Case Study: The Bike Revolution

Building a digital presence that translates online visits to in-person rentals.

The Bike Revolution is a downtown San Diego bike shop with a primary focus on bike rentals of all kinds. They approached us in 2015 about how to capitalize on their already-impressive search engine presence and build a website that reflected the high level of their products and service. A premiere bike shop deserves a premium website.

There were several clear cut goals for the project: they wanted to increase their bike rental business and build brand recognition and loyalty. “We want to be thought of as THE place to rent bikes in San Diego,” was the mandate from Scott Rollins, owner of The Bike Revolution. In addition, they wanted to gain traction in the area of bike sales, especially of used bikes.

“We want to be THE place to rent bikes in San Diego.”

We started the project the same way we begin everything: create content first, and start with the root of the story. By starting with the content that would eventually be destined for the “About” page, we were able to establish the themes that would run through both the voice of the content, as well as the visual language of the design. With frequent Noble Narrative collaborator Aaron Hurst leading the content charge, we established content that would not only help users select a bike rental shop, but showcase why The Bike Revolution is the best choice no matter what type of bike you’d like to rent.

The Bike Revolution homepage
The Bike Revolution home page puts the focus on squarely on establishing the shop as the best rental option in town.

As part of the project, The Bike Revolution had selected Bike Rental Manager (BRM) to provide users with a way to make rental reservations directly from the website. It was our job to create a design that helped funnel users into making those decisions. With the content created for each kind of rental available, creating strong calls to action from within that content gave users an easy way to reserve the right bike for their needs. With BRM slated to release a responsive version of their product in 2016, the integration will provide an even better user experience for’s mobile users.

To help build brand recognition and loyalty, part of our focus for every section of the website was to make sure that the knowledge The Bike Revolution’s staff was used to help connect online with potential customers. Nowhere on the site was this more intentional than in the “Where to Ride” section, a category of the blog that’s also highlighted as its own top-level navigation item. By providing information on local casual, mountain, and road bike routes, staff knowledge is made available to the cycling community who may have never set foot in the shop – yet. This simultaneously increases brand recognition, acts as ongoing content strategy, and frees up in-person shop time for staff members who can now point to the website as resource customers can take with them.

So at the end of the day, what did all this work lead to? Despite El Nino wrecking a bit of havoc on the entire industry, as per Rollins, the engagement numbers from the new website are incredibly promising. After just 90 days, year over year:

+17%Increase in page views
+27%Increase in pages per session
-12%Reduction in bounce rate
+41%Increase in session duration
+25%increase in return visits

Users who enter the site “Where to Ride” section, a lynchpin in our strategy for the new site, spend an average of almost 5 minutes on the site and view almost 4 pages per visit, well above the averages in each category. This is exactly the kind of traction we wanted to gain for The Bike Revolution by putting the knowledge of its staff members to use.

Feedback from both staff members at The Bike Revolution and its customers has been good, with Rollins commenting that they’ve received several unsolicited customer compliments regarding the website. More importantly, it seems to be helping set up customers for success: “Our customers are coming in better informed on the rental process. The site is a great resource for them to plan their routes.”

The Bike Revolution now has a platform that tells their story as San Diego’s best shop to rent bikes from. They have a platform that allows them to continually share their knowledge with the SD cycling community, and build an engaged core of users around their site. Tell a great story, share what you know, and your users will come back time and time again.

"Our customers are coming in better informed on the rental process. The site is a great resource."