A Personal Touch
But making sophisticated bikes with the latest, cutting-edge technology is only part of the equation. Another, of course, is effectively understanding and reaching its customers.
For Trek, that will mean using data effectively — and in entirely different ways. Currently, consumers interact with Trek in multiple places — the website, the store, a demo event, an independent retailer — where they can peruse and buy Trek bikes. Yet none of the places where the business touches customers are actually connected — in fact, much of the data about those various interactions lives on static spreadsheets.
“So, the real challenge is, how do you connect all those isolated data points, so that when the customer is coming into a store, we would already know that they have three mountain bikes and just bought a road bike,” Gierhart says. “That’s the real opportunity.”
That’s where Splunk is helping. Connecting all of its data silos will help Trek understand its multiple touchpoints and garner new insights about its consumers, better positioning Trek to provide a more personalized experience, zeroing in on what each customer wants, to compel them to keep coming back.
And it doesn’t stop at just providing customers with the right bikes, although that’s a big part of it. Trek also plans to use technology and data to give customers a better overall experience with each new bike, from the moment they buy it. That includes offering services to all levels of bike enthusiast, not just experienced cyclists.
“Historically, stores have really only catered to the high-end enthusiast,” Gierhart says. “If you’re not living in Lycra all week, they tend to look down on you. That’s not how Trek treats its business.”
To better reach those demographics, Trek is working on a program, the Trek Ride Club, that compiles bike routes based on customers’ individual needs — a family with small children, for example, will be interested in different bike routes than a mountain biker or semi-pro cyclist. Data can then be used to find and map ideal routes for riders who range from novice to pro, and even help rate the trails based on their quality, steepness and required skill level.
“You’ve now bought a bike, and instead of sending you out the door, we should be sending you off with 20 great bike rides in your areas — and that’s all data,” Gierhart says. “It’s really about how we can solve the consumer’s problem. How can we make them enjoy their bike more?”