E-commerce: Facebook launches the Business Suite application for SMEs

Technology: Facebook is continuing its strategy of developing e-commerce on its platforms, by designing new tools for businesses. Facebook is launching a new application for small businesses, allowing you to manage professional pages or profiles on both Facebook and Instagram.  Facebook Business Suite The tool is called "Facebook Business Suite". The platform explains that this app allows businesses to post to Facebook and Instagram at the same time, and manage and receive messages, notifications and alerts in one place. The interface will also measure engagement, visualizing the tool's metrics through an information tab on Facebook and Instagram.

"We first designed Facebook Business Suite for small businesses, but it's a long-term investment, and we hope to make it the primary interface for businesses of all sizes that use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp," Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post yesterday. “Th…

Deconfinement: The bike is so popular that repairers are struggling to follow

At "Urban Sport Cycles", we lend the tools to cyclists for minor repairs. One way to limit the congestion, because the shop, nestled in the 13th arrondissement, struggles to cope with the increase in post-containment activities.
The bike is so popular that repairers are struggling to follow
  • Many cycle stores in France reopened last week to anticipate a peak in activity after containment. It wasn’t enough: the activity started again this week, to the point that it stuck in repair shops.
  • A sign that the little queen has, as expected, the odds in this period of deconfinement, well helped by the "boost bike" put in place by the government, which offers a package of 50 euros to restore its bicycle.
  • Could these traffic jams in cycle shops slow the development of cycling in the coming weeks? Pierre Serne, president of the Club of cycling cities and territories, like Jérôme Valentin, of the Sport and Cycle Union, hope for rapid congestion.
"Sorry, we're not going to have a lot of time to talk to you ...", was immediately warned in "Urban sport cycle". However, this Monday, at the end of the morning, the small shop for the sale and repair of cycles, tucked away on the avenue d'Italie (Paris 13th), was not full of customer
"But, emails, it doesn't stop, I still have about forty waiting for an answer," says Pierre, co-manager of the store. Right behind him, in the workshop, are two mechanics with their heads in the handlebars.

"Unheard of in the world of cycling"

There remains Axel, also co-manager, who was responsible for welcoming customers at the store entrance on Monday. During his cigarette break, he takes a few minutes to chat. "Unheard of," he says to describe the buzz in the store in recent days. The relative calm this Monday morning is misleading, he explains. “We opened on May 5 to anticipate too high a peak in attendance during the first days of the deconfinement. And last week, the queue outside the store was overflowing onto the street. To the point that "Cycle sport urbain" temporarily revised its schedules and work organization. "We are now closing the shop at 2.30pm so that the whole team can focus on repairing the bikes," said Alex.

Enough to review twenty cycles per day. Despite everything, the waiting time before being able to collect the repaired bike remained five days this Monday morning. It can be much more. The Culture Vélo store on avenue Daumesnil (12th) - the largest in the capital in terms of sales area dedicated to cycling - is already full for the next three weeks, says Jean-Olivier Lasserre, his director. He too talks about a situation never seen before. "We had already seen a first massive wave of requests for new bikes, electric and muscle, during the movement of" yellow vests ", he begins. A second in January, during the strike in public transport. For the past ten days, as people have been preparing for a gradual return to work, we have been entering a new period of heavy traffic. "With one particularity this time:" We sell as much as we repair, says Jean-Olivier Lasserre. People come out of their garage or cellar with their old bikes, the tires, brakes and derailleur of which have to be checked. We review about fifteen a day. "

The "bike boost" effect?

A “bike boost” effect? This plan, endowed with 20 million euros, was implemented by Elisabeth Borne, Minister of the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, on the advice of the Federation of bicycle users (FUB), to encourage the practice among the French from the perspective of deconfinement. One of the three components is "repair", with an offer of support up to 50 euros for repair, within the network of reference repairers on a platform managed by the FUB. Frédéric Heran, transport economist and urban planner, lecturer at the University of Lille, is delighted: "We have reduced bicycle plans to only cycle facilities for too long," he explains. This "bike boost" is interesting because it looks at the other factors to bring together to increase the practice of cycling in a territory and which we rarely think of. Including that of having a bicycle in good condition. "

Still, this check for 50 euros is not everything, and the overcrowding of repair shops could discourage more than one. Like Emmanuel, 48, who sought Monday to repair the brakes of his electric bike. Discouraged by the long queue in front of Decathlon, the Parisian turned to "Urban sport cycle", before being cooled by the five days of delays. "Annoying ... I will probably have to take my car to go to work, at least for the first few days," he said, leaving in search of a less crowded store.

"Come back next week"

Traffic congestion in repair shops is far from limited to Paris. In Maisons-Alfort, Fontainebleau, Suresnes for Ile-de-France, but also in Nice, Brest, Lyon, Bayonne, it is often the same answer that leaks in the repair shops contacted: "Try it next week" … Sometimes even the one after. And if you want to take advantage of the 50 euros "boost bike" package, "you must first register on the platform and complete the procedures there, we warn in Fontainebleau and Bayonne. But our regular customers will have priority. "

What to slow the development of the bike in this period of deconfinement? Pierre Serne, president of the Club of cycling cities and territories and to whom the government has entrusted the mission of promoting travel by bicycle after the deconfinement, put into perspective. “Having repairers' calendars full is good news,” he begins. This is a sign that we are gaining new cyclists. He also hopes that the "Coup de pouce vélo" platform will play its role in distributing the surplus activity among the 3,000 repairers identified in France. "People often have big chain store chains in mind 500 meters from their homes, but not necessarily the small shop which is only 300 meters away," he said.

Big upheaval in bike shops?

"Like any other economic sector in such a situation, bike riders will quickly adapt to this influx of demand," says Jérôme Valentin, president of Union sport et cycle (USC), which represents 1,400 companies and 3,000 points of sale. . This rebounding after two months of closure imposed by the containment, should not save all the stores. Jérôme Valentin predicts bankruptcies for "10 to 15% of them", victims of the Covid. "Those who were already living before the crisis," he says. But the same number of stores are also expected to open in the next twelve months. "

A restructuring of the sector which could, in the long term, make it possible to better respond to new uses of the bicycle. “In recent years, we have seen more and more shops specializing in maintenance and repair emerge. Some even, like Cyclofix, now go to customers' homes. This trend should accelerate further, if only because there are a lot of electric bikes (EVs) sold today [388,100 last year in France, USC reported in early May]. However, they need more adjustments and revisions than muscle bikes. In any case, Pierre Serne is only asking to add repairers to the "Coup de pouce vélo" platform. "Three miles all over France is not huge," he says.