I was appalled when I saw the results from J.D. Power and Associates’ latest bike buyer survey of about 8,000 new bike buyers – the largest survey of its kind. The fact is the percent of women new bike riders has not budged for the past four years — a shocking and unacceptable statistic.
Before I say what percent of new bike buyers are females, let me say it’s estimated that women determine 80 percent of all consumption in the United States. It doesn’t stop there. During the next decade, women are predicted to control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the United States, according to A.T. Kearney, an international consulting firm.
With those percentages in mind, consider this: Female riders made up only 12 percent of the new bike buyer population in 2009. To me, that’s pathetic. If the industry wants to grow, we’re going to have to tap into that market. How?
Intimidation is one of the main reasons women steer clear of the industry. The key is to make women feel comfortable, and lose the stereotypes. Our views need to be more accepting of the female demographic and their buying power. Both dealers and manufacturers need to start taking the female buyer more seriously. Otherwise the percent of new women bike buyers will continue to be essentially frozen, leaving trillions of dollars untouched.
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