Case Study:
Ptown Bikes

Ptown Bikes is one of Provincetown’s oldest and certainly its most comprehensive bicycle shop. Ptown Bikes opened its doors on April 1, 1995 with 55 rental bikes and has been continuously improving ever since. The rental fleet of standard and ebikes is meticulously maintained with new bikes added every year.

Owner Bill Meadows’ background was in education, and it shows in how he helps guide customers toward good decisions and pleasant rental experiences. It also shows in the longevity of his employees—the mechanic/general manager has been with Ptown Bikes for 20 years—and in the outstanding customer service offered to everyone who walks in the door.

Provincetown’s most comprehensive bike shop built its reputation on customer service leveraging its physical retail location and online reservation system.

Ptown Bikes Phone

Case Study:
Ptown Bikes

Ptown Bikes Phone
Ptown Bikes is one of Provincetown’s oldest and certainly its most comprehensive bicycle shop. Ptown Bikes opened its doors on April 1, 1995 with 55 rental bikes and has been continuously improving ever since. The rental fleet of standard and ebikes is meticulously maintained with new bikes added every year.

Owner Bill Meadows’ background was in education, and it shows in how he helps guide customers toward good decisions and pleasant rental experiences. It also shows in the longevity of his employees—the mechanic/general manager has been with Ptown Bikes for 20 years—and in the outstanding customer service offered to everyone who walks in the door.

Provincetown’s most comprehensive bike shop built its reputation on customer service leveraging its physical retail location and online reservation system.

Ptown Bikes 1

The Audience

Ptown Bikes’ audience includes tourists and visitors interested in long and short-term bicycle/ebike rentals, bicycle enthusiasts looking for local trail information, visitors and local residents considering a bicycle purchase, and anyone in need of bicycle repairs or servicing.

The Problem

Ptown Bikes came to ptownie with a need for an updated mobile responsive website. Its original website was outdated in visuals and functionality, cutting the average user experience short. The internal pages seemed to be left untouched after entering the insufficient homepage. The ptownie team knew there would be an incredible amount of improvement in site performance after the addition of modernized, effective branding and a more informational yet minimal homepage. The owner requested the ability to update content easily and deliver customers an adequate method of booking bike reservations before and during visits to Provincetown, expanding the online reservation system for better client interactions and smoother scheduling.

Ptown Bikes decided to keep its original logo but rebrand its website, ads, social media, and email campaigns. This decision would result in better interaction with clients, successfully targeted ads, online visibility, and a secure website for user data.

An additional problem was the general digital marketing outreach. There was very little online social media presence, with no social media management, and no email marketing component to the mix. Finally, the company needed uniform branding and narrative across all platforms (website, social media marketing, email marketing, and advertising).

The goal was better interactions with customers (including the assurance of data security), better online visibility, and more targeted ads.

The Solution

ptownie was able to solve Ptown Bikes’ problem through:

  • website design and development (font selection, color theory, etc.) for a fully responsive SEO-ready site
  • monthly social media management (design and narrative)
  • graphic design rebranding (kept the same logo but rebranded their overall look)
  • content writing and editing, including email marketing (including newsletter template design, content creation, and copywriting)
  • product photography
  • advertising package with graphic design included
Ptown Bikes 2

The Process

Ptown Bikes and ptownie consulted through each of the following steps:

  1. Project kickoff/discovery
    • research and user insight with mood board
    • design concepts/prototyping through mockups
    • website development (webflow/stock imagery/copywriting)
    • user testing and site staging
    • launch finalization and added pop-up
  2. Started with industry-specific information
    • didn’t feel designs identified with Ptown Bikes or differentiated it
    • looked for inspiration from travel/lifestyle/retail sites
    • simpler design that relied more on color and font than images
    • dark vs light, same layouts
    • ultimately decided on light: fun, happy, vacation, summer, ocean, warm, LGBTQ
    • applied design package from site to all other print/digital mediums

The Options

The owner of Ptown Bikes requested the continued use of the original logo, leaving our design team with a minor existing starting point. After deciding on a target audience and specified user goals, the research sought industry-specific information. The first round of designs created based on other bike retailers concluded as ineffective to the twist of Provincetown that the company wanted to display. The designs weren’t identified with the fun-loving, adventurous feel of Provincetown or Ptown Bikes, nor did it help the company stand out. The design team went back to the drawing board by researching sites that had simpler design, relying more on color and font than imagery. Ptownie offered a dark layout and a light layout, with Ptown Bikes ultimately deciding on light to keep their original goal of the terms, fun, happy, vacation, summer, ocean, warm, LGBTQ+. Following the final decision of the style guide for the website, the same branding was applied to all of the other print and digital media platforms. The other services provided were SEO (search engine optimization), friendly copywriting, a contract for monthly social media management, a revamped template and monthly content for its email newsletter, and an advertising package.

Ptown Bikes 3

The Constraints

Generally speaking, constraints included:

  • need to use existing logo
  • need to help build new mailing list due to privacy/CAN-SPAM/GDPR
  • site/project started in winter months. Hard to get good photos/videos
  • site needed to be online in March

That said, there were very few constraints and limitations. This client was very open and easy to work with.

Aside from the first speed bump of the website mockups and having to use their original logo as a reference, there were many other obstacles along the way. The website was built in Ptown Bikes’ offseason, leaving our design team with no time for updating photos due to local changes in weather. The website needed to be ready in March of 2019 and Ptown Bikes had some professional photos already, but they failed to assist the new branding because of the lack of lighting and bright coloring that the new site needed to revolve around. Thankfully, the client was very open and great to work with so there were fewer constraints than expected.

The Validation

The social media management has proven to be a success in just one month with over 20 new followers, and positive growth in all aspects (likes, views, comments, shares, etc.). The Mailchimp email newsletter has been sent out twice so far with a total of 1,395 opens and 111 clicks on links within it. The newest newsletter alone had 82 clicks to the Ptown Bikes reservations page and the ptownie advertising package also pushed the statistics with Ptown Bikes ads displaying on the high-traffic ptownie local news webpage. Ptown Bikes has seen an increase in online reservations, an increase in inquiries via the website, and an increase in overall site traffic.

Data received from:

  1. social media
    • likes
    • views
    • shares
    • followers
    • engagement
  2. Mailchimp
    • click-thrus
    • open rates
    • subscribers
  3. site traffic via ptownie
Ptown Bikes 4

The Next Steps

Because of the success of the launch of Ptown Bikes’ new branding and new/improved digital services, the work continues for additional options many ways. Ptownie provides the company’s social media and its quarterly newsletter, monitors all analytics, stays up-to-date with website maintenance and content updates, designs updates based on user experience with all platforms, and facilitates the group they have joined (via ptownie) to collaborate with other local businesses in “Businesses for Provincetown.”

Specific next steps include:

  • continued monthly social media
  • continued quarterly newsletter
  • exploring an increase in frequency of interactions (email marketing, social media marketing)
  • monitoring all analytics
  • site maintenance and content updates
  • yearly data-driven design updates
  • overall revenue/profit increase
  • increase in positive reviews on Google and Facebook