,’ which will be launched in Germany by the time we get to Eurobike, where they can buy online and then pick up the item in store. That’s already launched in Australian and we’ve seen some great success for Australian retailers.”
Founded in 2007, Bike Exchange won the Telstra Australian Business of the Year award in 2012. It offers between 65,000 to 70,000 products for sale at any one time, from Australian retailers as well as private customers. It also operates a site for New Zealand retailers.
Bike Exchange operates similar websites for other types of products, including furniture, kids and baby products, and home renovation and building supplies.
Bike Exchange’s Australian website, www.bikeexchange.com.au, attracts about one million visitors a month. Heading the German operation is Ryan McMillan, who spent a couple of years with the parent company to learn the business model.
“It’s been a big learning curve as we had to translate everything and be 100 percent tailored to the German market,” Wyatt said. “Then we’ve gone around and got a great core group of retailers on board. We’ve got some really fantastic early traffic from customers who are wanting to buy from those retailers in the German market.”
Like the Australian site, the German site also accepts private classified ads from individuals. “People continually trade their bikes, which in turns drives more sales into retailers as well,” he added.
For Germany, Bike Exchange has added a new service: an event ticketing system. “There’s definitely many more tour operators and events,” Wyatt said. “So we see it as a good opportunity to help German retailers and event operators come together in one marketplace and drive more sales into their businesses."