While it's easier than ever to buy a bike, it's harder than ever to get one serviced. Traditional bricks and mortar bike shops, which combine retail with servicing have been shutting at a rate of knots, unable to compete with the prices of online retailers.
And who can blame consumers? When Chain Reaction, Wiggle and Amazon offer some of the best prices without leaving the comfort of your own home, why would you traipse down to the local high street? However, whilst many retailers now avoid the overheads of a high street unit, this poses a problem when their customers need a repair or service.
Let’s rewind 15 years ago to 2006, when iPod nanos, low rise jeans and Snow Patrol were the height of sophistication. If you were in the market for a new steed you’d head down to your local bike shop, have a test ride and make a purchase. Need something tweaked after you got your bike home? No problem, you’d just pop back.
For online retailers, or manufacturers who sell their bikes directly to consumers, it’s not - putting it lightly - a good look to leave your customers hanging when there’s a problem. And that’s where fettleBusiness comes into play.
As well as supporting fleets, fettleBusiness provides servicing and repairs for our partners' customers, as well as solving the problem of building a newly delivered bike. If you’re purchasing a bike from an online retailer it will come in a box. A big box. And it’s not like buying an ektorp flatpack side table from Ikea. Unless you’ve got a bit of mechanical experience, it can be bloody tricky to build a bike and tune it.
Realising there was a huge opportunity to solve this, we created our bike build package for manufacturers and retailers. We’re thrilled to announce that Mango Bikes is the latest manufacturer to take advantage of this, by offering “Ready to Ride by fettle”.
Now when a customer purchases a bike from Mango Bike’s site, they can add-on our bike build package. Mango then dispatches the bike directly to us, where the customer gets the fettle experience, receiving notifications to update them along the way, and let them know when their new toy is ready to roll out of the workshop doors! Or for an additional £10, customers can have their new bike delivered to them (London Zones 1 - 3) with our delivery service.
Until this point, we’ve been confined to London, only able to help manufacturers with the small segment of their customers living in the capital. With £1 million now raised through fundraising, the network of workshops we’ll have open in 5 years time will be able to support our partners' customers across the UK.