Mtbr.com: What kind of changes do you see for Jenson in the future?
Jenson USA: We pride ourselves on setting the pace online and that continues to be a priority. We want to be your cycling experts – how do we make sure that happens when many people now prefer to shop online instead of by telephone?
We are providing great tools for the empowered consumer – video reviews, great photos, technical descriptions that go above and beyond the cut-and-paste jobs you’ll find elsewhere. We just completed a round of testing for a new downhill bike we’ll be offering soon at Snow Summit / Big Bear. How many retailers can give you video of the exact bike you’re interested in being ridden on one of America’s premier riding destinations? We’re going to give you great content and a level of detail you won’t get elsewhere.
Tablet and mobile platforms are and will continue to be important. We have invested heavily in a mobile optimized website, (Jenson USA on-the-go), that has all the same content, but works great on your smartphone.
We’re also investing heavily in brick and mortar bicycle retail – we just completed a “makeover” of our Corona store during which we added the Giant Bicycles line. We’re bringing in some of our online tools to improve the retail in-store experience. Free ship-to-store always, real-time store inventory shown on the website, and you can even make an appointment before visiting to maximize your time.
Mtbr.com: How much of sales is international?
Jenson USA: Approximately 15% of our business is international. We’ve rolled out some tools to better serve our international customers, for example, if you chat live on our website you have the option to do real-time language translation from your native language into English and then back again, so we can serve customers whose primary language is not English. It’s incredible to answer tech questions and get someone riding again in really remote parts of the world – recently we sent parts to someone on a bicycle tour in Nepal that got them going again.
Mtbr.com: What are the top selling items this season?
Jenson USA: Spank Spike pedals was one that caught us by surprise and was impossible to keep in stock for a while there. A really well-thought-out design. 27.5” / 650b wheels, forks, tires etc continue to be popular as riders experiment with different wheel sizes. I think everyone was surprised by the quick uptake on the SRAM XX1 lineup. And tubeless just continues to accelerate, even casual riders want it now.
Mtbr.com: How do you deal with returns, unhappy customers?
Jenson USA: Our return policy says, essentially, if you don’t like it, send it back within 60 days for a full refund. We don’t charge a restocking fee or penalty. I know a lot of our competitors only accept items which are brand new and unused. We want our customers to have more flexibility than that. Our #1 Company Value is: “Customers are everything: Show them the love”. Our return policy is very liberal and that does mean we take back some items that would be rejected at other stores. We hope that guy will remember when he decides where to shop next time. The percentage of customers that abuse that flexibility is very, very small.
Sometimes customers are unhappy because something broke. Jenson USA employs a dedicated, full-time employee that does nothing but work on warranty claims on behalf of our customers. I think that’s an interesting contrast to our competitors, some of whom are even so bold as to say “Sorry, we don’t handle warranty issues at all”. We believe the retailer who sold you the items is responsible for facilitating your warranty claim. If what you bought doesn’t include warranty support from the retailer, or they won’t give you a phone number, you aren’t getting what you should be and you should demand better.
Every time someone is unhappy, it’s a learning opportunity. I love to work things backwards, figure out where it went wrong, and find out how to prevent it from occurring to the next guy.
I am really proud that we were the first bike shop to be named to the Google Trusted Stores program. To qualify they hold you to some really stringent standards for on-time shipping and other metrics, and frankly some other retailers simply don’t measure up. They drive us to be better.
Mtbr.com: How does Jenson give back to the community? What kind of programs are you involved in?
Jenson USA: Perhaps the most exciting thing happening in this area is that Mike Cachat was named to the IMBA Board of Directors. I think that speaks volumes about our involvement and belief in the important of bicycle advocacy.
Jenson USA is one of the few mail-order companies that is a Bikes Belong member. We see Bikes Belong as one of the most important advocacy organizations.
We really prefer to keep our charitable giving here in our own backyard whenever possible and it’s great to see the local impact. For the past two years we have done some sponsorships with two of the local high school mountain bike racing teams. NICA is an incredible opportunity that we all wish was around when we were in high school. This summer we were able to add two student athletes as part-time employees; that came directly from the NICA relationship so it’s really been worthwhile and a great fit.
We are a proud sponsor of Bike for Bender, the Temecula Valley Century, and the TEAM SoCalCross and other local clubs/teams/events.
Mtbr.com: Anything else you want to add is good.
Jenson USA: Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you saw some great stuff. Any cyclists who haven’t been here are really missing out. Please come join us at one of our shop rides. Riverside location, MTB ride, first Thursday of every month at 6:30pm. Come out and ride with the guys that got you your gear. We love meeting our customers.