Increase conversions, reduce returns, how do we do it?
Before online sizing, we were not proven database and e-commerce experts, but a team of sports scientists with the drive and know-how to put everyone optimally and on the right bike. Meanwhile, we have the most successful e-commerce tool for frame sizing advice worldwide at the start, with which every online shopper can determine their optimal frame size at any time and for any bike model-based. We would like to tell you briefly how we achieved this:
Surprisingly, the 'starting signal' for Smartfit Online Sizing did not come from the digital world at all, but in the form of a print article in a local daily newspaper. It described superficially how fashion stores on the Internet use consulting tools and strategies regarding size and fit to offer their customers added value and also to avoid returns.
Björn Stapelfeldt, founder and CEO of Smartfit recalls, "I read this article in the morning at breakfast. It captivated me, not because the article was particularly polarizing, but because I couldn't get the basic idea out of my head. Logically, even when I have to choose my own T-shirt size online, I'm already unsure. And if I am left alone online in the selection of bicycle sizes, uncertainty is pre-programmed. So clearly, if more and more is bought on the Internet, the advice offered must also grow where there are such hurdles." And so the idea of online sizing was born.
A market research brought up little on the bike side. However, various studies, especially from the fashion industry, provided insight into some impressive figures. A shoe manufacturer achieved a 4.3% increase in net orders with a 5.3% decrease in returns using a simple consulting tool. A British lifestyle fashion brand reported a staggering 57% increase in conversion rate and a 10% decrease in returns with optional digital sizing advice. The demand seems to be huge and our incentive was aroused.
What came next was the logical consequence. Björn gathered all of us (his team of sports scientists and bike fitting experts) and from then on we thought and tinkered together. Always with the question in mind: What is the optimal size consultation when buying a bike? And how can this be done online?
Björn is the founder and managing director of Radlabor. At the Radlabor, everyone, whether professional or occasional cyclist, can get completely individual advice and professional bike fittings. The goal is the optimal seating position without pain in the saddle. In addition to the end customer business, Björn and we have built up a second brand, Smartfit, which specializes in the in-house development, production and sale of bikefitting and bikesizing systems. So the idea of online sizing fit perfectly into this cosmos and is another building block in the Smartfit vision of getting everyone optimally on their bike. Because optimal ergonomics starts with the purchase of a bike, whether in a local store or online.
After a good year of development work, we were able to go public with the first version of the online sizing. It took some convincing because the tool was completely new for the bike industry. Until now, the solution in stores was the classic and confusing geometry table or the rudimentary size converter. Our tool brought a breath of fresh air to this area of online advice and was therefore also awarded the Eurobike Gold Award in 2018.
Today, we are online with an optimized follow-up version of our widget in leading e-commerce stores, at manufacturers and at many smaller online stores. Our online sizing widget has gained significantly in features and has become more precise: sizing for children's bikes is available, our tool can even be used to display suitable alternative bikes directly from the store if they are not available, and we also solve the automated display of all geometry data of a model.
"Within a few years, we have grown to become the absolute market leader in online frame size consulting. Now we are experts in bike e-commerce and databases. I'm always amazed myself that it all comes down to a little newspaper article," says Björn, who can't help laughing, "With our tool, dealers save time and cash. The satisfaction and conversion of their customers increases, no typing in the geometry data of their store models, returns and exchanges go down."