Accell Group is the European market leader in e-bikes and the number two player in bicycle parts and accessories. The group owns 11 well-established bike brands, which together sold around 1 million bicycles in 2019.
In response to rising competition from e-commerce solutions, Accell Group decided to support its brick & mortar dealers by designing a new interactive digital kiosk called Younit. The kiosks would help Accell address two pressing challenges:
- Most bike dealers were located in smaller storefronts in urban areas, so they could only exhibit a few dozen bikes on the shopfloor.
- Bike store staff often struggled to provide adequate attention to all customers in the store, particularly during peak hours.
The digital vehicle kiosk addressed these challenges by making it possible for customers to see the full range of bikes available for purchase, even if they weren’t available in the store, and by providing customers with a self-service tool for research and browsing.
- Successful creation of the Younit platform
- Platform launched at the Eurobike show, garnering media attention and industry recognition
- Younit platform used by hundreds of dealers in Germany and Austria
Accell Group had very specific requirements for the digital retail platform. As a leading bike brand with locations across Europe, it required a multilingual, multi-country and multi-brand solution, i.e. Younit had to support all brands in the Group’s portfolio, starting with Winora and Haibike. The kiosk also needed to be cloud-based and avoid license fees. Furthermore, with pressure mounting from digital-first category newcomers, Accell Group strived to develop and roll out the digital retail platform as quickly as possible.
Star was tasked with conceptualizing the platform, defining the user experience, and dealership platform design. We collaborated closely with Accell Group to build a digital vehicle kiosk that was both user and dealer-centric.
We started the design process by researching existing technology and in-store digital retail experiences. This step enabled the Star team to gain an in-depth understanding of the market, particularly other digital retail platforms, and the needs and preferences of Accell Group customers and employees.
Thanks to the new digital dealer solution, sales representatives are no longer limited to showing customers the bikes on-hand. They can display their entire bike range via the interactive digital kiosk. Dealers are also in a better position to advise customers on their purchase, as they can explain the advantages of certain features or parts using the visual display. Customers can also use Younit to browse on their own using the “Bike Finder” assistant. This feature lets customers search for bikes that fit their mobility needs, e.g. downhill mountain biking or inner-city commuting.
Big picture: The rise of in-store digital retail experiences
E-commerce is on the rise, but for many mobility brands, retail still plays an important role in brand building and sales. These brands are working to merge online and offline customer data to better map and influence the customer journey. For example, luxury OEMs, such as Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Lexus, and DS Automobiles, are creating boutique experiences to strengthen their brand and attract and connect with potential buyers.
Julia Poluliakh, Head of Marketing, Germany, at Star, says these companies are designing spaces that do more than sell a product. They “embody a value set, an emotion, a status, or a lifestyle that resonates with buyers.”
To learn more about the five emerging retail trends that will shape the future of automotive, and mobility in general, download Star’s Vehicle Buying 2.0 trend report.
Marc ter Steeg, project manager at Accell, described Younit as “a bull’s eye for bicycle dealers who want to combine the added value of physical stores and personal advice with online innovation and activation.” He also notes Accell plans to roll out the solution in other markets, and for other brands.
- Customer journey mapping
- Field research of bike retail competitors
- Definition of UX/UI Framework
- Iterative click-dummies
- End-user validation
- Visual design & implementation support
- Three-year rollout strategy
- Change management and facilitation across multiple brands