Going Direct-to-Consumer and Investing in Experience Helped INTENSE Get Their Brand in Gear

Case Study | 3 mins

INTENSE LLC has always been at the forefront when it comes to innovation and technical prowess, offering a full range of top-of-the-line mountain, trail, and cross-country bikes. In 2017, the 25 year-old brand launched an innovative direct-to-consumer online sales program called Rider Direct. Once INTENSE started selling direct to consumers online, they had a new challenge: thinking like a retailer.

The mountain and trail bike market had evolved as new digitally native, direct-to-consumer brands increased competition and shifted consumer expectations. INTENSE knew they had to stand out based on more than their pedigree. Customers have become increasingly channel agnostic and experience focused, and INTENSE had the opportunity to build stronger connections with customers.

In just three months, INTENSE expanded their brand reach and found new customers beyond their dealer footprint.

Challenge: Reach a wider customer base with direct-to-consumer online sales and retailer partnerships, and get these new customers to convert while promoting the INTENSE brand.

Solution: Amplify the success of their direct-to-consumer program with Bread’s customizable, white-labeled, pay-over-time financing options to encourage more customers to try entry-level models, or upgrade to higher-end options.

With the help of Bread’s Merchant Success Team, INTENSE was able to get up and running in time for Memorial Day—the start of their busy season.

"Our goals were pretty simple: Let the customer decide how they want to buy, and make it as easy as possible for them to do so."

Jennifer Gabrielli
Chief Rider Experience Officer, INTENSE LLC

Experience Drives Conversions

To succeed in the ecommerce space, INTENSE needed clear messaging and a strong, branded buyer journey that would get customers to convert. That meant investing in awareness and highlighting the brand’s downhill racing heritage and prestige to new customers, all while providing a great shopping experience.

One of their biggest successes has been improving their customer service, addressing buyers’ needs quickly and personally online and over the phone. Now they’re obsessed with not just helping make the sale, but supporting the customer before and after they’ve received their bike to cement their loyalty and encourage repeat business.

It was crucial for INTENSE’s brand to be foremost in customers’ minds—and Bread’s highly customizable, white label program helped make that a reality. Now shoppers can check their financing rate while still on INTENSE’s site in just a few seconds, without worrying about it impacting their credit score. 77% of customers check their rates from the product page, with 18% checking from their shopping cart, and only 5% waiting until checkout. More than 60% of their site-browsing is on mobile, so a responsive buying process was essential. With Bread, INTENSE can even target customers who have larger orders with special financing rates. Customers who abandon carts with a value over $5,000 are targeted with a special 36-month interest bearing rate. This targeted financing offer currently carries the largest monthly checkout volume out of all of their financing products. With Bread, it’s easier than ever for INTENSE to understand their customer behavior and turn abandoned cart into recovered revenue.

Where INTENSE Customers are Checking Their Financing Rates

Now customers are thinking about financing throughout the buyer’s journey, upping INTENSE’s conversion rate and growing their bottom line.

"It wasn’t easy at first, but since we’ve adopted an experience culture internally, our NPS scores are now up there with some of the best in our category. Now we’re thinking about the customer experience long after their bike has left the warehouse."

Jon-Erik “Jeb” Burleson
Board of Directors, INTENSE LLC

Supercharging DTC Growth with Financing

Since partnering with Bread, financing contributes up to 32% of their total sales. The 24-month interest-bearing plan carries the majority of the sales volume at 47.2%. With Bread, INTENSE LLC are reaching new customers and working with their local dealers to get more cyclists than ever on the trail.