As Online Bike Sales Grow More Mobile Service Providers Are Coming
MUNICH, Germany – It’s part of omni-channel distribution which is currently being applied by many. Mobile service providers are to deliver bicycles and e-bikes that are sold online. They enable fulfillment options that, apart from offering consumers drop shipping at dealers, includes the choice for an assembled bike to be delivered to their home or work. With the rise of omni-channel also more mobile service providers are coming. LiveCycle in Germany is the newest.
LiveCycle GmbH is a mobile bicycle service newcomer based in Munich offering B2C and B2B services through their website www.live-cycle.de. After opening a subsidiary in Berlin the newcomer plans to have a total of seven German city locations by mid-2018. After that it’s the company goal to expand with partners into neighbouring European countries.
Responsible for 7,000 rental bikes
The first acquaintance with LiveCycle came when the Singaporean rental bike supplier Obike invaded Munich with 7,000 rental bikes. When the first problems hit their rental bikes Obike brought LiveCycle into the game. Since then the mobile service provider is responsible for Obikes in Munich. That responsibility goes beyond maintenance and repair. LiveCycle is also picking up bikes at spaces where they are not allowed to be parked and puts them back to busy areas where they are picked up for rent.
Caring for bicycle fleets
According to LiveCycle GM Andreas Schmidt Obike isn’t their first bicycle fleet they are taking care of. “When we started last July 2016 our first B2B-customer was Amazon’s logistics partner Interkep. They wanted us to take care of their 12 e-cargobikes in Munich as well as in Berlin where we now have also a LiveCycle station.”
After this other companies got interested. “Today we are also taking care of UPS cargobikes in Munich as well as the MTU Aero Engines factory bike fleet. It consists out of 1,000 bicycles.”
Link to online bike sales
But more business is likely to come for LiveCycle and that business is linked to online bike sales. Andreas Schmidt says “We got in touch with online bicycle sellers Fahrrad.de and Hollandrad.de. That resulted in them providing the option to their customers to choose if they want our service to build up the bike out of the box including test ride or not.” According to his GM partner Bastian Scherbeck consumers will pay about € 50 to 80 extra for this service; “including delivery within the city boundaries.”
More future opportunities
Both Schmidt and Scherbeck see also future opportunities for cooperation with dealers. “If a dealer has too many repairs to do during his high season we can help out.” However, dealers will be reluctant to pass their business over to others. The LiveCycle managers react to that with “But it doesn’t help a dealer if he can’t repair within a couple of days. His customer won’t come back if not served immediately. With our help he can keep his customers happy.” They both stress that the support LiveCycle is able to offer also applies to e-bikes as their mechanics are familiar with all main drive units.
14 fulltime employees
Currently LiveCycle has 14 fulltime employees (also named cycle artists). Ten of them are non-stop on the road – “from Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm.” Each Live Cycle location operates a fully equipped service van as well as two e-cargobikes with tool kits and spare parts. The current two Live Cycle locations also house a fully fitted repair shop.