QBP battles the web? (or not)

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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby regularjoe » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:04 pm

cRASh wrote:Had an interesting experience with a (admittedly marginal) customer/friend yesterday. He shared with me that he'd ordered a Niner frame from an online provider. I asked him how much he paid. He told me the price. Here's the thing: I can get him that exact same frame for the exact same price. He was surprised, admitting he just assumed online would be lower priced. With MAP pricing, whether you're an online retailer or LBS, you have to sell current year goods at or above the MAP price or risk losing the product line. This goes for Garmin, lighting systems, and many other higher-end items. Just sayin' :)

As for shipping. If I order from Hawley today, it's in my shop tomorrow around noon. If I order from QBP, two days to my door.


This tells me that QBP may be onto something in terms of providing an additional channel that makes it easy (easy being the key) for the consumer to find out exactly what is available to them and at what price. It's clear from what I am reading in this thread and from your story about your dipsh!t customer that there is a perception that online always wins on price. Sounds like that's not the case, but online retailers appear to be doing a much better job of getting the price message out.

As consumer, I would love an app that tells me what's available locally and at competitive prices. It would allow me to shop the way I like (online) and likely make more buying decisions that support the local economy.

So, at the end of the day, QBP's concept is a win for me.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby RSutton1223 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:09 pm

I can see pluses and minuses to the equation with the QBP app but I am trying to put myself in the mind of the regular consumer that has the app.

It essentially gets rid of the face to face contact that makes local bike shops successful. If you go on the app and no shops in your area have something in stock, you automatically start looking elsewhere. You don't call, you don't visit...you go ok...I'll look online. This - in part - can take away from the ability of the LBS to help the consumer find another solution that they may have in stock.

It sounds great for the people that want to support local businesses but what about the average guy? It's an interesting discussion at least that we wouldn't know the real outcome of unless it was actually implemented. All we can do is speculate based of our own personal experience.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby Treybiker » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:10 pm

And for the record, its not QBP's concept. Its a 3rd party's concept that many shops use for their current websites. QBP is not the only distributor working towards this. :wink:
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby RSutton1223 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:14 pm

Now I am just kind of rambling and thinking aloud but another thing to think about...

Local bike shops work really hard (the good ones at least) to build a relationship with their customer so they come back time and time again. This app encourages just going to whoever has it. While Best Buy, Walmart and several other big retail brands already use this concept in theory, their business model is to send you to another Best Buy or Walmart...not the competition.

So it seems that some LBS's could actually lose in the deal if they are not big enough to carry a lot of stock product and give an advantage to larger shops.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby Treybiker » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:29 pm

RSutton1223 wrote:Now I am just kind of rambling and thinking aloud but another thing to think about...

Local bike shops work really hard (the good ones at least) to build a relationship with their customer so they come back time and time again. This app encourages just going to whoever has it. While Best Buy, Walmart and several other big retail brands already use this concept in theory, their business model is to send you to another Best Buy or Walmart...not the competition.

So it seems that some LBS's could actually lose in the deal if they are not big enough to carry a lot of stock product and give an advantage to larger shops.


Different business model. The shops site will be the same site they have advertising their services, rides, promotion's parties, etc, with the addition of being able to buy off of it. Its not (or shouldn't be) a, "BUY SH!T HERE"! site. Its to also get people in the door. They could even have a "pick up at store and get a free water bottle" option if they wanted. It has worked VERY well for test shops, so bottom line is that it works. Once more are on it, as long as they market it correctly, it should work for them too.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby RSutton1223 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:31 pm

Treybiker wrote:
RSutton1223 wrote:Now I am just kind of rambling and thinking aloud but another thing to think about...

Local bike shops work really hard (the good ones at least) to build a relationship with their customer so they come back time and time again. This app encourages just going to whoever has it. While Best Buy, Walmart and several other big retail brands already use this concept in theory, their business model is to send you to another Best Buy or Walmart...not the competition.

So it seems that some LBS's could actually lose in the deal if they are not big enough to carry a lot of stock product and give an advantage to larger shops.


Different business model. The shops site will be the same site they have advertising their services, rides, promotion's parties, etc, with the addition of being able to buy off of it. Its not (or shouldn't be) a, "BUY SH!T HERE"! site. Its to also get people in the door. They could even have a "pick up at store and get a free water bottle" option if they wanted. It has worked VERY well for test shops, so bottom line is that it works. Once more are on it, as long as they market it correctly, it should work for them too.


