June 12, 2009, 12:00 AM

Performance Bike ups the performance of its web site

Performance Bike refocused its site on content and education. “It’s a very visual experience now,” says CEO Jim Thompson. “It’s art and imagery.” The site also includes how-to videos that Performance Bicycle hopes will direct shoppers to buy products.

 

Performance Bicycle has launched redesigned web sites with a focus on creating a bicycling lifestyle platform that appeals to avid bicyclists as well as the occasional rider, CEO Jim Thompson tells InternetRetailer.com. The sites-PerformanceBike.com and Nashbar.com, a discount site-relaunched in mid-May on an IBM WebSphere platform.

Prior to revamping the web sites, which coincided with a repositioning of stores and catalog, Performance Bicycle surveyed bicyclists, both customers and non-customers, to find out what they wanted in a shopping experience.

Management’s conclusion: “We want to demystify cycling,” Thompson says. “The first thing shoppers saw when they came into a store or on the web site were lots of parts and pieces, and all these bikes and equipment. It was very daunting if you hadn’t ridden a bicycle for a while.”

Performance Bike refocused its site on content and education. “It’s a very visual experience now,” Thompson says. “It’s art and imagery.” The site also includes how-to videos that Performance Bicycle hopes will encourage shoppers to buy products.

The web site also is the hub for determining the company’s product assortments in stores. “We expanded the breadth of bicycles that we offer at the web site,” Thompson says. “It’s now where we start building the assortment and rationalizing the store inventory.”

Performance streamlined the shopping experience with the Omnifind site search technology from IBM and a smoother checkout process. Checkout was redesigned in-house by Lynnette Montgomery, vice president of e-commerce, who is speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston in a session entitled The latest info that all retailers need to know about search engines.

Performance Bicycle worked with Finch Brands to survey customers and then design the site.

 

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