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New bike store concept - would it work?

ronancarterronancarter Posts: 75
edited February 2012 in The bottom bracket
- What do you think of this business idea...?
- Would you shop from an internet shop like this?

"Just buy this bike accessory"


Concept.... An online retailer specialising in a minimal number of the very best quality & recommended, high-end, niche cycling accessories...


For example:
    only one stem recommended with the very best pricing available on the web
      only one set of tyres for racing, another for training

    The idea is to simplify the complex world of cycles where there is a vast array of choice. Make life simple for consumers who want the very best in each category. Or - would people simply go to such a site, see recommendations and find them at another, trusted, retailer (CRC or Wiggle etc)?

    Just throwing a few ideas around... appreciate your thoughts... Cheers
    Ronan Carter
    07528 535 835

    Posts

    • No.

      People like choice. Nerdy gear freak people like cyclists enjoy the research and kudos that comes with spending hours upon hours comparing the weights and relative performance characteristics of components. They won't like to be effectively told what to buy.

      Just my opinion, but no.
    • For me, it comes down to trust. Why would I trust your choice of the best stem?

      Not trying to be unhelpful, I run an online business and know how hard it is to get started.
    • Jez monJez mon Posts: 3,809
      Without wanting to p*** on your bonfire...

      I don't think it would work, people like choice, or at least, they think they do. In a sport where cycling, where most of the participants are very knowledgeable/opinionated about their equipment, there is unlikely to be a consensus on what is best.

      I mean, what groupset would you stock...well obviously Campag Super Record, but some (wrong) people would claim that SRAM or some Japanese fishing tackle manufacturer was better.

      As far as being able to turn you hobby into a job goes, I think cycling is one of the more difficult. Competing with long established, and large presences, both on the web, and on the high street, is just very difficult. Your best bet is some kind of usp, but I don't necessarily think this is it.
      You live and learn. At any rate, you live
    • RuddRudd Posts: 264
      I think it has some legs. There is a bike shop in Herne Hill which I think is excellent (Bon Velo) which sell a very limited but specific stock. For example if you want some winter tights they have one type from Spain which as far as i aware you can't get anywhere else in london. You really get the feeling when shopping there that the owners sell things that they know to be good. It's also appealing to find items you cant get elsewhere.

      The shop is not large which I am sure means that they can't stock a huge range but they have turned this round by selling stuff which they know and like. I'm not sure how this could work with the on-line model as a shop ( in my view) will always be able to reinforce with the customer to a greater extend to buy-in to this type of buying. Just my thoughts - I'm (clearly) not an expert ion retail!
    • alihisgreatalihisgreat Posts: 3,872
      GSVBagpuss wrote:
      For me, it comes down to trust. Why would I trust your choice of the best stem?

      +1, my thoughts exactly.
    • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
      Where would you be based? Pyongyang maybe. :) Like others have said, take away the choice and what would most of us do with our time when we're not riding! And for a retailer would it not be a bit risky in only stocking one brand, putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak. And heaven forbid 20 riders all with these bikes all pull up at the cafe at the same time!
    • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
      No it wouldn't.

      There's no such thing as a best stem. Each customer's requirements will be slightly different. What will you sell as a best tyre? Best saddle? Best helmet??

      And for that reason, I'm out!
    • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
      There is a bike shop near me who specialise in top end kit. If you go in its all very nice bikes and minimal amount of kit.
      I dont shop there as its just too pricey. If I dont want an assos top, then theres nothing else to sell me.

      I think you do need a range. People arent always prepared to pay top dollar.
    • thanks guys - this is interesting feedback. Keep 'em coming!
      Ronan Carter
      07528 535 835
    • thanks guys - this is interesting feedback. Keep 'em coming!
      Ronan Carter
      07528 535 835
    • nochekmatenochekmate Posts: 3,460
      Oooh what a great idea - that's why Sainsbury's et al only stock one type of cheese of course.

      What about consumer choice?? I won't be investing Mrs Ps money either. Garbage.
    • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
      GSVBagpuss wrote:
      For me, it comes down to trust. Why would I trust your choice of the best stem?

      Totally, look at the arguments that rage on here whenever someone asks "what's the best tyre?" - for each person that says "Tyre X is amazing, I've never had a puncture, they last 10000km, have ultra low rolling resistance etc.", they'll be someone that says "Tyre X was rubbish, heavy, slow, lasted until I got to the corner of the block and by then, I'd had to stop and repair two punctures".

