Vender of the Week: Rockets and Rascals

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Who: Rockets and Rascals

Where: Devon, England

The team at Rockets & Rascals are an incredibly passionate bunch, whether they’re fitting your bike correctly, taking you out on a group ride, or supporting you at a local competition – it’s safe to say they’ll have your back. More than just a bike shop with a cafe, Rockets & Rascals are their own little community, helping you to fall in love with cycling no matter what your previous experience.

How did your story begin?

Rockets & Rascals is a biycle emporium and cafe set in the historic Barbican district of Plymouth, United Kingdom. We sell high quality bicycles and serve up the city’s best cup of coffee, but our business also reaches out into the community. Our purpose is simply to get people to share our love for riding bikes. We kicked open the doors back in April 2013 and we’ve been really busy ever since, Plymouth had a few bike stores but nothing like ours and people now travel from all around the UK to visit our store, which is a wonderful compliment.

What brought you and Vend together?

We were brought to Vend initially by the third party integration with Xero, our accounting software. I use Xero in three of my businesses and have become pretty accustomed to not just cloud based solutions but also platforms that follow a more logical way of working, something that is intuitive, quick and easy to learn and doesn’t drown me, or my staff, in thankless tasks. Vend ticks all of those boxes and it a powerful tool for a business owner when combined with Xero, but also connects to e-commerce platforms to create what seems to be the holy trinity of business solutions – three tasks with just one lot of input.

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How are you finding Vend’s Loyalty Program?

Loyalty is probably my favourite thing about Vend as I am our business’s principle marketer. I can’t think of single more powerful tool for a business in the modern time than loyalty, it reaches across and slaps the face of businesses that choose to trade only on price and gives you a warm feeling knowing that every time you make a sale you’re giving your best customers something back. Discounting to some level is inevitable, but it’s amazing how many businesses don’t work out that it’s far better to keep the cash circling by turning it into loyalty pounds and dollars. We have around 850 customers on our loyalty programme already and they use it avidly, most choose to save up their loyalty and every now and then they treat themselves. It’s also a wonderful life saver for a cold, wet cyclist that’s come in without their wallet.

What does the future hold for Rockets and Rascals?

Like any business the future inevitably must be expansion, we recently won a major award in the city to run Plymouth’s first waterfront cycle hire so this will be our immediate future and it will be great to know that Vend will neatly expand our business with the click of a button. After that we’ll look to other cities for further growth, as well as developing our brand into other merchandise.

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What are your words of wisdom for new retailers?

I’m not long a retailer myself but here’s what I’ve learnt. Never underestimate the power of good design in every aspect of your business, never create a second rate business because you think that’s what your local area would prefer, always enlist the help of mentors to help you grow your business and of course invest in robust and easy to use technology that is scaleable and as close to the edge of technology as you can comfortably get.

– Steve Toze, Marketing Director, Mountain Bike Hall of Famer, Rockets & Rascals

Do you have an awesome success story too? Share it with Grace and the 8,000-strong Vend community!

About Grace O'Hara

Grace is a Marketing Assistant at Vend and helps make cool things happen behind the scenes. She enjoys talking to incredible Vend retailers from around the world and making the world a better place with her side projects. You can get in touch with Grace by email or connect with her on Google+.

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