From Tuesday February 1, Specialized (opens in new tab) will begin consumer direct sales, shipping mostly built bikes straight to their customers' doors – and without any dealer involvement.
Although there are many bike brands already operating under this model – Canyon not least amongst them – Specialized will be the first "major brand" to provide this as an option to its customers globally.
Customers will still be able to buy Specialized bikes from bricks-and-mortar Specialized dealers – including both independent and company-owned stores. The direct sales option is being offered in addition to the many existing methods of purchasing a Specialized bike.
This brings the total number of ways you can buy a Specialized bike to a catchy five...
1. Walking into a bricks-and-mortar Specialized dealer and buying a bike then and there.
2. Finding a bike on Specialized's website and then using the dealer locator to find a store which has the bike in stock – with the customer then contacting the store directly
3. Buying directly from Specialized's website and having the bike delivered to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Specialized dealer closest to the customer. The dealer would then assemble the bike and the customer would collect it. The dealer would get 50% of the normal margin on the sale.
4. Buying directly from Specialized's website and opting to have the bike delivered in a mostly assembled state – similar to what's offered by brands such as Canyon. The packaging will include tools and QR code which link to videos instructing the customer on how to assemble the final parts of the bike.
5. Buying directly from Specialized's website and opting to have the bike delivered to the door by a member of Specialized's team. This "white glove" service will handle the delivery and the final requirements with the customer, at their preferred delivery address.
Regarding customers who go the direct-sales route, Specialized said: "With our Ship to Home option, we’ll help you choose the right bike and ship it right where you want it, pre-built. With just a few parts removed for shipping, your new Specialized will be ready to roll in a matter of minutes."
With the continuing supply-chain stresses, Specialized – along with many brands – has been increasing the prices of its bikes. Across a test period, CW has seen the price of the Specialized Aethos Comp increase from £4,500 to £5,000. With the cost efficiency of selling bikes direct, it'll be interesting to see what the next movement of prices will be.
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