      Realistically, cycling is such a broad church, everyone has their own requirements - beyond even the physical fit requirements (1 stem, even in half a dozen lengths, is never going to work for everyone), everyone has different priorities.

      Equally, for a lot of people buying in the high-end, niche marketplace, they don't want just one recommendation - because that's what everyone else (who has shopped with you) has got. They want something different, unique, more exclusive than the stem their mate bought last week.

      I own a company in a high-end niche industry, and there's no way we could just carry one of each type of product. Yes, we differentiate ourselves from the more mass-market stores by only carrying product from three or so manufacturers. But we'd never carry just one of a certain product, unless it truly was the only product offering we believed in (and there's only one example of that I can think of for us).

      There's certainly a place for stores that sell a LIMITED range of high-end products, but not just one of each component. High end, niche retailing is very hard to make successful - you need to offer a level of customer service WAY beyond anyone else, price doesn't come into the equation, people come to you for your expertise and experience and a customer experience.

      To achieve that as an on-line retailer would be even more challenging, as the ability to build trust is made more difficult by the lack of face-to-face contact, but anything is possible.
    • cornerblockcornerblock Posts: 3,228
      nochekmate wrote:
      Oooh what a great idea - that's why Sainsbury's et al only stock one type of cheese of course.

      What about consumer choice?? I won't be investing Mrs Ps money either. Garbage.

      We'll put you down as undecided then.
    • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
      I'm out :D

      Similar to what keef66 said - How can you give one choice of helmet, shoes or saddle? These are generally the items were personal fit and preference is paramount. Not offering a choice would force people to look elsewhere.
      “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
    • thanks for the feedback, all. Just market-testing ideas, and this doesn't look like a winner as per comments so far :-)

      got the idea from here: http://www.justbuythisone.com/
      Ronan Carter
      07528 535 835
    • MonkeypumpMonkeypump Posts: 1,528
      thanks for the feedback, all. Just market-testing ideas, and this doesn't look like a winner as per comments so far :-)

      got the idea from here: http://www.justbuythisone.com/

      Not sure if that site is supposed to be serious - the few products I looked at were nowhere near 'the best' by my criteria. Kinda underlines the point made by others above - file under 'fail'.
    • jordan_217 wrote:
      I'm out :D

      Similar to what keef66 said - How can you give one choice of helmet, shoes or saddle? These are generally the items were personal fit and preference is paramount. Not offering a choice would force people to look elsewhere.

      Good point. Anything where ergonomics starts coming into play has to be a broad church 'cause folk come in all shapes and sizes.

      Plus it's nice to have a bit of choice - e.g. even though I regard it as the best pint out there, if my local boozer only sold Timothy Taylor's Landlord* I'd feel a bit short-changed. Variety is good, most of the time. Except for satellite/digital telly, where with umpteen channels to choose from, you can still find times of day when there's essentially nowt on worth watching. And you can bet that Dave will be showing Top Gear. Again :roll: .

      David

      *Not that it ever sells Landlord at all. Worse luck. :(
      "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
    • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
      It would be nice to find a shop with components in a wide variety of sizes for fitting, but then it would be nice if a company manufactures the stuff to start with.
      Imagine
      "You want some new shoes Sir; would that be in a size 9 or 10"
    • Our survey said...UH UH!!

      Very strange idea, but good luck to you.
    • rajMANrajMAN Posts: 429
      edited February 2012
      How about a name for this venture,something like........... All The Gear No Idea :)
    • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
      Sounds like Dutch and Wolf in leafy footballers paradise Bowdon,Cheshire. They only sell Colnago and Enve. NB this in reply to the OP not the above post altho' if I had a bike shop I would gladly welcome those with large,open wallets
      M.Rushton
    • morstarmorstar Posts: 5,744
      It's not the sort of place I would shop! But, that doesn't mean niche concept stores can't work (although I think they're more suited to bricks and mortar rather than etail).
      However, the bit that doesn't add up is your pricing. You want to offer the lowest possible price. That goes totally against niche concept stores.
      Niche works when people buy into your concept and what it represents and they will pay a premium to do so.
    • thanks for your comments all. Looks like I'm out this time too!

      Onto the next idea :-)
      Ronan Carter
      07528 535 835
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