How one man’s passion for blogging about cycling turned into Cycling Tips, a curated site that celebrates “the beauty of cycling.”
He started it in his kitchen in 2008; a blog to showcase his love of cycling. Then when CyclingTips gained traction in the community, Wade Wallace teamed with Marketplacer to add a thriving eCommerce element to his quality editorial content.
Nine years on and CyclingTips is now a recognised cycling media outlet publishing news, tech reviews, interviews, feature articles and tips about the great sport of cycling, complimented by their curated marketplace, Emporium, for niche cycling products.
A well-regarded online publication for the cycling community, CyclingTips covers a broad range of editorial – latest news, long-form articles, product reviews, personality profiles and high-quality visuals.
Beginning as a hobby blog with no intention of being an eCommerce solution, CyclingTips quickly traction, signing a few large contracts and with no shortage of web traffic. The challenge for CyclingTips was to introduce an eCommerce solution to complement their original revenue streams of ad sales and promotions.
Knowing their community extremely well, CyclingTips wanted to provide a curated range of products to suit and speak directly to their passionate community.
But with no space to hold stock, a traditional eCommerce strategy was not an option; a pure dropship strategy worked for some products but not so well for high-unit-price items. Instead, the site would need to employ an online marketplace strategy.
Seamlessly integrated with their editorial website, Cycling Tips launched Emporium, a curated marketplace featuring the best cycling brands and products from around the world, as chosen by CyclingTips.
The platform is self-administered – as CEO Wade Wallace says, the “brands are the ones who do the work in the back-end – where the more effort they put in, the more they get out.” And the API feeds ensure uploading products is a straightforward process.
Through the marketplace model, Emporium follows a dropship approach in that each brand fulfils orders directly – no need to hold stock means the marketplace can scale endlessly. Unlike traditional marketplaces which curate products from retailers, Emporium works directly with brands.
Embracing the committed nature of cycling enthusiasts, CyclingTips launched the membership-only VeloClub, giving members access to exclusive events, discounts and training tools.
CyclingTips now benefits from multiple revenue streams via media sales, promotions, memberships and product sales through Emporium.
The marketplace is able to capitalise on the sense of community and goodwill embraced by cycling enthusiasts. Emporium’s niche offerings and boutique brands fit perfectly with the clean design and high-quality content on the site, and the membership opportunities offered by VeloClub leverage that sense of belonging.
The CyclingTips success
What began as an Australian website has evolved into a global cycling media outlet, publishing news, tech reviews, interviews, feature articles and tips about the great sport of cycling. Today, there are currently 40,000 Velo Club members; the more members, the greater the discounts negotiated and the more benefits are offered.
The complimentary marketplace, Emporium, operates as a global eCommerce platform, selling and shipping curated cycling gear worldwide. Today, 70 brands are listing their products on Emporium, which receives around 30,000 visitors per month.
“We chose Marketplacer because it was everything we wanted in a platform for our shop. We liked being able to easily connect API feeds between us and the retailer, which makes it a very simple process to sign up and get their products online for a brand”
– Wade Wallace, founder and CEO, CyclingTips