Get your sales ready for Tour de France buyers

Team Sky are aiming for a third successive Tour de France victory this year and there’s just under two weeks to go until it all kicks off in Leeds. (Yes the Tour de France really is starting in the UK!).

Wimbledon is also underway and thankfully that, with the cycling, will give everyone something to enjoy whilst the England football team suffer the humiliation of playing Costa Rica tonight knowing it might as well be a pre-season friendly. Their only hope is to pray for a draw to avoid deepening their shame by coming home without a single point, but regardless they’re firmly sat at the bottom of the group and can only hope tennis and cycling will divert their fans attention away from their lacklustre performance.

Chris Froome BikeIt’s cycling where all the action will really be though. Whilst 4.4 million Brits pick up a tennis racquet at least once per year, 20 million people cycle each year and that’s where the smart money is for retailers this year. In fact if you needed any further convincing that the British love cycling, someone just paid the price of a small car (£10,250) to own Chris Froome’s cycle from last years Tour de France.

“Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have encouraged Brits to get on their bikes and create an industry now worth billions in the UK, according to figures from the LSE. By understanding what influences a shopper’s purchase decision – be it sports events or sunshine, brands are able to segment and target shoppers more effectively. This extends beyond the sport itself; using insights available online, brands can leverage other passions and interests to reach shoppers when they are most engaged and ready to spend.”

Phuong Nguyen,
Director of eBay Advertising in the UK

Last year saw some 208 million searches for bikes on eBay and eBay Advertising have looked at some of the trends and opportunities for brands this summer:

 Top 5 cycling brands on 
 eBay UK in 2013
 
 • Specialized
 • Canondale
 • Colnago
 • Campagnolo
 • Pinarello

Brand Affinity

Brands associated with the Tour de France this year can expect a huge uplift in interest in the UK. For example, during the race last year there was a 200% increase in searches for Rapha – the official manufacturer of the Team Sky jersey – when compared to the previous month. Brands need to ensure they leverage online channels to take advantage of this spike in interest.

‘Sunshine trigger’

It’s no surprise that the warm weather sparks a rise in searches for cycling gear, but brands need to prepare for this spike in interest to remain high even after the sunshine has gone. When temperatures were cooler over the weekend of the 22 and 23 March compared to the previous weekend, searches for cycles on eBay in the UK were still above average.

Buddy brands

As with many purchase decisions, what bike you own can say a lot about a persons passions and interests. For example, eBay Advertising has found that shoppers who searched for a ‘single speed’ bike, are more likely to also search for ‘vintage glasses’ and ‘polaroid cameras’, compared to those interested in a ‘town bike’. Whereas those searching for ‘town bike’ were more likely to also search for ‘Barbour’ jackets or ‘Emma Bridgewater’. This becomes very powerful not only for cycling brands, but those from different categories looking to reach a relevant audience when they are most engaged and ready to spend.

eBay Cycling Stats

“Active participation in cycling has increased over the last 5 years, and the biggest growth is particularly amongst 45-54 year old men, with one in six saying they cycle regularly. That’s a lot of people and represents a big opportunity for brands. We’ve long known that targeting people based on their passions can be a fertile area for engagement. eBay’s insights shows us that by understanding people’s patterns of behaviour we can create campaigns which will deliver better relevance and ultimately better sales.”

Pauline Robson,
Director, MediaCom Real World Insight

We don’t see eBay using their market experience and category experts to give great insights into market trends as frequently as we’d like, so some tips on what to list, what keywords to use and perhaps what stock to get it is very welcome.

Let’s just hope we’re still as good at cycling as we were last year and the football can become a distant memory.