Cycle shop websites . . . .

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
brynpoeth
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Feb 2018, 12:34pm

Samuel D wrote:Whoof’s point is important. Contact forms and the like are never justified. Give an email address in conspicuous plain text and reply to all emails as soon as possible and preferably within a few hours.

Email is a much superior method for answering product queries than the telephone that Spa Cycles prefers.

Email is my favourite too but there should be a phone number and a post address too
What does the law say about contact info, what must be provided?

Why might seo be unethical?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

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horizon
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby horizon » 7 Feb 2018, 12:46pm

robgul wrote:I'm trying to do a bit of research on cycle shop websites and their content : what people (customers and prospects) want to see and why/how?

This is for an independent LBS that does not offer mail order - just sells: bikes from about 5 major brands, parts & accessories, workshop/servicing and (limited range) some clothing.

All ideas and perhaps links to shops as examples appreciated.

Thanks

Rob


What is he hoping to gain from it?
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.

Samuel D
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby Samuel D » 7 Feb 2018, 1:06pm

brynpoeth wrote:Why might seo be unethical?

Google and the rest try to offer useful search results. To that end, and because they don’t employ a million human experts in every imaginable domain of knowledge to judge the usefulness of every web page for every individual reader, they have developed a series of algorithms that do a passable job of estimating the content quality from machine-readable features of the page and a few other clever things. SEO exploits the weaknesses of this machine, causing your page to appear above another page that would have been more useful for the searcher. In this way the customer loses.

In addition, a lot of effort is spent on SEO, little of which produces anything useful for society at large. It’s like much advertising: you have to do it because your competitors are doing it. More toothpaste is not sold because every brand advertises it, and yet the cost of that advertising has to be borne by the toothpaste-buyer.

It’s not an easy problem to solve, but the ethical and long-term solution is to make useful pages without regard for SEO. That includes graphic design and typographic features that make the page readable and legible (these are not just for style). Google will already rank these pages fairly highly today, and in the long term it will rank them higher as its algorithms get smarter at recognising good content and not falling for SEO tricks. In the meantime, the website owner can save a lot of money not chasing every SEO fad that comes along.

Besides, good website are not essential for success. Look at Spa Cycles.

andrew_s
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby andrew_s » 7 Feb 2018, 2:57pm

Samuel D wrote:Give an email address in conspicuous plain text and reply to all emails as soon as possible and preferably within a few hours.

Email is a much superior method for answering product queries than the telephone that Spa Cycles prefers.

It's probably best to have at least the username part of the email address as an image.
Email addresses in plain text get harvested by web crawlers, added to spam lists, and the next thing you know your customers' emails are lost in a sea of junk.

Telephones do have some advantages over email, particularly when you aren't quite sure what you want and advice may be involved, or you want to be sure whether or not some non-standard part of your order may be actioned. You may have to hang on a bit if the chap in the shop is serving someone else, but when you get through you would generally be sorted out at the time. Emails may require several back and forth messages over a couple or three days to get to the same point.

Samuel D
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby Samuel D » 7 Feb 2018, 3:31pm

andrew_s wrote:It's probably best to have at least the username part of the email address as an image.
Email addresses in plain text get harvested by web crawlers, added to spam lists, and the next thing you know your customers' emails are lost in a sea of junk.

That is the fear, but it no longer happens, at least if you have a competent email provider instead of rolling your own. Getting your customers to jump through hoops to email you is a bad idea.

I agree that the telephone is better than email for some things including checking whether the shop is open or has a particular part before you travel 15 miles to find out. Email is better for answering typical questions about a component, e.g. “Are these shoes compatible with 2-bolt SPDs?”.

Of course a web page that describes the product adequately eliminates most queries. Good photographs of the product from every angle go a long way, because the customer has probably researched the product online and knows that SPD-compatible shoes need two bolt holes on the sole and that, if there are two holes, they’ll be at SPD spacing. A photo of the sole therefore eliminates that question. However, the manufacturers have even less sense about selling than shops, so they’ll probably not provide a glossy photo of the sole. So make your own! An iPhone in daylight suffices.

Providing an MPN as many continental shops do is also very useful. Again it offloads the research onto the customer, but at least it gives the customer the chance to do that research. Many of them will gladly do that.

