Wheely Switched On Marketing: Biketart features in FSB regional magazine

Biketart has as a novel an approach to marketing as we do to bespoke cycle shop. We were asked by the Federation of Small Businesses to talk about the way we do things for an article they were writing for their magazine The Voice. Here’s what we said:
“Biketart is an on-line store with a bricks and mortar showroom outside of Canterbury with a new City Store in town (opened last week). We have a young staff who are all bright but whose passion for riding is much more important to us and our customers than their ability to pass exams – we can teach them everything they need to become happy, fulfilled and valuable to our business.
As a retail business it is not enough to just open our doors and send out the occasional Facebook message. Our customers are discerning and loyal (our regular customers spend upwards of £1500 with us on a new bike every 2-3 years) but we offer a carefully considered range of extras to keep our customers engaged. We are an independent cycle business and our main competitors are able to heavily discount in a way we cannot compete with, so we offer our customers a more personal relationship instead.
This year we have been an active partner with the Pilgrims Hospice charity, making refreshments for 1000 of their riders on the Cycle Challenge in May and hosting the all female ‘Divas on Wheels’ event at our premises in July (with a live jazz band and masseuses too!) that’s 1300 riders and their families that now know where we are and who we are.
Every customer is offered free refreshments in store and, in addition to sponsoring a few riding clubs, we have bi-weekly or monthly accompanied mountain bike rides in the woods by the store, ladies only rides and a new youth ride starting soon. Our new shop in Canterbury will be offering the same.
Every year we host a Christmas party for our best customers and free festive refreshments throughout December. This year there will be a photo competition, more specialist rides – like the very popular Foraging Ride, free safety bike checks and short in-store cycle maintenance courses to get your bike ready for winter.
We’ll still Tweet and Facebook to our 12000+ followers but what we do face-to-face for our customers is what really counts for us and for them.
It’s easy for customers to buy on-line (that’s how we started) but we have made friends with the people who buy from us and that has given us a really great reputation locally and has made the decision to open a new store in town very easy – we know we’re offering them much more than they can get from a multinational or discount store because they know we have the same passion as them about something they love.”

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