Increasingly, people in urban and suburban areas are embracing cycling, and independent bike shops are at the heart of this movement. Savvy entrepreneurs looking to start a bike shop have a market ready and ready to go, if you run your business right.
A cloud-based point of sale (POS) system is key. It will connect your business to the tools you need to meet not only the needs of buyers today, but those of tomorrow as well. You will be ready to evolve and grow because you started with a solid foundation.
In this article, we’ll see how a cloud-based POS helps you open a bike shop through:
- A streamlined setup that prepares you for future growth
- Complete inventory management
- Sales, work orders and special purchases from a single system
- Real-time sales and inventory reports
- Integrated loyalty programs
- The possibility of selling online via a connected system
The Ultimate Guide to Bike Shops
1 in 2 bike shops in the US uses Lightspeed because we understand what bike shops need.
1. A streamlined setup that prepares you for growth
Between securing the right location, loading inventory, and hiring staff, opening a bike shop takes time. Setting up your point of sale is also essential, which is why you should choose a system that prepares your business for anything that might arise without tying you up.
Cloud point of sale systemsdo not require any additional servers – an internet connection is all you need to get started. You can potentially use hardware that you already own, such as a computer, laptop, or tablet. It also means that you will have access to your business wherever you are, allowing you to make business decisions and perform management tasks even when you are not in the store.
The cloud-based aspect prepares you for future growth because it is cloud based. Ready to open a new location? Great, you already have all of your inventory and settings stored in the cloud. When your bike shop is successful, you can focus on where you want your new shop and how you are going to store it and staff it without having to start from scratch with your point of sale.
2. Complete inventory management
Between completed bikes, parts, accessories, and clothing – and everything in between – bike shops can have a complex inventory. Without a comprehensive inventory management system, you will quickly lose track of what you have in store.
When opening a bike shop, you need to give yourself a solid foundation with a cloud-based point of sale system that takes inventory management seriously and understands how to manage bikes. For example, a bicycle may be supplied as spare parts from suppliers, but is sold as a fully assembled item. A system capable of handling assemblies (an inventory item built from other inventory items) will save you a lot of headaches.
For warranty purposes, bikes and many of their parts come with serial numbers. A system capable of tracking serial numbers helps you easily trace faults back to the manufacturer. With a point of sale like Lightspeed, a user can see all of the serialized items they have ever purchased in a list and can look up the purchase history by customer to locate an item.
3. Sales, special purchases and work orders from one system
It’s in the name: point of sale systems help you make sales. A cloud-based point of sale helps you meet the expectations of modern customers by allowing those sales to take place beyond the counter. With a tablet in hand, your employees can show customers additions and improvements for their chosen bike and take payment on the ground (or curbside) for an organic selling experience.
It’s also easy to create an order for something you don’t currently have in stock, like a part or accessory, and add it to a purchase order for a supplier. From customer request to delivery, the cloud POS follows the entire process.
Beyond that, point of sale systems can facilitate other functions of your bike shop. Unlike many retail businesses, bicycle stores often have repair services. Customers tend to come back, sometimes every year, for service on the same purchase. If your chosen POS system natively handles work orders, you don’t have to juggle multiple platforms to deliver these services.
Make sure your repair income is recurring. If you choose a point of sale system like Lightspeed, you can offer repair service subscriptions and discounts on accessories and parts. This means you secure recurring income while riders enjoy VIP service.
With a system that allows you to manage appointments from your point of sale, you can offer buyers personalized consultations on the bike that suits them and define time slots for repair drops. Managing these appointments through your point of sale means you don’t have to juggle multiple systems, making it easier for your employees to monitor appointments. And since 79% of buyerswant personalized service, giving them a way to get it is crucial when planning to open a bike shop.
4. Real-time sales and inventory reports
Some bike shops sell thousands of products – it’s essential to keep track of them all. Additionally, for businesses with multiple stores or an online store in addition to brick and mortar, it should be possible to see inventory numbers in real time, where online sales are immediately deducted from inventory. global. With so many products in stock, you need to know how inventory is performing: what brands and items are doing what, and what’s gathering dust on the shelves.
Beyond your inventory, you must be able to track your sales, also. You need to know how well your employees are selling your products, where your profits stand in relation to your overall revenue, and how your business is changing month-to-month and year-to-year. How about your GMROI, your inventory turnover and your sales rate, what are your plans to follow these KPIs?
Opening a bicycle store takes a lot of business analysis if you want to be equipped to be successful. A cloud-based point of sale system makes it easy to analyze this data.
Lightspeed, for example, has a number of built-in reports to help you assess your inventory and monitor your sales numbers. For bicycle retailers ready to dive deeper, it’s easy to fit a Analyticplatform that you can use to create custom reports for your store’s unique needs. Without a cloud-based POS to help you out, you’ll have to track those numbers with spreadsheets and make decisions based on your gut, which could mean missing out on key opportunities to grow and become a staple of neighborhood cycling. .
5. Integrated loyalty programs
Cyclists are a loyal bunch. With the right rewards and the right communications, your new bike store can receive a boost from a dedicated community of cycling enthusiasts.
The catch is, no one wants yet another loyalty card for a rewards system that doesn’t give them anything more. Beyond the possibility of earning and using rewards, when opening your bike shop, plan a Loyalty programwith:
- The ability to register and earn rewards online and in-store. Even if you don’t plan on selling online right away, you will want to have the option of offering a omnichannel loyalty programwithout having to change when the time comes.
- Marketing skills. The members of your loyalty program are your most engaged customers. Whichever loyalty program you use, you should afford to contact them by email or text (text messages have a 82% open rate) for marketing campaigns, birthday rewards, and come back shopping offers before they go inactive.
- Integration with your point of sale system. This is where the lack of cards comes in. Your shoppers will be able to earn rewards on their purchases simply by using their contact details, as your cloud-based point of sale system stores customer profiles.
6. The possibility of selling online via a connected system
Electronic commerce is more important than ever. 2020 accelerated online shoppingit’s now a $ 4.28 trillion market-and while brick and mortar will always be the key to bike sales, if you don’t sell online, youlose its relevance. If you don’t plan on launching an online store when you open your bike store, you should plan to switch to e-commerce at some point in the future.
Having a cloud-based POS powering your store will streamline this movement. Since the point of sale is already managing your inventory, you can reduce a number of inventory setup and management tasks. You will never sell a bike that you don’t have in stock because you haven’t updated your inventory online. Plus, opting for an e-commerce platform integrated with your in-store point of sale means you can get it all. juicy data for your online store too.
Be visible online even if you are not yet selling online. Advertise to local buyers who search for the products you sell on Google. You can be present online through local inventory announcements, even before launching an ecommerce store. Manage inventory announcements without leaving your point of sale with a platform like Lightspeed.
Configure your bike shop for success
Opening a bike shop is one of the most rewarding endeavors you will ever take. . With the right support and the right tools, you can become a staple in the community with a loyal following that returns year after year.