I’m your customer. I came here by bike. I do most of my everyday errands by bike. I use my bike to shop, go to the library, take the kids to and from school, go visit my family and friends, go to a cafe. Sometimes everyday cycling is called #quaxing, it’s trending!
I’m not a lycra clad ‘cyclist’. I just like to ride a bike. It’s good for me, good for the planet, and good fun. My kids ride bikes, my friends ride bikes. In fact quite a few people ride bikes – everyday – to do everyday stuff. We are reducing traffic congestion and parking demand, and we are increasing our health and connecting with our communities. And we are spending money. Surveys show a third of people would like to use their bikes for everyday errands and transport.
Why am I telling you this? Well some businesses don’t realise that their customers ride bikes…… And I’d like to have a useful place to lock my bike up. Not one of those dish rack style stands that bend my wheels and make it hard to secure my bike. Often I just make do with what is around: rails, poles, posts, fences, whatever. I am really thrilled when I find there is proper bike parking installed. That makes it so much easier and really encourages me and others who want to cycle everyday. Kind of like car parking encourage customers who come by car.
And believe it or not, I can and do spend money when I’m out on my bike. It is all equipped to carry the stuff I by. And by the way, cycling gives me an excuse to have some cake with my coffee, an extra sale for you perhaps?
And sometimes I like to use my bike to meet up with friends at a cafe, bar, restaurant or pub. I like to choose one where there is a good spot to lock up my bike. Kind of like how people choose to support businesses where they can park their cars easily.
Your cycling customers tend to be loyal and local, and a good source of repeat business. NZ Research (NZTA 2013) supports this:
The data shows that sustainable transport users account for 40% of the total spend in the shopping areas and account for 37% of all shoppers who completed the survey. The data indicates the pedestrians and cyclists contribute a higher economic spend proportionately to the modal share and are important to the economic viability of local shopping areas.
The study also identified that retailers generally overestimate the importance of on-street parking outside shops. Shoppers value high-quality pedestrian and urban design features in shopping areas more than they value parking and those who drive are willing to walk to the shopping precinct from other locally available parking areas.
Find out more about the business benefits of cycling customers: studies and examples from around the world, and importantly here is beautiful NZ.
Meantime, I’m sure to see you around!
Feature Photo Credit: from the awesome Bike Te Atatu crew (pic by Simon Vincent, additions by Carol Green).