Going Direct and Investing in Experience Helped INTENSE Get Their Brand in Gear

Case Study | 3 mins

INTENSE LLC has always been at the forefront when it comes to innovation and technical prowess, offering a full range of top-of-the-line mountain, trail, and cross-country bikes. In 2017, the 35 year-old brand, who had previously sold primarily through independent bike dealers, launched an innovative direct-to-consumer online sales program called Rider Direct. Once INTENSE started selling directly from their website to consumers, they had a new challenge: thinking like a retailer.

The mountain and trail bike market had evolved, and INTENSE knew they had to stand out based on more than just their pedigree. Shoppers had become increasingly channel agnostic and experience focused, and INTENSE had the opportunity to build stronger connections with their customers.

In just three months, INTENSE expanded their brand reach through online direct sales and found new customers beyond their dealer footprint.

Reach a wider customer base, and get these new customers to convert while also promoting the INTENSE brand.

Amplify the success of their Rider Direct program with Bread’s customizable pay-over-time financing options to encourage more cyclists to try their entry-level models, or upgrade to their higher-end bikes. Ensure that INTENSE’s brand always comes first with Bread’s robust white-labeling features.

With the help of Bread’s Merchant Success Team, INTENSE was able to get up and running in time for Memorial Day—the start of their busy season.

"Our goals were pretty simple: Let the customer decide how they want to buy, and make it as easy as possible for them to do so."

Jennifer Gabrielli
Chief Rider Experience Officer, INTENSE LLC

Experience Drives Conversions

To succeed in the ecommerce space, INTENSE needed clear messaging and a strong, branded buyer journey that would get customers to convert. That meant investing in awareness and highlighting the brand’s downhill racing heritage and prestige to new customers, all while providing a great shopping experience.

One of their biggest successes has been improving their customer service, addressing buyers’ needs quickly and personally online and over the phone. Now they’re obsessed with not just helping make the sale, but supporting the customer before and after they’ve received their bike to cement their loyalty and encourage repeat business.

It was crucial for INTENSE’s brand to be foremost in customers’ minds—and Bread is fully-integrated across their site and throughout the shopping experience, so financing is always on-brand. Now shoppers can check their financing rate while still on INTENSE’s site in just a few seconds, without worrying about it impacting their credit score. 77% of customers check their rates directly from the product page, with 18% checking from their shopping cart, and only 5% waiting until check out. INTENSE can even target customers who have larger orders with special financing rates. More than 60% of their site-browsing is done on mobile, so a responsive buying process was essential.

Where INTENSE Customers are Checking Their Financing Rates

Now customers are thinking about financing throughout the buyer’s journey, upping INTENSE’s conversion rate and growing their bottom line.

"It wasn’t easy at first, but since we’ve adopted an experience culture internally, our NPS scores are now up there with some of the best in our category. Now we’re thinking about the customer experience long after their bike has left the warehouse."

Jon-Erik “Jeb” Burleson
Board of Directors, INTENSE LLC


Since partnering with Bread, INTENSE’s financed orders make up 28% of their total sales volume. The 24-month interest-bearing plan carries the majority of the sales volume at 47.2%. Their approval rate for financing with Bread is also 50% higher than the industry average. Partnering with Bread has enhanced their brand and their customer experience, delivering on consistency and quality to help drive conversions. With Bread, INTENSE LLC are reaching new customers online and working with their local dealers to get more cyclists than ever on the trail.