Then maybe your setup is different because according to QBP.

Via mobile device, a customer in a shop could log on to a QBP service with access to its stores’ inventory and search for a specific product. A map would pop up indicating the nearest shops that have the product in stock or that will have it in a predetermined number of days.


So QBP doesn't care which shop you go to as long as you visit one that is a customer of theirs. You aren't visiting the LBS's app...you are on QBP's service.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby Treybiker » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:39 pm

Hmmmm, I don't know about that. That is a little bothersome. Maybe someone else will do it differently.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby bikephan » Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:54 pm

RSutton1223 wrote:
Treybiker wrote:
RSutton1223 wrote:Now I am just kind of rambling and thinking aloud but another thing to think about...

Local bike shops work really hard (the good ones at least) to build a relationship with their customer so they come back time and time again. This app encourages just going to whoever has it. While Best Buy, Walmart and several other big retail brands already use this concept in theory, their business model is to send you to another Best Buy or Walmart...not the competition.

So it seems that some LBS's could actually lose in the deal if they are not big enough to carry a lot of stock product and give an advantage to larger shops.


Different business model. The shops site will be the same site they have advertising their services, rides, promotion's parties, etc, with the addition of being able to buy off of it. Its not (or shouldn't be) a, "BUY SH!T HERE"! site. Its to also get people in the door. They could even have a "pick up at store and get a free water bottle" option if they wanted. It has worked VERY well for test shops, so bottom line is that it works. Once more are on it, as long as they market it correctly, it should work for them too.


Then maybe your setup is different because according to QBP.

Via mobile device, a customer in a shop could log on to a QBP service with access to its stores’ inventory and search for a specific product. A map would pop up indicating the nearest shops that have the product in stock or that will have it in a predetermined number of days.


So QBP doesn't care which shop you go to as long as you visit one that is a customer of theirs. You aren't visiting the LBS's app...you are on QBP's service.


Bingo!!!! It is just a way for QBP to rub up closer to the customer and it really only supports them in the long run. the app only cares about who ordered it from QBP.

What is interesting to me is how is QBP going to track my inventory.

What if I ordered from Hawleys a certain part, do I have to log in both QBP and hawleys part # into a system that QBP now has the ability to track? If QBP sees I have 10 of an item in stock but have only ordered 1 from them, could there be some black balling?
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby cyclesmith » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:10 pm

Treybiker wrote:Basically, if you know everything and are not into making friends, then strictly online buying is for you. :P

Well, then, why the hell does cRASh have a shop?!

:mrgreen: :lol:
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby Treybiker » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:15 pm

cyclesmith wrote:
Treybiker wrote:Basically, if you know everything and are not into making friends, then strictly online buying is for you. :P

Well, then, why the hell does cRASh have a shop?!

:mrgreen: :lol:



Its his his way of getting revenge on the general public. :mrgreen:
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby cyclesmith » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:16 pm

:mrgreen:
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby bikephan » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:27 pm

RSutton1223 wrote:I just wish we had more of the Pisgah/Moab/West Coast attitude in our local shops. It is more inviting.


no sh!t

Treybiker wrote:You would be surprised how many people go out of their way to support local businesses already, and this gives them another convenient way to do it. And from a business standpoint, not to insult you Robb, :P but you are not the type of customer that makes or breaks the bank in most bike shops. Its the customers buying bikes between $400-700 are the bread and butter of most shops out there, and it is them shops are aiming to grasp online sales from.... but I feel shops have done a fantastic job in just being flexible, resourceful, and working their asses off.

And I understand your desire for the Pisgah/West Coast mentality, but that's just the population in general....but they do many more high end products because they have some of the best places to ride which creates that demand thus making it more inviting for the high end customer. Bike shops are not near that basic and much more inviting, but they have to model their business around the local population. Bikes shops are a business like any other FIRST.


?????????? First, the people buying the 400-700 dollar bikes usually purchase a fair amount from the LBS before going online because they need the knowledge(Unless they have a buddy chirping in their ear who already is the online shopper) The $400 bike shopper buys things becuase of price, not brand. I don't see them hitting an app looking for dmr pedals.

