the ebike market is getting bigger and bigger, attracts more and more competitors, creates exciting products and business models, and usually comes at a rather upscale price point, creating rather upscale profits. so far, so good.
on the other hand, we‘re living in disruptive times, where markets change, business models falter and rules get redefined, not overnight but potentially within a season. there‘s a clear need to be highly attentive, and that in times when the economy is actually doing pretty well.
so, what if... what if the economy slows down? what if i.e. politics go wild and drive the economy into a recession? how will the ebike market react? will there still be a demand for this product category?
yes, ebikes are lifestyle. and yes, they are lots of fun. but let‘s face it – with the exception of seniors or business applications - ebikes are rather seldom seen as a real must-have. chances are high, that they will be amongst the first products, that will fall off the shopping list. so, what then? which market segments will still be in demand? which ones will become more relevant and which new ones could arise? which new services and business models could be answering the changing needs and priorities?
i believe that rational and functional needs become the key purchase drivers. the emotional brand staging, the cool design – factors that have quite an influence on today's purchase decisions, will be downgraded to ‚nice to haves‘. price-value, reliability, the right functionality, service quality or the fitting financing model, will become key criteria when it comes down to which product or service to decide on.
will the big players of today also be the big players of tomorrow? will the average ebike price drop down to half of where it is now? will the average battery capacity drop just as much or double? will we see new financing options? will the main distribution channel still be bike dealers, or will it be a mobility-app, that provides your e-mobility in the format and price point you want at that very specific moment?
there are plenty of variables in that simple question! creating almost as many possible scenarios ...