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How The Bike Cooperative Increased Membership and Member Engagement by switching to a new technology platform

Author: Lindsay Gaskins
President, The Bike Cooperative
Senior Executive responsible for bringing innovative operational and technology solutions to fuel the growth of the independent business members of one of the largest purchasing cooperatives in the retail space, with more than 2,800 locations in North America, spanning 14 business units.

When I became president of The Bike Cooperative in 2017, I quickly recognized that our members —  local bike shops from all over the US — struggled with a lot of the same problems I faced while scaling my own multi-location retail stores. Lack of access to expensive industry insights, marketing solutions, and hiring tools inevitably puts local businesses at a disadvantage when competing with big box stores and e-commerce players that have more resources.

The Bike Cooperative has always existed to help small businesses win. In order to step up our efforts and support even more IBD’s, we needed to shift gears. We decided to implement a new technology that would help us bring more value, more efficiently to new and existing members.

For about a year now, we have been using My Member Center, a digital membership hub that provides easy access to powerful tools all in one place that helps improve members’ efficiencies, increase local awareness, and drive profitability.

Here are some of the main challenges The Bike Co-op was facing, and how adding My Member Center helped our group get stronger.

Challenge 1:

This time last year, our membership was declining.

Solution:

By leveraging a new one-stop shop for benefits our sales process improved and time to close became days vs months. And, new benefits like benchmarking and hiring made our membership more appealing. We have been able to grow our membership by 20% in the last 12 months.

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Challenge 2:

This time last year, we had very few members who were active in more than a few  programs. While we’ve always positioned our co-op as a small business resource for members,  we had a low engagement rate for many programs, and getting members to engage in new programs was often a heroic effort by our team.

Solution:

My Member Center serves as a one-stop-shop for member engagement. From news and benefits updates to data-driven recommendations — notifications help each member take action with a single click. Best of yet, all of our tools are easily accessible to our members; they go to one place to use all of their benefits.

Challenge 3:

Our emails were purely transactional and lacked benefits beyond programs. Members had to follow links to different places across the web to access programs.

Solution:

With the help of My Member Center, we’re able to leverage small business focused content that will help our members do better business, in addition to saving them money on things like seasonal direct mail campaigns or loyalty programs. More visibility and digital touchpoints with our members increased engagement by 500%. All of our tools live in one platform now, which makes it easy to link to in our communications!   

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Challenge 4:

We are looking for ways to give our members the tools that BIG multi-location and e-commerce retailers are leveraging today.

Solution:

Including cutting edge technology and data tools allows our members to see how they compare to their peers and brings new value to our group. Our benchmarking tool helps members take tangible steps to improve KPIs for their business.

The Bike Cooperative increased interest in programs by 60%, and membership by 20% in the first 12 months.


Hear from our team … 

“Since My Member Center was launched over a year ago, the process of onboarding our new members has completely changed. Instead of having a conversation and sending over a long email follow up, I am able to walk each new member through their My Member Center portal and tell a story. Having the ability to tell this story and tie in each program helps the member understand the full scope of our offerings. The members are also able to access the entire network of The Bike Cooperative and connect with them in many different ways.

My Member Center empowers the member to browse through our offerings on their own and easily submit tickets for follow-ups from me. The huge gain of independence allows me to spend less time hand-holding, a pretty impactful change for my role.”

– Lacey Winn, Business Consultant, The Bike Cooperative

Introducing My Member Center to The Bike Co-op has made a huge difference in how we show up for our members. We’re more than just a networking group or way to save some extra money. We help small businesses access the knowledge, power, and resources they need to compete.

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