A British institution, but when it came to their cycling offering, customer perceptions fell far short
Our work with Halfords covers many areas, including camping, outdoor & automotive. But our biggest challenge was to help reposition Halfords as experts in cycling, driving consideration and in turn revenue in this key growth market. London 2012 and the UK leg of the Tour De France as well as excellent coverage around the Tour De Yorkshire has brought a new found enthusiasm for cycling in the UK. The cycling market in Britain is estimated to be worth a huge £1.5bn growing at roughly 5% year on year. However the Halford’s cycling offer wasn’t resonating with this key audience; They were not seen as experts and potential customers were buying their bikes and kit from elsewhere, despite some of these competitors being large online only retailers.
WHAT WE DID
Our research showed that customers weren’t able to connect with the Halfords cycling offer, especially online. Products were presented in a dull and uninspiring way and without additional supporting information and guidance. Our key insight was portray Halfords as cycle experts, which would give potential customers the trust and the permission they needed to buy. This key insight informed our entire strategy.
We created a set of principles for Halfords that would demonstrate their cycling knowledge and expertise – and allow customers to get closer to the emotion of the cycling experience in the digital space. We identified that video would be a key channel, as this would deliver dynamic experiences in a way that went far beyond the static and formulaic. In total we created over 300 films that were all mini adventures, showcasing cycles and accessories and bringing them to life. Coverage and shares across social media, partnerships with cycle schemes and initiatives, blog pieces and cycling fan sites would all contribute to a significant change in customer perception.
The outcomes of this new approach surpassed all expectations – demonstrating a real change in consumer perception and buying behaviour:
1 in 4 click-to-buy ratio.
Over £1M increase in like-for-like sales compared with previous year.
Average video viewing time increased from 26 seconds to 1 minute 58 seconds
Return on investment within 6 weeks.
Cycles have now become the largest income area for Halfords, representing a huge 28% of company revenue.
Halfords have ultimately been transformed into the UK’s largest cycling retailer.