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State of the Hub: 2010 Vegas Finale Interbike Wrap-up

by Josh Lipton

ridekick-electric-bike-trailer-2010-interbike-outdoor-cropInterbike served up a whole pile of new ideas, inspiration, coming-together-of minds and momentum as we dive into the Fall. On the highs and lows, our goals of learning more about electric bicycles definitely shined as a centerpiece of our visit to the show while our goal of focusing on children’s cycling did not really meet our full expectation. In between, there were some great new products introduced that will have an impact for both BikeTrailerShop.com and BikeBagShop.com. And as always there was plenty of quality face time with our manufacturers and some important introductions to the people behind some of the new products that we are considering offering.

Quite a bit of our time at Interbike was focused on our project to consider bicycles and accessories through the lens of a bicycle designed to offer a comfort level of use as close as possible to that of a car. Our “Jump on the bike and GO” bike idea (discussed in a previous post) was the centerpiece of some videography we were doing to be presented through UtilityCycling.org. This idea also sprung several interesting conversations with our manufacturer reps. And some inspiration for some potential product ideas may have sprung up as well.

megan-robinc-adam-robina-ortlieb-messenger-bags-interbike-2010-cropOverall, Interbike generally seems to be a blend of inspiration and distraction. This year, we had quite a few specific goals in mind as well as quite a few team members who have never attended before, so from the viewpoint of offering a sumbersion into the cycling industry it was worthwhile for nearly our entire team to go. Next year, with Interbike in Anheim, I am considering a more focused approach and possibly looking at traveling to other events with select portions of our team geared up with specific strategies.

One of the most unexpected inspirations that seemed to culminate with this Interbike was a flood of new product ideas for Wandertec. To start out, on the drive out to the Outdoor Demo, Stu and I had some interesting brainstorms about a redesign of the Wandertec BONGO trailer. As the week progressed, quite a few ideas stemming from the “Jump on the bike and GO” Bike kept surfacing. These ideas along with some previous product ideas are inspiring some consideration to explore our potential for a strong division of the business aimed at product development and manufacturing. In considering these new ideas, I am cautious in not wanting to take away from the strong core and main flow of our business, our specialty cycling internet shops. In exploring our opportunities in new directions, I am considering looking for investors who would be backing specific divisions of the business. In growing the business and considering an outreach to investors, I am beginning to imagine developing a business plan that specifies a variety of divisions (or focuses) with specific plans directed at each of these focuses. This “a la carte business plan” would allow for investors to clearly see a choice of different potential directions for the business and consider investing in the direction that they felt offered the most promise. A central portion of this style of business plan would be that we would not deviate from our focus on the main course, the specialty shops. In addition, all of the directions presented would not only have potential in themselves but also offer opportunity to help grow our overall network of products and marketing capabilities.

surly-bike-trailer-short-2010-interbike-cropInternet Marketing Wizardry:

  1. Developing a good set of reporting tools to establish a baseline for our internet marketing success and progress.
  2. Continuing to fine tune and further develop or shopping network feeds. Currently we our using GoDataFeed.com to feed out to Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, TheFind, Price Grabber, NexTag and Shopzilla.
  3. Maintaining our current channels (currently Adwords, Twitter & Facebook).
  4. Looking ahead towards joining the affiliate network Share-A-Sale and possibly setting up our own in-house affiliate network.

Strategy for A Super Sweet Cycling Product Line Up:

  1. Adding to our lineup of messenger bags at BikeBagShop.com and balance bikes, and trailer-cycles at BikeKidShop.com.
  2. Introducing video to our product listings. We’re starting out by uploading available videos from our manufacturers and will be adding in some of our own videos as well.
  3. Building a photo booth to do our own product photography as well as photography for our expert article “bike setups” pages.

velo-orange-front-rack-interbike-2010-cropRefining the Cyclists Internet Shopping Experiance :

  1. Setting up a new Drupal website to update the BikeShopHub.com. This site will include a new forum, our blog, a feed from all of our blogs, and pages that feature products that we represent in the USA such as Extrawheel products.
  2. Fine-tuning our link massaging tool that allows for rapid intuitive cross linking of our content.
  3. Cleaning up layout of our product description pages.

Smooth Shipping to Your Door & How We Make It Happen:

  1. Settling in our organization of our inventory.
  2. Integrating all of our inventory management and shipping management into one role.
  3. Exploring a relationship with an international freight forwarder.

Expert Level Bicycle Accessories Designed & Built In Flagstaff, AZ, USA:

  1. Setup relationship for manufacturing of the Wandertec BONGO load bed.
  2. Get back into brainstorming ideas for the BONGO rail system.

The Gooood Deals:

Our Most Recent Blog Chatter:

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