Ultimate Guide: Finding an online shop
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 7 June 2010
The Ultimate Guide: Shopping for bicycles and gear online is a multipart report with tips, trends and analysis of the Australian Market. You can download the ebook version here. This part looks at finding an online shop.
Finding an online shop
You already know that you want to purchase a new bicycle or parts or gear and the obvious first step is the Google search engine. 79% of the survey participants carried out research using Google for their online and offline purchases. 76% of participants have found online shops using Google from which they have later purchased. Recommendations in cycling forums and from friends are similarly highly rated avenues for locating an online bicycle shop.
The nature of the Google search engine is that best results are not always listed first, rather the most popular results are listed at the top of the search results. When searching for a specific brand and model name or number, the first pages contain search results that are often one of the following types:
- Bicycle shop
- Shopping portals with price comparisons
- Cycling discussion forum
For popular items, Google may additionally display “Shopping Results” for the item on the first page of search results together with prices (from retailers).Finding the right shop and right price is a matter of browsing through the search results. The first bicycle shops listed are not necessarily the best – though when browsing online, it is easy to go back to the list of search results and continue looking.
Tip: You can view each search result a new ‘Tab’ in your browser which makes it easier to compare shops as well as to return to the original search query. Windows: right mouse click on a hyperlink and select “Open in new Tab”. Mac: hold down “ctrl” and the click on the hyperlink, from the options that appear, choose “Open Link in New Tab”.
Sometimes shopping portals with price comparisons are not always useful as the advertisers may pay a fee or commissions to be included within the portal plus the prices listed don’t always include shipping costs, these can vary vastly between online retailers.
In the Google search results, sometimes the ads that appear on the right are quite useful as they are targeted to match your search term and usually include a mix of smaller and established online retailers. By keeping an eye on the shop names that appear in the ads, you may notice that larger, well known shops will appear more often. Smaller online shops may offer very competitive prices and a more personalised service while the larger shops often have more experience selling online and so may provide an easier and more secure purchasing process and prompt delivery.
No matter how large an online retailer is, they still won’t have every single brand and product so by searching for a few different items, you will come across a broader range of retailers.
When searching for a bicycle shop online, unless you limit your search results to only Australian results, you will notice a lot of results from overseas. It is worthwhile comparing the prices between local and overseas retailers though be aware that there are pros and cons when ordering from overseas, these are discussed in more detail in this section.
This is article is from The Ultimate Guide: Shopping for bicycles and gear online. You can download the entire ebook (free) from here.
You can discuss this article and the ebook in the Australian Cycling Forums.