How 'Marginal Gains' Theory was Applied to Always Riding's Ecommerce

30th June 2016

The Tour de France might be kicking off this weekend but we’ve had cycling on the brain in more ways than one.

Our client, Always Riding, are cycling experts and we love working with them because like us (and Team Sky for that matter), they never settle for ‘good enough’, they’re always on the look-out for ways to improve what they offer their customers. Whether they’re big league bikers, city cyclists or total two wheel novices.

We built the team at Always Riding a website that tells their story, shows off their fresh cycling products in all their glory, and is a breeze to buy from; and so far, it’s served them, and their customers very well indeed. But in ecommerce, as in other fields, you can always do more.

We’ve been talking a lot about the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’ theory recently, as famously adopted by Dave Brailsford, the former Performance Director of British cycling. His schtick was that if you want to be the best you can be, you have to look for improvements in every single area, no matter how seemingly insignificant. From the way athletes wash their hands to the amount of dust in the team truck. And you can’t really argue with 16 gold medals garnered from the last two Olympics and three British Tour de France triumphs!

So how was this theory applied to their ecommerce?

We’ve worked closely with Always Riding’s team to make a number of improvements to their site in the last few weeks and they’re already starting to see the benefits; those all important marginal gains. We started with:

– Dedicated local URLs – for example instead of for their Japanese customers. This almost imperceptible change adds huge SEO value in local markets whilst still keeping one single Magento installation.

– Algolia search algorithm on AJAX search – ‘as you type’ smart search results, so customers get instant, relevant results from the second they start typing.

– Scarcity messages – really useful because it means whatever product page a customer is on, they can select a size, find out how many are left in stock and how quickly they can get it delivered. And crucially for Always Riding’s sales figures, a feature like this can help nudge those indecisive shoppers along from browser to buyer.

– Live Chat – One of Always Riding’s biggest strengths is that they don’t just sell top of the range cycling products, they know everything about them too. That’s why we added Live Chat to the site, so there’s someone always on hand to answer their questions, just like in any high street store.

– Shoppable Instagram – A great way to engage customers and maintain their loyalty. This feature gives customers the chance to win their Always Riding order back in ‘Rider Points’ and all they have to do is use #alwaysridingcc when posting instas in their Always Riding gear, whether it’s up a mountain or at the local park.

All of these ‘little’ things improve the website’s user experience, brand loyalty, and ultimately, sales. As Team Sky know all too well, marginal gains can lead to big victories, so good luck to them over the next month and if you’re feeling inspired by the Tour de France, you know where to get your cycling gear from!

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