TECHNOLOGY

Cycle Gear in high gear with new traffic & conversion program

BY Marianne Wilson

Cycle Gear, a specialty retailer of motorcycle parts and apparel with 140 stores in 38 states, is on a roll, hitting its goals, growing and opening new locations. The company is demonstrating how to increase comp sales quarter after quarter — all while keeping wage budgets in line.

Just five months after launching HeadCount Corp.’s traffic and conversion program, Cycle Gear improved its revenue and bottom line. By the end of 2017, the retailer reported its best Black Friday to date. The HeadCount program included analytics, reporting, and coaching, with everything designed to optimize conversion rates in Cycle Gear stores using existing traffic.

“My wage budget has been well in line and yet I’m getting better results,” said Rodger O’Keefe, VP of store operations for Cycle Gear. “When I speak to my board of directors and they ask, ‘How’s traffic doing,? ’ I can now tell them we are doing the right thing. Our results show it.”

After just a few short months, Cycle Gear already sees the program as a great investment.

“Yet we are still in the infancy stage of understanding the true potential of HeadCount, and are still growing with the program,” O’Keefe said.

A critical shift in culture throughout the field team is what will solidify the program as a long-term solution and not a short-term fix, according to HeadCount. The shift is focusing on what store managers can control instead of worrying about traffic.

“I want the team to have as much data as possible for their ‘four wall,’ “ O’Keefe said. “It’s not about finger-wagging, it’s about how we can make it better.”

O’Keefe said he has seen several critical advantages of Cycle Gear’s new approach to conversion:
•Data now drives problem solving, not just measurement
•Critical shift in staff scheduling approach.  Cycle Gear went from automating staff scheduling against sales transactions to scheduling against foot traffic. This shift in approach, along with small tweaks in scheduling, resulted in a huge payoff across the board.
•Power in simplicity. How much can two minutes help? A lot. Cycle Gear has a new, simple ‘every day’ habit that is helping them drive their business forward.
•The importance of ‘Controlling Your Four Walls’: When a store is empowered to drill down to what they can control, overall it doesn’t matter if foot traffic is down or weather is bad, staffing factors and conversion rates can be adjusted to increase comp sales. Cycle Gear’s store and district Managers proactively use their new data to ‘control their four walls’ instead of worrying about traffic.
•Field managers are highly engaged. To ensure everyone understood the key concepts and were inspired by the new program, Cycle Gear launched the program at their store managers’ conference in Las Vegas.

O’Keefe said the teams were “blown away” by the launch.

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