With three stores nationwide and a substantial online presence, Sigma Sports is established as one of the leading UK road bike and triathlon retailers.
The journey has been spectacular, and we have been along for the ride since 2011, providing the technology that runs their entire retail operation.
Working together for over a decade, we have achieved incredible things. Sigma Sports have grown and changed dramatically. One store became three, multiple front-end websites have been launched, as well as a recently-established trade arm - all underpinned by multiple distribution centres replenishing store stock and fulfilling consumer and wholesale orders.
The truth is that we could produce dozens of case studies exploring our work for Sigma Sports, and we may well do in time, but for now, we will provide you with a detailed overview of our relationship and give you an insight into some of the key success drivers that we have delivered over the years.
We collaborate with Sigma Sports on a roadmap of new website features and updates, continually improving the user experience across multiple websites, including new eBike venture: Evolve eBikes
To stand still is to fall behind, as they say, so we ensure that there is always dedicated resource in place to implement the latest techniques and requirements, maintaining conversion rate and UX at the highest possible level.
Sigma Sports really use our platform to its full potential and tap into every capability to drive their eCommerce operation forward.
Order fulfilment, customer management, product information, multi-channel selling, marketing content and reporting are all facilitated through our software. We also provide cloud-based, integrated EPOS systems for their three UK stores.
Over the years, we have worked on several advanced warehouse and inventory management features to ensure that our platform scales in line with Sigma Sports’ growth and requirements.
They have the ability to fast-track new inventory into the business, automatically schedule stock replenishment, generate optimised picking routes across the warehouse and much more.
Rather than take on extra staff that may not be required in quieter, off-peak winter months, we were challenged to fix the problem by improving the efficiency of booking in new inventory.
Our Solution: Fast-track goods in
Sigma Sports work with a variety of huge manufacturers, at scale, so extensive purchase orders are generated frequently.
Let's say, for example, that a re-stock of 1,000 inner tubes is required. Our platform allows staff to raise that purchase order from within the system, and this will automatically notify the inner tube supplier of Sigma Sports' requirements. What's more, the supplier's confirmation and advanced shipment notice (ASN) is also automatically uploaded into the platform. With staff notified of this, they are already one step before the delivery arrives.
The goods are processed into the warehouse via handheld scanners. Everything is scanned once, straight out of the pallet, with the system checking the following criteria:
- Can an inventory be located within our platformwith the barcode provided?
- Does the supplier for this delivery match one of the suppliers for this item?
- Are there any open purchase orders for this item and supplier?
If any of the above checks fail, the handheld will emit an audible warning sound along with a clear message detailing the reason for failure. Once the process is marked as completed on the handheld, a delivery note is logged into Sigma’s eCommerce installation for future use.
We have also built a discrepancy management system into this process so that any incomplete orders can be cross-referenced with the original ASN and suppliers can be notified of the mistake.
Our platform's power lies in its flexibility, we are able to optimise the features and functionality to suit different industry needs. Over our many years of working together with Sigma Sports we have launched several advanced inventory, warehouse and customer management features, such as the ability to fast track goods into the business, which we discuss above.
This is reinforced by:
- Custom inventory creation and uploader interface to allow for quicker updates.
- Custom management of box stock, such as nutrition bars
- Custom picking and scanning functionality.
- Custom tax rules for VAT-exempt products based on customer-requirements.
- Automatic stock transfers to replenish the picking warehouse from bulk storage, including automatic calculation of required stock levels for the above replenishment (based on current sales figures) and automatic scheduling of store replenishments on a daily basis.
- Reports showing current stock availability, purchasing targets per department and current open to buy values.
- Export of key data on a regular basis to drive custom reports.
Alongside their three brick-and-mortar stores, Sigma Sports also operate a dedicated bicycle service center in Esher, Surrey. Here, Sigma Sports’ workshop technicians assist with bike builds and run routine services.
The booking of these services has been integrated into the Sigma Sports website with a calendar to determine the available time slots for workshop services. The booking experience follows eCommerce best practices with users directed to purchase their preferred time slot. With the whole booking and payment process handled online, administration time is drastically reduced.
The Sigma Sports website also allows users to reserve and collect orders from their Hampton Wick and Kingston upon Thames (Electric Bike) stores.
The checkout page is configured to offer two primary CTAs:
- Checkout Now for Delivery
- Collect From One of our Stores
Customers are then required to pay a deposit to reserve their chosen bike, and we have provided Sigma Sports with a custom, handheld-driven picking process to allow for reserved orders to be picked and packed at the warehouse and shipped to the store for collection.
Sigma Sports offer a large inventory spanning hundreds of bikes fit for different purposes, budgets and tastes. Regardless of how many navigational UX best practices a website follows, if users arrive at the website without a specific product in mind, it can be a challenge for them to find one of that aligns with their requirements.
The Road Bike Wizard allows users to answer questions on how they intend to use their bike, their height, their preferred bicycle brands and their budget. Filtered results are then displayed for the user to browse, eliminating the irrelevant products and helping them focus entirely on products that may inspire them to purchase.
The Sigma Sports website utilises Algolia to provide a powerful, advanced site search experience. Using advanced algorithms and indexing techniques, the website is able to deliver accurate and instant search results, including typo-tolerance and personalised suggestions.
It enables users to autocomplete their search and gain instant, relevant results. Users can easily find the products they are looking for, even with typos or incomplete queries.
Furthermore, significant resource has been given to the filter system functionality to help users understand a complex catalogue of products. Users are able to filter bikes by over 15 different variables, with the quantity of filtered options demonstrated to the user before they apply the filter.
For the customer, a lot of thought goes into purchasing a new bicycle, and we understand that there may be moments along the purchasing journey where questions arise. That’s why support call-to-actions are regularly placed in front of the user, encouraging them to get in touch directly if they need help choosing a product.
Should these conversations progress into a conversion opportunity, Sigma Sports’ customer services team are able to build a basket on behalf of the customer they are serving, and fulfil price match requests if necessary.
This is then sent back to the customer so they can pay a deposit or complete the discussed purchase in full.
Offering finance at checkout for high-ticket items provides customers with the option to spread the cost over time, making the purchase more affordable and thus improving the conversion rate of the checkout process.
The Sigma Sports checkout process is integrated with PayPal and V12 finance options, reducing the barrier to entry for these often expensive products. A pop-up finance calculator is also offered to the user so they can understand how the process works.
Our platform allows customers to implement a variety of traditional and emerging online payment solutions, suiting a wide range of checkout needs.
Founder, Sigma Sports