E-scooter sales are booming
The success of free-floating electric scooters in Belgium pushes users to buy their own. Since 2017, bike shops and even skateboard shops have rearranged their window shop to offer numerous models of the trendy machine. So important is the success that for some shops, e-scooters represent half of their sales revenues.
Today, electric scooters – and their image – have become part of the urban landscape. With the number of users and providers increasing, free-floating scooters have convinced some riders to buy their own. Sales of the trendy machines are booming.
Previously specialized in surfboards, skateboards or even wakeboards, shop BillyKite in Ixelles now sells a good chunk of e-scooters. “The demand was there. At first, I was worried because it’s not my core business. But the demand has grown. Today, it represents more than half of my revenues,” explains shop owner Jérôme Namèche.
Even book supermarket FNAC has decided to offer e-scooters for sale. “It’s a trendy product. Judging the state of mobility in Brussels, we’re helping them to find other ways to move about. In all FNAC shops, ours is 10th in terms of e-scooters sales,” declares Brussels’ FNAC City 2 manager, Vincent Garcia. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a successful product, it’s booming,” he adds.
Premium or low-cost
The e-scooter market exploded back in 2017 with the mass import of foreign – mainly Chinese – brands. Micro Mobility, present in Belgium since 2016, remembers. “We didn’t sell much in 2017 due to the foreign competition that flooded the market with their low prices. Competition is increasing. We’re one of the oldest players, and we now have to fight for it,” explains Paul Baetens, founder of Odissey SPRL, importer of Micro Mobility.
Brands are forced to offer additional services to cope with low-price giants, such as Xiaomi. “We can’t go into all volumes. We’ll certainly stay in premium and put the emphasis on quality and after-sales services,” adds the importer.
The good and the bad
The success of free-floating e-scooters is seen in two ways by resellers. On the one hand, it’s a good thing, as it offers the potential buyer an opportunity to test the machine. On the other hand, the wrong usage and their reliability issues might give them a bad reputation.
In terms of economics, a free-floating scooter will cost one euro to unlock and 0,15 cents per kilometer. Using one for about 30 minutes, five days a week can cost up to 90 euros per month. That’s 1.080 euros per year. At that cost, it’s understandable that regular riders decide to buy their own, as prices range from 300 to 1.500 euros.