America's Shifting Interest in Bikes

Did you know May is National Bike Month? The League of American Bicyclists chose this month, one which signals warmer weather and a return to the outdoors for many Americans, to celebrate getting outside and on a bike.

The third week of the month is designated as National Bike to Work Week, with that Friday holding the title of National Bike to Work Day, which is meant to encourage Americans to keep the car in the garage for their commute and instead take the bike out for a spin.

As the leader in global ecommerce acceleration, we’re constantly curious about the forces that shift in consumer behavior, which helps brands know how to forecast demand for their products, inform product design, and influence marketing strategy.

So, to celebrate National Bike to Work Day, we decided to do a deep dive into the online demand for bicycles and bicycle supplies to answer:

  • When does the most online shopping for bikes and bike gear happen?
  • Which types of bikes and bike gear see the most online demand?
  • Did COVID-19 impact demand for bicycles and bicycle gear?

To find the answers, our data science team analyzed Amazon market demand for bicycles and bicycle gear over the past three years.

Key Findings for Brands:

  • Demand for bicycles and bicycle gear is highest during spring and early summer
    • Mountain and road bike demand is highest during early spring
    • Bike trainer demand is highest in January (resolutions season)
    • Demand for e-bikes surged by 106% during Amazon Prime week 2021
  • COVID-19 had a huge impact on demand for bicycles and bicycle gear
    • Demand for new bicycles of all types was up big in 2020, but returned to at or below pre-pandemic levels in 2021
    • Since the pandemic, demand for bike tires has increased year-over-year
    • Bike jersey demand spiked by 86% during the Tour de France

Let’s dig into the data.

When is Market Demand Highest?

To start out, we wanted to see when Americans are most often shopping for new bikes, helmets, tires, etc. So we examined weekly demand for bicycles and bicycle gear in 2021 and the first few months of 2022.

Demand is low to start the year, and then quickly picks up in early spring. It stays consistently high from April through June, before it starts a slow decline, hitting a low point during the winter months.

The holiday shopping season may be huge for all sorts of items, but clearly not bicycles and bicycle gear.

2022 has brought an even sharper climb from February to March, although that’s more due to January and February of 2022 being much slower than those months were in 2021.

But, do all types of bicycles and gear experience the same seasonal demand? Let’s dig a little deeper.

In 2021, mountain bikes were far and away the most popular item in our analysis. They’re so popular they drew more than twice as much demand last year as road bikes, the second most popular type of bike in the analysis.

Unsurprisingly, universally important types of bike gear are also extremely popular, with bike racks, bike pumps, helmets, and bike shorts all landing the top five most in-demand items.

E-Bikes, a popular new type of bicycle which offers a pedal-assisted electrical boost, fell behind road bikes and just ahead of tricycles.

Next, let’s compare some of these items to see if and how seasonal demand might differ between them.

When is Market Demand Highest by Type?

Let’s start by comparing changes in demand for different types of bicycles:

Springtime is significant for most of the types of bicycles in our analysis, with the major exception being bike trainers, which saw the bulk of their demand come during New Year’s Resolution season early last year.

E-bikes, meanwhile, relied heavily on Amazon Prime Day to drive the bulk of their demand last year, with demand spiking by 106% during the week of the shopping holiday.

Demand for mountain bikes peaks a few weeks earlier than their road bike counterparts, peaking in mid-March as opposed to early April.

Mountain bike demand drops below average a bit earlier in the year than road bikes, but it does see a brief resurgence around New Year.

Tricycles saw the most consistent demand throughout the year, and, unsurprisingly, was the type that saw the biggest holiday shopping bump.

Now let’s take the same view of some popular types of bike gear.

Bike pumps see the first big spike in demand, with a huge surge coming in the final weeks of February.

The rest of the gear in our analysis saw demand steadily climb in early spring, but there’s clearly a more consistent level of demand throughout the summer months for bike gear, as opposed to the bikes themselves, which definitely rely more on early spring.

Bike racks and bike shorts both experienced their biggest weeks of the year during Prime Day, while cycling jerseys clearly rode a huge wave of popularity during the Tour de France.

COVID-19 Impact on Demand for Bicycles and Bicycle Gear

It’s clear that there are significant seasonal trends when it comes to bikes and gear alike, but one thing we noticed in all of the graphs above is that spring 2022 so far has had a slower start than the same time in 2021.

