Educating your peers is what makes your products successful
Niels van der Steen, Marketing Manager at enviolo, talks to Bicle about their innovative retailer training program and shares market insights.
Even though they are working mainly with bicycle manufacturers, enviolo made their cooperation with retailers one of their main strengths. In 2014 they have introduced their first Retail Partner Program aimed at educating and offering shops competitive advantages, and as of 2017, they have decided to support a wider range of dealers through high-quality training sessions. Every winter season, enviolo organizes their Retail Training Series, which last year reached 1.500 participants, and this year already 900 have registered (the start was last October).
The first training phase
With every product introduction, there comes the challenge of gaining the trust of market players. Explaining the advantages of the revolutionary stepless NuVinci shifting technology, showing how the transmissions systems should be handled were the main topics in 2014. In the early days, the team collaborated with OEMs to acquire and train partners that were already selling NuVinci Optimized™ bikes in the Benelux and Germany, and started building the initial network of enthusiastic retailers.
Expanding the training program
The first training projects were so fruitful, that two years ago, enviolo decided to broaden its education offer, and started developing the technical knowledge of retailers outside their partner network. In the winter of 2017, the MY2017 training series was set up in Benelux and DACH for the first time. After the success of this first 3 months tour, the next model year it was extended to a six months program in the same region. Van der Steen: ‘’Last year, compared to MY2017, we had two levels of training: level A (introductory), and Level B (advanced). However, we noticed that people who were attending level A participated in the advanced sessions in most of the cases. ’’
MY2019 - New features
Learnings from MY2018 made van der Steen to reconsider the set up and change strategy to strive for a higher education level and to pay more attention to the participants. Thus, level A and B were combined to one full-day training with smaller groups, enabling every attendee to go home as an enviolo expert.
This year’s training is even more interesting to retailers due to the introduction of a completely new product range consisting of five groupsets (city, trekking, sportive, cargo, and commercial), designed to fit the needs of five specific consumer personas and bicycle types. Van der Steen states ‘’we have now set the maximum number of participants to 21. Training fewer retailers per day means more focus and happier attendees who have learned something good for their business. The new set up grabbed the market’s attention, with most locations being already sold out. Seeing their interest, we have added additional days on 8 locations. On the other hand, we are very pleased and proud with the feedback received by now. 89% of retailers are willing to recommend to colleagues or other stores to join our workshops.’’
Next steps - the enviolo Membership program
In July, enviolo introduced a new program, the enviolo Memberships, aimed at growing the relationship with retailers through extra benefits on service, warranty, training, marketing, and orders. There are three different levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold, all levels being available for purchase. All levels focus primarily on education and on being able to service enviolo products quickly.
Van der Steen also intensified and leveled up their webinars offering. The program currently educates over 2.000 bicycle dealers online, in three languages.
With all these levels of education, Van der Steen is currently developing the enviolo University concept, which will capture all assets of their training programs and build on the development of all their educational activities for the B2B market. Van der Steen says, “our goal is to move people better by developing amazing products and customer experiences. For retailers we do so through an all-round support program comprised of training and service.”