Yamaha launches new online sales for its electric bikes

Yamaha has been around longer than just about anyone in the electric bike space. In fact, they just celebrated the 30-year anniversary since launching the first production electric bike in the world. But don’t think that an old dog can’t learn new bike tricks. Because just like how Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles keeps pumping out innovative new e-bikes and drivetrains, now the company is launching an entirely new sales model bringing direct-to-consumer selling into its operations.

The company just revealed its new online sales platform this morning, allowing customers to compare and purchase its wide range of urban, fitness, and off-road e-bikes directly from its website.

With models ranging from the mid US $2,000s to $6,000s, Yamaha’s e-bikes aren’t the typical bikes you’ll find being sold online. Direct-to-consumer sales represent a large part of the US e-bike market, but are mostly limited to lower cost e-bikes, often in the $1,000-$2,000 range.

Higher-end electric bikes can occasionally be found through direct-to-consumer channels but are much more frequently sold through a dealer network. The shift to online sales has often been viewed warily by many dealers who see it as a potentially large loss of revenue.

In this case, Yamaha’s system is designed to offer the best of both worlds: online shopping and dealer integration. Customers get to browse, compare, and purchase Yamaha’s e-bikes online, yet those bikes are first delivered to a local Yamaha e-bike dealer to be professionally assembled before being provided to the customer. That jumpstarts the dealer relationship and gives riders access to professional support whenever they need maintenance or repairs.

yamaha ydx-moro e-bike

Unlike with typical online sales, the local Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles dealer actually becomes the dealer of record for the e-bike, giving riders a local face (and shop) to turn to whenever necessary. Customers can even select which local dealer they prefer to receive and assemble their e-bike. Some of the dealers offer delivery, while others will require the e-bike to be picked up in person.

As Drew Engelmann, Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles’ national sales and marketing manager, explained, the new system is designed to strengthen that dealer relationship.

While many companies may offer an e-commerce sales platform, they often neglect the crucial role provided by their dealers. At Yamaha, we believe in the power of partnership and collaboration with our dealers, and we recognize the vital role our dealers play in the customer experience.

Marcos Acosta, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA general manager of digital transformation, continued:

We are very proud to provide a truly exceptional pathway to explore, select, and bring home our customers’ perfect ride with the roll-out of this new e-commerce option. We’ve harnessed the power of digital transformation to elevate our customers’ experience and connection with our Yamaha brand.

Electrek’s Take

I like this hybrid model, as it seems like a win-win. There are a lot of people that feel more comfortable shopping from their computer screen than in a showroom.

But at the same time, many of those same riders don’t feel comfortable taking tools to their several-thousand-dollar e-bike. So being able to have the ease of online shopping followed by the confidence of dealer support sounds like a great combination.

Yamaha may have only entered the US e-bike market in 2017, but the company has built and delivered over 5 million e-bikes worldwide. So having that kind of backing combined with an extra local presence is definitely going to offer some real peace of mind for riders of more premium e-bikes.

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