That naturally led us to wonder if 2021 was a particularly big year for biking, and if that was something the pandemic might have driven.

Let’s start by examining the weekly demand once more, but this time starting in January 2020.

The earliest weeks of the pandemic fell during what we now know to be the busy season for bicycles and bicycle gear, but this is clear evidence that demand was particularly high as Americans found themselves staying at home and avoiding public places.

COVID-19 Impact Month over Month

Taking a monthly view allows us to go back even further, so here’s how each month compares starting back in 2019:

Here we see even more evidence that the pandemic brought a massive surge in demand for bicycles and bicycle gear. The first few months of 2020 saw demand at levels nearly identical to 2019, but May and June saw monthly demand increase by 28% over the same months in 2019.

Naturally, we wanted to see if different types of bicycles and bicycle gear experienced different pandemic-related changes in demand.

Bike wheels saw the biggest increase in year-over-year demand from 2019 to 2020, with bike tires also not far behind.

Hybrid bikes and mountain bikes both experienced the largest increase for a specific type of bike, while bike trainers weren’t far behind.

Just about every category saw higher annual demand in 2020 than in 2019, with only bike racks and training wheels seeing demand decrease.

For a clearer picture, let’s wrap up with a closer year-over-year view of some of these categories.

Mountain bikes and road bikes both had a huge 2020, with demand surging in the spring and remaining comparatively high throughout the entire year.

2021, meanwhile, saw demand fall behind pre-pandemic levels for road bikes, while mountain bikes enjoyed a strong spring in 2021, but saw demand return to match pre-pandemic levels.

Bike trainers, meanwhile, saw a massive early spike in demand, leaping to a 120% increase in April 2020 vs. April 2019, as millions of people looked to sort out in-home training options during the beginning of the pandemic.

Demand stayed high throughout 2020, but once again we see 2021 with demand falling at or below 2019’s levels, and 2022 has seen demand reach new lows.

This all suggests that when it came to big-ticket purchases like a new bike, people splurged during the first year of the pandemic, and so we’ve seen an increasingly lower demand for those items each following year.

Although, one big ticket item has had a strong start to 2022:

E-bikes, which didn’t get nearly as huge a bump during the early pandemic, are enjoying a relatively strong start to this year, with demand in March of 2022 outpacing that month from any of the previous years.

COVID-19 Impact on Demand for Different Types of Bicycle Gear

While most types of bicycles saw demand surge in 2020 and then dwindle each following year, that doesn’t mean that cycling is dwindling in popularity. So let’s take this same view for types of bicycle gear.

Here we see more evidence that people are still biking plenty, even though they’re not necessarily in the market for a brand new bike.

The pandemic clearly brought a surge in demand for bike tires, although it didn’t pop up until later in the summer, some months after that initial pandemic surge in demand for new bikes.

2021, meanwhile, stayed consistently ahead of pre-pandemic levels throughout the year, while so far 2022 has seen monthly demand at its highest levels of any previous year.

Bike shorts have also seen demand remain high each year since the pandemic, with demand reaching an all-time high in summer 2021.

The year-over-year view of demand for bike jerseys serves to reinforce the relationship between the Tour de France and demand for this item, as the event was postponed from its usual July date to late September in 2020, which is when we see demand peak that year.

Not all types of gear have enjoyed year-over-year growth, however. Bike helmets, which aren’t as much of a frequent replacement item as tires, have seen trends match closer to the demand for bikes themselves.

A Lesson for Brands

Understanding the factors that influence consumer behavior can help brands better understand how to forecast demand for their products on online marketplaces, and even inform product design and marketing strategy.

Our data shows bicycles and gear surges in popularity as the weather gets nicer, but different types of bikes and bike gear hit their high points at different times of the year.

There’s also very clear evidence that people invested in new bicycles during the first months and year of the pandemic, which has seen fewer and fewer people in the market for an expensive new bike. However, many of those people are still out riding their new bikes, which means more people are in the market for new tires, a new helmet, or other types of cycling gear.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can best leverage our data to help your brand win online, holiday or not, schedule a demo today.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360]( Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance]( Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times]( [Read more on the Guardian]( One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](
Aug 30, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](
Aug 23, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](