This is where Spa Cycles does poorly. I am sure they answer the same question a hundred times because they don’t give all the necessary info on their website. SJS Cycles makes a better attempt at this and also provides Qs from other customers and As from the (highly knowledgeable) staff – so everyone can benefit from the questions, most of which are nonetheless predictable from the lack of info.

As with so many things, websites are easy but thoughtlessness makes them hard.

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deliquium
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby deliquium » 7 Feb 2018, 4:03pm

Not sure if this website example is helpful or not?

https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/

I like it. His service is great and the lack of bulls**t/gloss appeals to me. The products, prices, up to date stock info, speedy dispatch, etc etc are all good too

Samuel D wrote:Besides, good website are not essential for success. Look at Spa Cycles.
INDEED :x
Current pedalable joys

"you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who nearly are half people and half bicycles"

brynpoeth
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Feb 2018, 4:19pm

deliquium wrote:Not sure if this website example is helpful or not?

https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/

I like it. His service is great and the lack of bulls**t/gloss appeals to me. The products, prices, up to date stock info, speedy dispatch, etc etc are all good too

Samuel D wrote:Besides, good website are not essential for success. Look at Spa Cycles.
INDEED :x

How could the Spa Cycles website be improved?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

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531colin
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby 531colin » 7 Feb 2018, 6:33pm

brynpoeth wrote:........
How could the Spa Cycles website be improved?


Easy. It just needs somebody with a good knowledge of cycling, bike parts, tools, maintenance, marketing, computing, gear ratios, setting up a riding position........ and several other areas of human endeavour to volunteer to spend several hours a day working on the website.
Unpaid, of course.

brynpoeth
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby brynpoeth » 7 Feb 2018, 6:39pm

531colin wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:........
How could the Spa Cycles website be improved?


Easy. It just needs somebody with a good knowledge of cycling, bike parts, tools, maintenance, marketing, computing, gear ratios, setting up a riding position........ and several other areas of human endeavour to volunteer to spend several hours a day working on the website.
Unpaid, of course.

No need, I can read everything I want to know here from you and Brucey, +2
I thought Spa was good, is it just the interweb site that is not up to scratch?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome

Bmblbzzz
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Feb 2018, 7:13pm

The Spa website requires too many clicks. To find something you first have to click Products, then decide between Bikes, Parts & Accessories, Camping, or Books. Okay so far (but what if it's a Part for Camping?). Choosing Parts & Accessories then presents you with a long list of sub-categories to choose from, many of which begin in the same way: Clothing - Gloves (Full), Clothing - Gloves (Mitts), or Components - Brakes - Brake Blocks & Pads, Components - Brakes - Cables, etc. And you still haven't seen any items. Only when clicking on one of these sub-categories do you finally get to see what's available. Often you need to check a couple of sub-cats to find what you're after.

Spa is a good shop because it stocks useful items at sensible prices and because of its knowledgeable, helpful staff. But its website is not helpful or useful.

Bsteel
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby Bsteel » 7 Feb 2018, 7:15pm

This demonstrates a different approach in the way it just advertises the shop and the services offered.

http://www.madgettscycles.co.uk/index.p ... ommon/home

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horizon
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby horizon » 11 Feb 2018, 3:02pm

Here's one I like:

http://www.beaumontbicycle.com/

And another:

http://pilgrim-cycles.co.uk/

AFAICS neither is selling anything on-line. The OP's friend should be able to have a very personalised website that emphasises her/his knowledge, expertise and customer service rather than the slickest products and lowest prices.
Bikes belong on trains: two spaces per carriage would meet most needs.

MikeF
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby MikeF » 11 Feb 2018, 8:05pm

deliquium wrote:Not sure if this website example is helpful or not?

https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/

I like it. His service is great and the lack of bulls**t/gloss appeals to me. The products, prices, up to date stock info, speedy dispatch, etc etc are all good too

That is a good website.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

MikeF
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Re: Cycle shop websites . . . .

Postby MikeF » 11 Feb 2018, 8:45pm

horizon wrote:Here's one I like:

http://www.beaumontbicycle.com/

And another:

http://pilgrim-cycles.co.uk/

AFAICS neither is selling anything on-line. The OP's friend should be able to have a very personalised website that emphasises her/his knowledge, expertise and customer service rather than the slickest products and lowest prices.
Agree both of those are good although they are not selling components online. Beaumont's cycles look very good, but there isn't an indication of price and I suspect they are very expensive. The design of the bike for the 5' lady looks interesting, but details aren't given.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master