I am 15 mins from lunch loop and we have sold more 820/4300 treks because we are in college town. We are a cycling shop. It is knowing your customers. Do we have bling, some superflys, rumblefish, remedys etc and a boutique line. YES. Do we train everyone to greet a customer within 15 secs when they walk in the door HELL YES. What we don't do is treat people by how many dollar signs are spent or what they ride. You get people that can only afford a 400 dollar bike and ride the f wheels off it because that is what they can afford. I would hate to see them on a good bike because then I would have to chase them around all day. I help them differently by giving a free tube one day compared to installing an XX der for free for a regular that has a high end bike. A free tube with goo in it means alot more to that guy usually .........that is the west coast/rocky mountain attitude. We get high end customers because we do the job right and keep them.

I am confused by your "but that's just the population in general" The west coast attitude is what keeps people coming back, call it a customer service/doing the right thing for a cycling lifestyle/good business model or whatever. What I was taught could work great in any bike shop. I do because I love bikes and like to share that passion. It is that passion that a beginner or pro can understand because I care about it. We treat people the same, because that dirty looking dude in the corner might just be a millionaire(it happens alot more than I though here) as compared to that sharped dress dude that just needs a bike to get to work since it is 5 blocks away.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby Treybiker » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:40 pm

I meant the culture there is much different, and that the cycling culture itself goes much deeper than it does in large metro areas with less structured cycling access and year round awesomeness for riding, (you're so lucky!). I'm not going to keep debating this as I'm just telling you what I see going in and out of several shops a week and knowing the direction retail is evolving.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby bikephan » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Treybiker wrote:I meant the culture there is much different, and that the cycling culture itself goes much deeper than it does in large metro areas with less structured cycling access and year round awesomeness for riding, (you're so lucky!). I'm not going to keep debating this as I'm just telling you what I see going in and out of several shops a week and knowing the direction retail is evolving.


culture, good word. I was always amazed about the atl LBS divide between alot of customers. I experienced alot of mis sizing, mis-information, etc which created that divide. I think that area could use some Pisgah love but it would be a hard up hill battle due to the amount of anger in some. If you BS people here, they just walk down the street and/or everyone knows some else who rides. You know as well, no one gets into the bike bus to get filthy rich.

I find this QBP thing questionable especially with how close shops are here. Who dictates the price? what about MAP pricing on things? How are they going to access my inventory? Do i access app and see what it goes for and drop my price 5 bucks? It almost turns local LBS shops into online retailers against each other. I do believe there could be some good in this idea, but it can be a damned if I do or damned if I don't. I think it is QBP trying to grab more market by brushing with the customers but not having to do the facetime.

I do miss Hawleys though, here 1 day is J & B.
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Re: QBP battles the web? (or not)

Postby cRASh » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:45 pm

RSutton1223 wrote:So QBP doesn't care which shop you go to as long as you visit one that is a customer of theirs. You aren't visiting the LBS's app...you are on QBP's service.
Not quite. For clarification, here's my understanding of the process. QBP and Hawley will both be using the Smartetailing engine. Smartetailing will tie into their back office systems. The end-user will go through the LBS's Smartetailing-based web site. Atlanta Cycling, Cycleworks, Alpha Bikes among others use the Smartetailer app. (I currently only have bicycles in my "catalog." Soon I will have the entirety of QBP and/or Hawley's catalog -- as if it were mine.) It will look like you are shopping at that LBS's site. Behind the scenes it's a push/pull synch. Smartetailing polls the QBP/Hawley databases every 15 min to synch the Smartetailing db. Smartetailer already has my shop's inventory in their db. So, if my shop has that 2009 SRAM X9 9-speed medium cage rear derailleur, my catalog will tell the end-user that it is in-store. If not, it will give the end-user the option to put it in my store's cart and have it shipped to their home or to my store. It will not be transparent to the end-user who the fulfillment is coming from until the package hits the customer's door. (My guess is that if this thing works, QBP/Hawley may offer white label shipping for their higher volume shops.)

The distributor -- QBP or Hawley -- is not acting as an availability aggregator, nor is Smartetailing. If Alpha Bikes does not have it in stock, the end-user will need to independently check Atlanta Cycling's site, then Cycleworks, etc.

I may not have this 100% right so I will review my sources again and repost if I got something fubar.
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