Amsterdam, July 6th 2020- While many industries are struggling to keep their heads above water, the cycling industry is one of the few industries that is booming right now. So as the era of Corona carries on and 2020’s paradigm-shifting pandemic remains a theme of nearly every conversation, the team here at Twotone decided to make a concerted effort to really understand how our clients have been affected by Covid-19. Has it actually been a blessing in disguise for our clients and the industry at large? What adversity has been overcome and how did they do it? We asked five of our clients one question: “What are the top 3 changes you’ve made to run your business to accommodate corona conditions?”. We hope these insights will help you understand what has been going on in the cycling industry, learn about what has worked for our clients, and identify what could potentially help your business, even if you’re in a different industry.
Rotterdam based wholesaler 2moso operates in Benelux and sells exclusive accessories for sports and mobile to consumers and businesses. They have a big range of sports accessories mainly for cyclists and runners and are the exclusive distributor of Wahoo Fitness, Megmeister, Speedplay and 4iiii in the Benelux. René Knierim, the owner of this Dutch distribution company, told us about their challenges, solutions, and things they want to keep doing.
- As work went remote, renewed effort to keep spirits afloat – At the beginning of this outbreak everybody was advised to work from home unless it was not possible to do so. The warehouse for example had to keep running since they had more orders than ever. With their big office and large working spaces, it was possible to work at the headquarters in shifts, which they’re still doing. Relatively soon they realized that working from home was perfectly possible for most of the departments, including finance and purchasing. To keep the team spirit alive the company organizes monthly online hangouts where everyone has to speak up and share their current struggles. Something they had been doing before the crisis, but which seems to work perfectly throughout this period. Employees regularly receive flowers and chocolate bars to let them know they’re appreciated and thought of and are updated daily with new developments.
- New approaches to dealer communications – The main problem they have been facing is not being able to visit their dealers. The borders of Luxembourg and Belgium were completely closed and people were advised to solely travel in the Netherlands if strictly necessary. A big part of that communication with their dealers got lost this way, as a solution they created ‘2moso live’ - a bi-weekly live webcast hosted by René. During these 45 minute sessions, dealers get updated on the latest challenges and developments and any questions will be answered. These live sessions are an addition to their current communication strategy consisting of a weekly newsletter and phone calls with account managers. These live sessions will probably stay in the future as they have proven to be successful and valuable. Meeting 1:1 with their dealers, however, is still preferred ultimately. Talking to the dealers, figuring out what they’re dealing and struggling with and finding solutions to help them has been of great value for both parties
- Demand differed, launches continues – There has been a substantial difference between sports products and mobile accessories. While everything in the sports field was selling out, that was not the case for the mobile branch. Most of the retailers of the accessories are located at the airport and since those shops were all closed there were no sales at all. In the cycling industry, it was the other way around, they were constantly selling out of bike computers and fitness machines. The demand for their products was bigger than usual, selling out and being able to deliver goods on time was a challenge. During this period they continued to launch new products. Wahoo launched the latest TICKR, a heart rate monitor, and pandemic or not, these products are always on high demand, well-marketed, and easy to sell online. As it was not possible to organize events, they had to go for a more personal and individualistic approach. While you have more attention for individuals this way, it’s definitely not an approach they would like to keep doing in the future. Their events are not just to launch new products, but also to create new memories and that plays an even bigger role in connecting people.
For 2moso, creative ways of keeping spirits high with their now remote colleagues along with more online means of updating dealers has enabled them to match heightened demand throughout the pandemic.
Interested in reading about Twotone's conclusion and knowing more about the common themes that emerged in all interviews? Check it out here!