137: Ryan Atkinson, SmartEtailing & Ben Barenholtz, Quivers

…on March 19th when I look at my analytics dashboards, I can see clearly that’s when consumer behavior changed. Website traffic across North America was relatively consistent with normal spring behavior, but what changed drastically was conversion rate, which is a signal of consumer intent. They weren’t just going to websites in order to browse around and then visit the store to make a purchase, they started buying. And so in March, we were already trending up in that second half of the month. It ended up putting March up 24% for online sales, but then everything just accelerated into April. And with one day left, our platform is up over 1000% and we are literally emptying the channel of bikes under a thousand dollars.”

– Ryan Atkinson

EPISODE PREVIEW:

This episode of the Channel Mastery podcast was originally recorded as a webinar on April 30, 2020 as part of the Snowsports Industries of America Town Hall Thursday series, and can also be found on their COVID-19 hub

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, it’s an understatement to say that we have seen massive shifts in consumer trends, especially in the outdoor active lifestyle spaces. Speaking on the topic with me are Ryan Atkinson of Smartetailing and Ben Barenholtz of Quivers. Both offer incredible insight and broader perspectives to how we must change our businesses to operate and match the evolution of today’s consumer. 

This episode focuses on foundational pieces to help understand the trends of where consumer behavior is now and where we think it is going. Though we don’t have a crystal ball, and certainly couldn’t have predicted how 2020 has been so far, we do have the ability to recognize the changes and adapt our businesses in real time.

GUEST PROFILES:

Ben Barenholtz

Ben Barenholtz is a marketing leader and startup builder, with a passion for e-commerce and physical retail. He currently heads marketing for Quivers, the leading provider of “Fulfilled by Retailer” technology for brands and retailers. Prior to Quivers, Ben was the VP Marketing at Reach Analytics, a consumer analytics software company. 

Ryan Atkinson

Ryan Atkinson is President and Co-Owner of SmartEtailing. He is passionate about enhancing marketing for independent bicycle dealers. With more than 20 years of related experience, Ryan has worked in almost every aspect of the bicycle retail distribution network.

TOPICS COVERED:

COVID-19, Consumer Behaviors, Shifting of Consumer Trends, Bike Market during COVID-19

SELECT QUOTES:

“…on March 19th when I look at my analytics dashboards, I can see clearly that’s when consumer behavior changed. Website traffic across North America was relatively consistent with normal spring behavior, but what changed drastically was conversion rate, which is a signal of consumer intent. They weren’t just going to websites in order to browse around and then visit the store to make a purchase, they started buying. And so in March, we were already trending up in that second half of the month. It ended up putting March up 24% for online sales, but then everything just accelerated into April. And with one day left, our platform is up over 1000% and we are literally emptying the channel of bikes under a thousand dollars.” – Ryan

“…Consumer expectations are exceptionally high…maybe too high some might think, but it is what it is. There’s almost an entitlement to it. They want to buy when, where and how they want to buy. They don’t have a lot of concern for your process and your operational confinements. I mean you can say we’re not a deep pocketed, retailer like these big people, but I’m really not sure the consumers make those distinctions. Like in the data we’re seeing, they want fast shipping, they want to be able to purchase directly from the brand website. Then they want easy returns. They want return in store, they want to buy online, pickup in store.” – Ben

“If you’re a brand or supplier and you really are relying on just pushing all of your product out to the wholesale channel and washing your hands of it, you don’t have control. You put it out, and that essentially gets sold for you, as opposed to selling direct on your own website and having E-commerce, a serious E-commerce play. Even pre-COVID, I think it was an increasingly antiquated way of doing business. Post-COVID, I’m just not sure that you can be left out of that. You know what I mean? Certain brands are going to die on that hill, and just for what it’s worth, never get into E-commerce. But I think we’re going to see that more and more.” – Ben

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