Cycling crosses borders, writes Marc Anderman of Sports Marketing Surveys
Cycling crosses borders. From part design to routes to market, bike approval to intelligent transportation systems, the industry is making cycling safer, more affordable and more accessible. Innovations in bicycle technology are fueling this change as the Bicycle Association (MDS) market data service, supported by Sports Marketing Surveys Reports.
The data shows that technology was the fastest growing sub-category in bike parts, accessories and apparel in 2020, up 67% from 2019. The MDS had sales of over £ 63 million in 2020 related to bicycle technology. While it still only accounts for around a third of the sales value of bicycle parts and clothing, the category is increasing.
Working from home and restrictions on outdoor exercise have fueled this sector. Just as the sales of dumbbells and dumbbells rose for some consumers, products like turbo trainers, which had sales value over 100% in 2020, offered new ways to work out from home without gym. For existing cyclists, restrictions on group cycling have made cycling at home more attractive.
With services like Zwift and RGT Cycling enabling structured riding, competition, and social interaction, as well as the ability to mingle with the pros in races with virtual mass participation or live streams, cycling technology has never allowed people to get closer to the Approach road. The effects of this can be seen in the increase in the average sales price within the turbo trainer and home training category of 42% compared to the previous year.
This is a direct result of purchasing / upgrading smart trainers instead of standard trainers to connect to services like Zwift and RGT. The race for the virtual world has now brought Zwift to it a billion dollar valuation and a doubling of the pandemic in terms of attendance.
The good news for the rest of the industry is that this surge in the UK has also turned the rest of the bicycle technology sector into an uproar. The market data service also introduces several cycle computers and power meters that are growing.
This may reflect how the pandemic has encouraged cyclists to either set more specific goals that require detailed monitoring. At the same time, many UK cyclists will have found that reduced commuting costs have resulted in more disposable income being spent on their passions.
The result was that at the start of the pandemic in April, May and June 2020, technology sales increased 75% or more compared to their respective months in 2019. This impressive growth, which is a combination of higher average sales prices and higher volume, shows no signs of slowing down. In January 2021, sales increased 104% compared to January 2020.
For IBDs, the deep source of information about the bicycle technology sector leads to enticing inventory decisions. Sales of turbo trainers and computer accessories are growing faster in the specialist area than in the generalist.
However, the growth in sales of bicycle technology in the specialist sector is primarily due to online sales, which, according to data from January 2021, are not only the largest, but also the fastest growing sales channel for bicycle technology.
This should come as no surprise as many of these products do not require in-store display or testing. For IBDs who do not offer this service, however, this should be cause for thought.
For a year since its launch in April 2020, the MDB has grown alongside the bicycle industry, providing market insights for the sector that have proven invaluable. The MDB shows the performance of current, relevant and easily understandable data.
It shows buyers and data providers how sales within individual sub-categories are growing in relation to the market. Different access levels enable individual companies to find, analyze and use the data that is most valuable to them.
Contact us to let us know what you are seeing in the technology market or to understand how you can benefit from the MDB.
The Bicycle Association is the national trade organization for the UK bicycle industry. The market data service now covers two thirds of retail sales with almost 840,000 products through January 2018. You can find more information about the service at www.bicycleassociation.org.uk/market-data.
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