As consumer behavior and new technologies are bringing rapid changes to the bike business the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) in cooperation with the international trade publication Bike Europe, organized the World Cycling Forum which took place June 7 and 8 in Porto, Portugal.
Sketching parallels on other sectors
At this Forum a series of expert speakers explained in detail that online ordering will soon dominate the retail landscape. By sketching parallels with what is already happening in other sectors and how they are responding to these drastic changes it became clear how the bike sector is to address the current changing consumer behavior towards a rapidly increasing online sales.
100% product availability
How the bike sector can anticipate on such changes is by becoming consumer centric. Think not inside companies but think of what consumers want. Their demands come first in particular as dissatisfying consumers is a deadly sin. This requires a 100% product availability which is currently not fully achieved throughout the bicycle industry. In order to improve the performance in product availability lead times have to come down. It results in “speed becoming the new currency”, said one of the keynote speakers of the World Cycling Forum. And as speed matters “simple is beautiful and companies have to become data smart.”
Need for speed
Taking the consumers need for speed very serious is done by Adidas as this company even has a vice president SPEED as well as a SPEED factory which is located in Germany. It allows for a 2 months lead time for making products that have proven themselves to be the best in the selling season.
Digital driven and shaped companies
How to become a digital driven and shaped company was also presented at the World Cycling Forum. The main message here was: Get your data on consumers right! How to analyze data means that companies must turn one of their core competences into digitization. This involves culture changes at companies even up to computer nerd youngsters becoming executives.
Need to change current business models
What also became very clear at the World Cycling Forum is that making a successful transition to the new reality of continued growth of online ordering means that current business models have to change and have to change fast. Many of the bike sector’s current business models are already in use for decades. One of the World Cycling Forum’s keynote speakers defined this as “From selling products we produce we have to turn to producing products we sell.”