Tern has announced that its Kickstarted Vektron electric bike will turn its back on the direct to consumer model, instead ensuring that its deliveries are routed through local dealers in the U.S..
Having blown past its $60,000 target, Tern succeeded in raising 150% of the required funding for the Bosch-powered folding bike.
“Local bike shops are the keystone of cycling in communities, but as we all know, consumer buying behavior is changing,” says Josh Hon, Founder and Team Captain of Tern. “We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to adapt to new consumer behaviors, while growing and supporting local shops. With our latest Kickstarter campaign, we’re pioneering a hybrid sales model that offers the product exploration and discovery that consumers are increasingly looking for online, combined with the local service and support that are essential to growing cycling in cities. Our dealers are happy, Tern riders are happy, and we’re happy too.”
Admitting that in the U.S. electric bike sales are lagging behind Europe, Hon foresees that Kickstarter can have its benefits for industry partners instead of bypassing them entirely.
Dealers of the folding specialist label are therefore to handle last-mile delivery, guaranteeing that consumers receive their bikes tuned and ready to ride, with a personal introduction to maintenance and operation. By establishing a local relationship, Tern’s hybrid model ensures that riders are supported throughout the lifetime of the product.
In exchange, Tern’s dealers receive virtually the same margin they would on a conventional walk-in sale, and exposure to a much wider digital audience. Ultimately, Tern’s model delivers more business for shops, and a better experience to Tern’s customers.
Tern add: “The growth of digital is inevitably changing the way people discover and purchase new products. By working together with dealers, Tern plans to lead this change, while building cycling culture at the community level.”
The Tern Vektron retails for $3400 in the US. It will be priced between 2,999 EUR (GAS, BNLX, DK) and 3,300 EUR in Europe and begin shipping in Q1 2017.