Industry talks marketing, trail access, retail hurdles at annual e-bike summit

By Stephen Frothingham

IRVINE, Calif. (BRAIN) — Expanding trail access for e-MTBs, how to market e-bikes to grow category awareness, and overcoming lingering hurdles of selling e-bikes at traditional bike shops were among the key topics at the BPSA PeopleForBikes E-Bike Summit held at Shimano’s Irvine offices last week.

In its fifth year, the annual e-bike gathering drew more than 100 attendees, with both IBDs, e-IBDs, bike brands and battery/motor manufacturers sending staff.

Rob Kaplan, vice president of Raleigh Electric, estimated that some 1,500 to 2,000 dealers sell e-bikes in the U.S. out of about 3,900 specialty bike shops. “And a lot of retailers are having good success,” he said, kicking off a breakout that included table discussions on how to engage retail and gain IBD support for e-bikes.

Some of the ideas that came out of that brainstorming session from attendees were:
• Coming out with lower-priced e-bikes
• Standardization of components (firmware and tools) on e-bikes
• Doing “empathy training” for shop staff
• Developing demo and ambassador programs for shop staff and customers
• Targeted efforts from manufacturers to educate consumers

Chris Cherry, associate professor at the University of Tennessee, shared some early findings from a 2017 survey of e-bike owners. The full report will …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News