Guest author: Stuart Cooke
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on many retail businesses has been widely reported, with many forced to close their stores during the lockdown.
However, many bike shops were excluded from the list of businesses that were affected by these closures.
And despite emerging from the pandemic and trying to return to business as usual, the economy has taken one knock after another, and this has had an impact on businesses and consumers alike.
Retailers are increasingly competing for consumer spending, and the demand for more affordable options is on the rise. In this guide, we’re going to uncover the benefits of cycling and biking finance solutions, and how to make the most of these for your business.
How the economy is impacting buyer decisions
In this time of financial hardship, many household budgets are being put under increasing pressure, with more and more families being pushed to the brink and living paycheck to paycheck.
This sees people holding on to their cash for a rainy day and looking for different ways to spread costs instead.
People want to hold onto capital
It’s not all bad news. In a bid to save money, more people are choosing to ride bikes as a way of saving money on fuel and public transport like the train, as both these prices continue to soar. In order to do this, they need a well-functioning bike and important sporting equipment like helmets and lights.
This increase in the number of people riding a bike is great news for the cycling industry, obviously. However, with people keeping their cash close to their chest, the industry must compete to offer affordable cycling solutions at a time when things already feel tight.
This is where creative financing solutions must come into play.
Offering finance options
The popularity of buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes is one of the key solutions that has skyrocketed over the last couple of years, and more providers have become available. In fact, 360 million people worldwide used a BNPL scheme in 2022, and 17 million of those were in the UK.
Financing options like this have become preferable to many businesses as they try to offer more affordable solutions during a recession, rather than being forced to give large discounts and cost themselves profits.
So, with finance options at record highs, how can you make the most of these solutions in your bike shop and ensure you choose the right finance partner for both you and your customers?
Doing your research
While buy now pay later schemes have merit, and they can be beneficial when used responsibly, they have also caused some consumers to find themselves in a large amount of debt. Unfortunately, this has led to a lot of mistrust about these types of financing options amongst both consumers and businesses.
One way for you to combat any mistrust for yourself and to reassure your customers is to get as clued up as possible about the subject and to ensure you choose the right provider. This will also help your business to compete with other larger retailers that can offer multiple financing options. Here are some important questions to consider when choosing a finance provider.
Courses like ACT’s Retail Finance Training offer online learning solutions that are flexible and informative. These courses are designed to teach retailers and their teams how to boost their sales techniques to encourage maximum spending whilst effectively promoting retail finance options.
This is not just aimed at securing your business more money, but truly offering your customers a way to get a bike and all those important accessories in an affordable way. This gives them the option to spread the cost, which, when coupled with proven sales techniques, can boost the amount they spend with your company.
And best of all, many of these courses are very affordable, so you don’t have to find extra space in your budget to make this happen.
Choosing a finance provider
It’s easy to simply select the providers with the biggest and best brand names or those that you’ve heard of – but there’s so much more to consider when choosing the perfect solution. You need to look closely at the entire finance package, required background checks, and the terms and conditions. Never partner with a provider without reading the fine print.
Of course, you can always set up your own financing scheme or partner with POS finance providers already experienced in this space – like DivideBuy. If you’re ever feeling unsure about this process, it’s best to seek advice from a professional like a lawyer or accountant who can help you to check or set the terms.
Finally, we’d be remiss not to mention cycle-to-work schemes. Lots of businesses are starting to offer this as an additional benefit to their employees. Typically, they will work with local bike retailers to provide support for the local economy and to give their employees easy access to the equipment they need.
If you partner with large local organisations, their employees can buy a bike from you, and the employer pays. They then pay this off monthly as a salary deduction. The business benefits as they boost their eco credentials and save on National Insurance. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Is it time you invested in a cycling finance solution?
As you can see, there are lots of options out there for you as a retailer – and you can pass these along to your customers.
If you’re ready to take your cycling business to the next level, it’s time to get educated about finance solutions and ensure you choose the best options for your business. Investing in these solutions now can lead to a boost in bike sales and success for the future, despite the current economic downturn.
To find out more about DivideBuy’s award-winning finance solution and how it could help your business, book a demo with us now.