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Old 05-16-12, 05:45 PM   #1
SmoothSaling
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Do websites for local bike shops suck?

I know there are exceptions to the rule, but I feel that most bike shop websites suck. I need the communities help! I am going to approach some lbs on redesigning their webpage and want to know what you think is good and bad on bike shops.

For instance, I hate visiting a bike shop webpage and clicking on a logo for [insert brand here] and then jumping to that manufacturers website. I clicked it because I am curious on what you carry and/or recommend from that brand. I also want your hours on the homepage, or in the header!

Help me, help you... and go!
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Old 05-16-12, 06:16 PM   #2
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Depends on what the LBS decides to put on their website. The one I go to, advertises the brands of bikes they sell on a very general page. The other one that I've been to, is pretty much the same, though with a little more detail.
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Old 05-16-12, 06:44 PM   #3
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My LBS has an ok website, but I don't buy from their website I buy from their store. There are some stores that actually have strong websites and they do a brisk internet business. Harris Cyclery out of Newton, MA is one that I buy from regularly and I live in NC. If you want to see the bike shop website from hell check out yellowjersey.org I buy from them too, but over the phone.

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Old 05-16-12, 07:05 PM   #4
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Would be nice to see what bikes they carry, and their prices.
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Old 05-16-12, 08:06 PM   #5
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Would be nice to see what bikes they carry, and their prices.
I know at my LBS the inventory varies by the hour depending on the what they are selling. They do have a decent inventory, but a bike that is available this morning may not be there this afternoon.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 05-16-12, 08:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothSaling View Post
I I hate visiting a bike shop webpage and clicking on a logo for [insert brand here] and then jumping to that manufacturers website. I clicked it because I am curious on what you carry and/or recommend from that brand. I also want your hours on the homepage, or in the header!
I like clicking on a logo for [insert brand here] and then jumping to that manufacturer's website. That's why I click those logos. I hope that they'll be a link to the manufacturer's website.

If I want to see what a shop carries, I want to click on a catalogue link.
If I want to see what a shop's recommendations are, I want to click on a Comments/Recommendations/Informative Articles or something like that link.

And the hours can go on the Contact Us page with the rest of the Contact information.
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Old 05-16-12, 08:56 PM   #7
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I know at my LBS the inventory varies by the hour depending on the what they are selling. They do have a decent inventory, but a bike that is available this morning may not be there this afternoon.

Aaron
If they are using good sales software, they should be able to link inventory into the database that populates the website.
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Old 05-16-12, 09:07 PM   #8
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AE Bikes has a fairly decent website: http://aebike.com/ I see they are planning to upgrade, and there are a few little issues with their current site, so I hope their upgrade addresses those issues.

Not cycling related, but website related ...

Back a number of years ago, I worked pt for Northern Reflections, and I like their site: http://www.northernreflections.com/ and in this part of the world, the Diana Ferrari website is nice: http://www.dianaferrari.com.au/ ... both are calm, and organised. They are easy to navigate.
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Old 05-16-12, 09:23 PM   #9
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Here are the pages for the Two lbs stores I've been to:
NorKam Lock and Cycle:
http://www.norkamlockandcycle.com/index.html

Spoke 'n' Motion:
http://www.spokenmotion.net/index.html

As I mentioned earlier, the pages are rather general, but the staff at both locations are awesome.
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Old 05-17-12, 05:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
If they are using good sales software, they should be able to link inventory into the database that populates the website.
I agree they could, but the LBS in question doesn't do internet sales...I can remember when they got their first electronic cash register and moved away from the inventory cards

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 05-17-12, 03:59 PM   #11
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What do you guys think of this site... http://bicyclehaus.com/
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Old 05-17-12, 04:30 PM   #12
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I work here, and think the site is pretty good, though it could use updating a bit more often:
http://budgetbicyclectr.com/

Worst I've seen is definitely Yellow Jersey. Some cool stuff if you look hard enough, but I'm sure that main page has made a number of people gouge their eyes out:
http://www.yellowjersey.org/
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Old 05-17-12, 04:37 PM   #13
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Nope
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Old 05-17-12, 10:59 PM   #14
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It seems most LBS is using the same backend for their websites. One curious thing is that recently they've been taking their catalog off their website and only advertising what brands and types of bikes they deal in.

Only real thing in prices is their menu of services they offer.
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Old 05-17-12, 11:14 PM   #15
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Many manufacturers do not allow online sales of bikes by authorized retailers. It is a warranty/liability issue.
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Old 05-19-12, 10:23 PM   #16
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Why did I LOOK? My eyes! My eyes!
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Old 05-19-12, 10:31 PM   #17
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Worst I've seen is definitely Yellow Jersey. Some cool stuff if you look hard enough, but I'm sure that main page has made a number of people gouge their eyes out:
http://www.yellowjersey.org/
Good gawd! If they paid someone anything at all to do that page, they overpaid.
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Old 05-19-12, 10:54 PM   #18
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http://www.universalcycles.com/ and http://www.biketiresdirect.com/ are LBSs for me so hard to complain...

But yeah, they often suck. I really like the ones with current inventory up, but not all of them are geared up for that or want to pay someone to do the database work.

Stop harshing on the Yellow Jersey site guys. I loved the web in 1997 and think it never shoulda changed. That site is like web archaeology.

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Old 05-20-12, 10:44 AM   #19
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So, You write webpage software?
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Old 05-21-12, 10:25 AM   #20
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@fietsbob - I am a web designer and want to help with some LBSs bad websites. I know they are al super busy and dont have time to worry about that stuff, but with some simple tweaks and simple marketing ideas I think they can use their webpage to help grow their business! I don't expect them to update inventory, or blog more then they ride/work on bikes. All I want is a page that is easy to navigate to the sections of the site that are important to the customers of the LBS


Here are some Ideas


Pages:
Home page - have some nice photos, let me know what brands you sell (but don't link to the manufacturers site just yet!) YOUR HOURS, I shouldn't have to visit a contact/about/location page to see your address and hours.


About the shop - tell us why your shop is so special. Has it been around since the 70's. Do you have a veteran team of racers. Are super involved with trail building or local bike groups. Brag about yourself, you are doing what you love!


Services offered - Many times I find out about some awesome thing a LBS does, but only when I am in the shop. Let us know about tune-ups, repairs, rentals, demos, trips, etc! Oh yeah, and give us the prices!


Photo Gallery - Show us some personality


Blog - but only if you are going to use it regularly! Otherwise just skip it.


Features:
Hours, address and link to a map on every page. This can be small font above to header or in footer. Don't make a customer think, "now where would I find out where they are located?" If they are on a page that got them to want to go to them, let them find the way on that page and convert them into a face 2 face customer quicker!


Social media - Use it, and they will come. You don't have to be super FB user, just lets us know about a group ride or post pics of customers bikes being built. We will share it with our friends.


Responsive design - Mobile sites don't have to be a separate website. We are living in 2012, a great time in web design and technology. If you build your page right from the start you can detect if the user is on a phone and display the same webpage in a format that is best for them. This will be great for people in new part of town looking for that extra GU, tube, tire, Front wheel (it happens) - they will be on their phone and need to know 2 things, where are you, and are you open?
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Old 05-21-12, 10:49 AM   #21
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So, You write webpage software?
I (easily) assumed so.. ..
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