Recommendations for Owners & Operators
Walk this Way: bike parking beside a pedestrian zone is convenient for shoppers (Photo by the author)
There are many things retailers can do to be more cycle-friendly. Some actions are easy to implement and at low cost and some are large-scale programs that require a larger investment of time and money.
In all cases, as the number of cyclists in cities increases as well as the number of consumers making environmentally concious buying decisions, these people will increasingly bring their business to retailers that do things to accomodate cycling. Its obvious implementing any of the recommendations on this page will benefit a retailer's bottom line, improve customer satisfaction and likely increase the number of customers as word of mouth advertising, a strong factor among cyclists, spreads.
Provide Bicycle Parking for Customers
High-Street Shopping: bike parking beside a store encourages consumer spending (Photo: ITDP Europe on flickr)
Similar to providing car parking near the store entrance(s) for disabled persons, usually a legal requirement, it is important and beneficial to your business to additionally provide parking for bicycles and cycle trailers adjacent or very near to the entrance.
A branded bicycle rack in front of your storefront provides additional signage facing pedestrians, motorists as well as cyclists and therefore increased brand awareness and mindshare.
Bike-Friendly Big Box: branded bike racks attract cycling consumers into stores (Photo: streetsblog.org)
Such a rack will not only tell the cycling consumer that you want to have their business too, leading to increased revenues, but is very convenient for cyclists making use of shopping bicycle trailers to securely park their bikes while inside the store.
Do Local Customer Pickups & Deliveries by Bike
Tuned Up: a piano store picks up and delivers using a Christiania cargo trike (Photo: Rasch Pianos)
Small businesses, especially Mom & Pop shops can significatnly lower GHG by moving from the use of cars or vans to bicycles for customer home deliveries or pickup. Not only is the initial investment significantly lower but the overal operating costs and employee as well as customer satisfaction will be higher.
Thirst Quencher: a 'bakfiets' is used to deliver crates of bottles to customers (Photo by the author)
Use Work[ing] Bicycles For Advertising & Promotion While Not In Use
Big Cheese: a high street shop uses a long john bike as a storefront attraction (Photo: John Allaert via longjohn.org)
A cargo bicycle not only serves as an eco-friendly delivery vehicle for a small, cost-concious retail operation but can be used for free advertising while not in use to help attract customers into the store.
An important point to consider is that the company's bicycle(s), whether of historic significance or not, should have a good cosmetic appearance and be in mechnical working order to best reflect the business' values with respect to product quality and sustainable development. Rusty, broken-down bicycles may not achieve the desired effect!
That's Fresh: a loaded baker bike shows off the goods outside between deliveries (Photo: blmurch on flickr)
Grow Field Sales with Bike-Based Shops
Coffee to Go: a custom 'bakfiets' cargo tricycle serves as a mobile coffee shop (Photo: tradecycle.co.uk)
Street vendor using modified cargo bikes and trikes are a classic example of cycle-friendly retailing. While governments worldwide attempt to correctly crackdown on unregistered vendors with questionable quality, there is no reason why properly managed businesses can't harness pedal-power to bring their products to the market, that is, the street.
Petals on Pedals: another 'bakfiets' brings a little colour into a concrete jungle (Photo: Portland Pedalworks on flickr)
Offer Cargo Trailer Rentals to Cycling Customers
Swedish for Common Sense: borrow a bicycle and trailer to bring home purchases
(Photo: Per Wadskjae for Ikea)
So-call 'big box' retailers can win additional customers who normally can't -or don't want to- make the trip out by car by offering cargo trailer rentals.
This enables the customer to may larger, 'big-ticket' purchases without a car for items or amounts that are more than just a few groceries.
social business, bike friendly, bicycle friendly, cycle-friendly business, bicycle parking, retail, commercial, high street, main street, bigbox, malls, stores, shops, boutiques, franchaise, independent, chain, farmer's markets, outdoor events, sales, revenues, market share, slowfood,