In 2007, 99 Bikes opened its first bicycle shop in Brisbane. Thirteen years later, it now operates 49 stores across Australia and an e-commerce site with 5,000 products. While the retailer was no stranger to growing a business, it’s online sales still represented a fraction of its total sales. As the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented demand for its bikes, the team scrambled to shift operations to online only.
“With gyms and beaches closed, cycling is a great way for people to stay active while practicing social distancing,” says Owen McLeod, digital leader at 99 Bikes. “I guess everyone was thinking the same thing because our website traffic and online sales exploded in the space of a few days.”
99 Bikes saw record sales in April 2020, selling as many as 1,500 bikes per day. Online revenue for the month reached AU$3.1 million—more than double the previous December, which is typically its biggest sales month. And online sales rose from 5% of total company revenue to 11% almost overnight.