Europe's Favorite Online Bike Seller Comes to the Land of Bike Shops
Remember the last time you bought a bike? Doesn't matter if that happened last week or for your 10th birthday, the experience in the U.S. hasn't changed all that much since the days of the Wright brothers: Walk into your nearest shop, test ride one of the few options in stock, walk out an hour later with a new bike and perhaps a helmet. The role of dealers, much as in the auto industry, hasn't been affected by the explosion of online shopping.
In Europe, however, one company has been doing things differently. Canyon has ditched the dealer model, in which a local bike shop commits to a mass order from a manufacturer and spends the rest of the year desperately trying to sell them all, in favor of selling to consumers over the internet. The company's performance-oriented bikes, sold at relatively low prices, aren't available anywhere else.
Bikes shops, good ones are there to fit the right bike to the person's abilities, what they want to use it for & budget, if you buy it online you don't have a person sizing it all up asking questions and doing on-the-bike fitting, maybe switch-outs of stem, basics like saddle-height & important things such as adjusting cleats on pedals for how they pedal bio-mechanically or inserts for people with unequal legs and so on.
That's how you sell local and endure as a bike shop not big box, the good ones do provide a service, if you know what fits & all online is fine, I can say getting fit properly is worth more to a rider than lighter stuff, and, custom frames are needed by many riders the off-the-shelf proportions don't always work.
My body doesn't fit OTS frames, short torso, long arms I suffered stiff necks and all for many years until my first custom frame ended that, I need a lot of pedal overlap on the front wheel that OTS frame mfg's don't want to do for general ridership can't blame them, yet, I rode track so willing to have it built and it was magic !
Also, there's a lot of mfg considerations for what is a seasonal industry now doing in-season releases that are really follow-ups of what becomes popular that year. Still, it's based upon the bike shows getting pre-orders to make initial supply-chain order volumes with lead-time to make them to arrive in spring, if you're doing low-volume high-priced bikes that's not the same business plan as small biz retail-service brick-n-mortar.