Brian De Groodt, founder of Dispatch Custom Cycling Components, says “cycling has gotten too soft.” What he means is there’s a lot of posh in the world of cycling today. Catering to a harder-edged crowd, the Denver-based custom cycling accessories business or purveyor has built a successful ecommerce business from the ground up that does justice to their motto “less posh, more punk.”
Dispatch creates and sells custom components for bicycles, as well as lifestyle items that capture the punk-rock ethos of their business. Brian started the company four years ago as an offshoot of another cycling brand he owned. He’s built a company he’s very passionate about, but it wasn’t always an easy ride. Between creating new products, fulfilling orders, and trying to market his business, he didn’t always have time to sit around brainstorming new ideas.
Luckily, many of his products have been inspired by the sport he loves, the ideas coming to him while taking a morning pedal down a scenic trail or a gritty urban route. In this way his passion for cycling has become fuel for his business.
The road to success
Brian still remembers that “cha-ching” moment when Dispatch had its first sale. Though he was always proud of the products, he admits the photography, website, and overall shopping experience were lacking in those early days. It was that first sale that made him realize he needed to optimize his store to make every transaction count.
The first major obstacle he faced was “how to increase profitability without betraying the ethic behind the business.” Offering free shipping and products as affordable as $12.99, Brian never wanted price to be a barrier that would hold people back from their passion for cycling. Positive feedback and moving testimonials from customers kept him motivated, even when margins were thin.
Earlier in 2020, Brian was faced with a hard decision. Outwardly, business was looking good, but he was struggling to keep his business profitable. He wondered if there was a way to remedy the situation. He knew that if he wasn’t able to increase his average order value (AOV), it would mean the end of his business.
A Bold solution
Brian began looking to see if there were any apps or addons that could help his business thrive. He was looking for a way to “naturally” cross-sell his products. The first app he tried was Bold Upsell. Using Upsell, Brian created a cross-sell promotion that let customers pay $4 to add a colorful bolt to one of their products. The result was a more visually appealing and customized look for his customers. Almost instantly Brian noticed customers were adding $4 to their order.
Deciding to use Bold Upsell was the defining moment that saved the business. Our AOV went from about $12.99 to $22 dollars. That got us into very healthy margins.
The next app he tried was Bold Product Options, which “changed everything” for his business. This app allowed him to completely reimagine the store’s shopping experience — from onboarding to checkout. Product Options enabled him to bring in products with custom text, opening up new sales avenues and opportunities. Custom requests that had previously been handled in person could now be configured by the customer with a few clicks. Improving the overall customer experience also contributed to increased AOV.
This not only helped them increase their average order value, but also helped their customers complete their bedding set with a coordinated look for less.
Plus, the offers worked with systems they already had in place. Their affiliate network spread the word about their bedding sets, each with their own discount code. Customers could still apply these codes to products the apps had already discounted, helping shoppers get even better deals and avoid confusion or frustration.
Bold Upsell and Product Options were the perfect solution for Brian that allowed him to keep running Dispatch — on his terms — while finding organic ways to increase the company’s AOV. Brian also used the Sales Motivator app to create a spend threshold, driving AOV even higher. Simply offering a free gift with purchases over $50 caused a 500% increase in purchases reaching this $50 threshold.
I think Bold Commerce has found a niche where the right idea can have the opportunity to become a profitable business — instead of going out of business.
Dispatch has grown significantly over the past year, with significant increases to AOV and number of transactions over $50, as well as 20% increases month-to-month. Plans for the future include continued growth, plus the launch of new products, as well as a smoother post-purchase experience — all while staying true to their core values and continuing to make a name for themselves in the underground cycling world.
I have friends and colleagues who own ecommece stores, and every time they are having problems the first thing I think about is how Bold apps could help them increase value for customers, or make their business more profitable.