The functionalities of the connected e-bike are often misunderstood. Here are 4 preconceived ideas that persist in the imagination around the smartbike, that need to be deconstructed to understand the real potential of connectivity for the bicycle industry.
N°1 – Connectivity = Geolocation / TRUE… BUT NOT ONLY!
Real-time geolocation is one of the main functionalities offered by connectivity. It is a very wide-ranging service opportunity to resolve obstacles to bicycle use (e.g. theft) or to improve services (e.g. maintenance or availability of a fleet of bicycles). Geolocation is the standard for the connected bicycle, but it is far from being the only interesting feature for making a bicycle intelligent. Connectivity allows a complete rethinking of the links between the user and the bike and between the user and the brand.
Numerous services are deployed for the safety and comfort of the cyclist (fall detection, maintenance forecast, statistics, weather forecasts, alarms, remote power-off, etc.), as well as for professionals who benefit from additional levers to attract and retain their customers (notifications and direct messages to cyclists) while increasing their commercial performance (real-time steering tools, usage information for R&D, fleet management, etc.)
N°2 – Connectivity is expensive/ FALSE!
The price of connectivity is often decried, and wrongly so! The return on investment of the implementation of connected solutions on bikes is positive in the short, medium and long term. Although the creation of a smartbike involves a certain amount of investment for bicycle brands, it is very quickly amortised and profitable. With a smart bike that re-enchants the entire mobility experience of customers, the price of a smartbike is higher than that of a conventional electrically assisted bike because it has a greater perceived value in the eyes of consumers. The benefits are felt across the entire range offered by a brand, benefiting from the image of an innovative and bold brand. In addition, with affordable subscription packages for consumers, the smartbike creates long-term value.
N°3 – Connectivity does not increase sales / FALSE!
If this affirmation was true, industry giants would not be interested in connected bikes ;). Indeed, the smartbike is the new standard for electric bikes. By providing an attractive and differentiated offer, connectivity can significantly increase sales. It also creates long-term value by increasing customer loyalty through innovative subscriptions and services. Furthermore, data collection, allows brands or manufacturers to better understand their customers and their expectations and to design their next bikes to specifically meet them.
N°4 – Connectivity is difficult to integrate into the production lines / FALSE!
With the right partner, anything is possible! At Velco, we have designed the connected bike for the entire bicycle industry, including bike manufacturers and assemblers. We have therefore designed a specific tool for the integration of connectivity on the bike assembly line. Velco Assembly Assist has been designed in partnership with assemblers to cover all stages of production: integration, pairing, testing, monitoring. The platform is intuitive, easy to implement and easy to use to facilitate the whole integration process.
Thus, connectivity allows bicycle brands to offer cyclists a secure and attractive experience. But far beyond a suite of features, the connected bike goes beyond the scope of end-user benefits to create a rich ecosystem for professionals, from bike design to maintenance.