US-based national motorcycle equipment retailer Cycle Gear has announced a new program that integrates its online purchasing system with its brick-and-mortar stores.

Under the new arrangement, customers will now be able to visit the CycleGear.com website to browse the company’s selection. If they find something they like, they’re able to then check availability in their local Cycle Gear store. If the location has the desired equipment or riding gear in stock, the customer can then reserve it, then visit the store later to actually try it on for fit, discuss it with a store staff member, or just pay for it and ride off.

It’s a smart retail tactic, and similar to what’s seen from other much larger retailers outside the motorcycle gear segment. It’s an especially canny move for Cycle Gear, though, because it allows the company to take full advantage of its range of retail outlets across the country (around 150 stores in 36 states). While there are other major players in the online motorcycle parts and accessories retail business, none of them offer the ability to enter a local brick-and-mortar store to check out gear in person before purchasing. Sure, a good return policy is helpful, but ordering something too big or too small is still a hassle. Cycle Gear’s new program will hopefully allow more riders to get their hands on gear that fits “just right.”

As web retail grabs an ever-larger share of consumer spending, more and more customers are also experiencing the problems with online purchasing, and in coming years, we’d expect more and more ideas like this to come to the moto-scene. Online parts and accessories purchased installed by pre-authorized mechanics, who receive the shipments straight from the retailer, and install them when you drop off your bike? Don’t be surprised if that’s next.

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