Bicycles Online

Bicycles Online is an Australian owned, online specialty retailer of road bikes, mountain bikes, parts, accessories, and clothing.

“With Neto we got our hands on enterprise level customisation at a SME price point”

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Shifting business up several gears

Going from selling a few items on eBay to becoming a large specialty online retailer in just a few years sounds like every business owner’s dream. But setting up an e-commerce store used to be a nightmare.

It was costly, time consuming, technical and finding the right partners was a challenge. But Jonathon Allara and James van Rooyen have found there’s a better way to take their business online – and to the next level.

From bike tours to e-tail store

Jonathon and James’ first business together was a small bicycle rental and tour company in Manly. When they spotted a gap in the market for an affordable online bike store they decided to test the waters with a run of bikes in an eBay store. The bikes were a hit, so in 2011 they took the plunge and launched their online store, Bicycles Online. Things went well. So well in fact, that the business soon encountered growing pains when their e-commerce platform couldn’t keep up with demand.

For starters, customer orders came from different warehouses and they needed a system capable of accurately managing stock and fulfilling orders across multiple locations. “It’s complex stuff, but it’s critical to get it right,” says Jonathon. “Let’s say your stock isn’t synchronised across your brick and mortar and online stores and one item gets sold in two places at once. Now that’s a big problem for you and your customers.”

A revolution in the world of e-commerce

Until recently, the solution to that problem was neither easy nor affordable. In fact, only a few years ago building a capable e-commerce solution left business owners with no change from $250,000. “We couldn’t afford those sorts of costs. And thankfully we didn’t need to spend anywhere near that amount. With Neto we got our hands on enterprise level customisation at a SME price point. It’s groundbreaking technology that’s not only cost effective; it’s far more powerful than the competition because it is the first e-commerce solution to include an inventory management system. That means there’s no risk of errors like those doubled up sales orders,” enthuses James.

Get set up – quick smart

Another common challenge facing business owners is time constraints.

  • How do you grow your business when you are so busy working in it?
  • How do you build an online store?
  • Where will you find all the right business partners required to make it happen?
  • Who can you trust to understand your needs and meet them?

Despite requiring a custom template and a complex back-end solution from Neto, taking Bicycle Online to the next level was quick and stress free. Jonathon explains, “And because we were dealing with an Aussie company there was no time lag and nothing got lost in translation; that made things so much easier.”

“It took just three weeks from first conversation to a completed live website.”
Jonathon Allara, Business Owner

An outstanding customer experience

The benefits of Neto extend to customer service too, which means happier customers that keep coming back. “It’s a fallacy that you can’t deliver exceptional customer service online; with Neto we can actually ensure our customers get a premium shopping experience – from choosing the right product to sending it back if they aren’t happy.” Neto algorithms tailor the shopping experience to a customer’s preference and products can be linked to reviews and ratings so they can research their purchase. Prices can be changed dynamically and, because Neto seamlessly integrates with Aussie freight providers, in-built shipping labelling and manifesting and real time quotes, mean order fulfilment time is halved. So Bicycles Online can now easily offer free shipping with a 14 day trial and even free return delivery.

A partnership with Zendesk makes customer service even more exceptional. Bicycle Online’s customer calls come through VOIP and are recorded, so not only do the customer service operators recognise the customer by their phone number, they have their full customer history at their fingertips. “The days of having to ask a customer to provide a receipt as proof of purchase are gone,” says Jonathon. “And Neto even helps with customer retention by sending a series of emails triggered by certain events.”

Build and grow a better business

In a world where customer is king, that kind of service has got to be good for business, but it’s not the only reason the guys credit Neto for their exceptional business growth of 35-40% year on year.

“Neto lets us easily take the business to the next level so that we don’t lose focus on what we’re good at – designing and selling bikes. And because Neto is scalable, we can be confident that we can grow our business without changing platforms. What’s more, we can do it all without even having a developer on site,” explains Jonathon.

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