Biking benefits business because:

  • Bike users are great customers
  • Bike use is growing
  • Bike use benefits everyone

Stop and Shop

Cycling potentially boosts retail spend.  People who cycle have been found to be more likely to stop and visit shops more often, and to spend more money at those shops over time, than people who drive.   That is despite spending marginally less per trip.  Source NZTA 2013

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How did you get here?

Retailers often overestimate how many people drive to their stores, after all you can’t tell just by looking at someone whether they drove or not.  And who do those cars in the car park belong to?  your customers (or someone else’s), or you and your staff?

A study from Wellington showed that only 6% of shoppers on Tory Street were using the car parks along that street.  Beetham 2014.

An Auckland survey looking at K-Road transport habits found that, although retailers thought 41% of their customers would arrive by private vehicle, only 17% did.

retailshoppingbymode-bristol-768x391
Image from Sustrans

Space Race

Car-parking may not be as important as we think.

An Australian study found that switching one car park to six bike parking spaces could create an increase in retail spend related to that space, from $27 per hour to $97.20 per hour.

bike-parking-vs_14732969_4da9160c32d46a8fb3a0e5a4bdd1b6ec87bbec2e

Foot Traffic Boosts Sales

The results from overseas are conclusive: bringing more bike users to an area increases retail sales.

Retailers spend a lot of time and effort trying to get customers in their door – often referred to as foot traffic.  For smaller operators, who don’t have huge marketing budgets, foot traffic is hugely important.

People who bike are moving slower.  They are foot traffic so they see your display, read your sign, smell your coffee and get your message.  And it’s easier for them to safely stop and pop into your shop….  and once they are in the door your chances of making a sale are greatly improved.

I Bike, I Shop. Bikes Welcome
Image Credit: NZ Transport Agency – CC4; modified

New Customers

Visitor sales are an important way to boost business.  Think about the boost in sales tourists bring in: cruise ships, tour buses….. cycle trails!  Cycling is a popular recreational activity.  Many weekend riders will focus their choice of route on their favourite coffee and lunch stops, and the best places will have many a bike and hungry cyclist out front.

In 2015 the Otago Central Rail Trail contributed an estimated $5.2 million and 100 jobs to the local economy.

Loyal and Local

As well as the boost from attracting visitors, every business needs its ‘bread and butter’ customers.  Those loyal, regular and repeat customers who you can rely on week in and week out.  Bike users favour local shops and shop more often.

Frequency of shopping trips by mode in NZ cities - compare car with bike (c/ NZTA)

“High streets have got a really important place in the heart of the community and there’s always going to be a place for bricks-and-mortar retail.” Greg Harford, NZ Retail.

Bikes Welcome: Bike Local. Shop Local
Image Credit: NZ Transport Agency – CC4; modified

Referral Power

Bike users tell their cycling friends about good places to shop and eat.

“They’re a good crowd to work with.  There is a tight community of bicyclists.  You make one person happy, and you make 10 people happy” Jeff Keffer, Austin House Cafe, Portland

More to Spend

People who cycle have more money to spend at your business because they spend less on fuel, repairs and parking for their car.  After housing and food, transport is the biggest household expense, and most of that is spent on private cars.  Cycling saves people money to spend in their local communities.

I bike. I buy. Bikes Welcome
Image Credit: NZ Transport Agency – CC4; modified

Benefits for your other customers

People on bikes are freeing up road and parking space for people who don’t bike.  “Urban cyclists are a desirable demographic for local businesses. They are skilled, selective, loyal, and spend more money where they shop than their driving counterparts. Cycling infrastructure is important to them, and therefore important for businesses who want to attract them (both as customers and as employees). Bicycle lanes and bicycle parking can increase the capacity of roads and the ability of people to shop simultaneously, all while improving various social and environmental aspects of a neighbourhood.”

The Big Picture: Health, Economy, Environment

Bike Use has significant benefits for our health, economy and environment.


Do you want to know more? Here are some of our Blog Posts about the business benefits of biking :

Hello, I’m your customer!

Customers and Car Parks

What is #quaxing?

Cycle tourism is good for business

Nine Reasons to Create a Bicycle Friendly Business District

Bikes mean business

Bikes and Burgers

How many coffee cards do you have in your wallet?

7 Reasons to make your business bike friendly

Businesses Benefit from Cycling Customers

External Links:

Benefits of Investing in Cycling – NZTA.  Benefits of investing in cycling in New Zealand communities [PDF, 1.5 MB] provides information about the key benefits of investing in cycling, for councils, communities and individuals.
Bicycles are good for business information sheet from Australia’s Cycle Promotion Fund

Do the sums: bicycle-friendly changes are good business, Melbourne May 2016.  This article references other articles and studies on the business benefits of cycling.