Workstand Blog

How to influence your December sales

By Ryan Atkinson

The National Retail Federation has forecast healthy retail sales for the holiday season, even with recent inflationary challenges. This prediction is supported by the most recent consumer spending data offered up by the Commerce Department.

Major retailer Target has moderated expectations but still anticipates a 3% increase in holiday sales. The company expects margins to take a hit as they discount discretionary items like home furnishings and electronics to clear excess inventory.

What does your bike shop anticipate for December sales? 

If you are like other shops we talk to, you expect a soft month because you’ve seen consumer demand taper in recent months. Also, December sales aren’t what they used to be as consumers have shifted holiday spending away from bikes towards categories like electronics.

Do your modest expectations mean that you sit back and take whatever business comes your way?

That’s certainly an option, but we suggest a different approach. Follow Target’s lead, and the example of the nation’s largest bike shops, by adopting an active marketing strategy this December to maximize your results. Finishing the year strong is important for any retailer - especially right now.

There's still time

The holiday shopping season starts much sooner than it used to, with the percentage of consumers starting in October now matching the number starting in November and December combined. Retailers began their holiday promotions earnestly in October, with discounts likely to continue until the last moment.

Your SmartEtailing website brings you certain advantages for December shoppers. A recent survey by PowerReviews showed that 67% of holiday shopping is expected to take place online. Gen X will spend the highest proportion online (79%) of any generation - Millennials the lowest at 63%.

You are well-positioned to compete with one of your core demographics by offering the purchasing options they prefer. With the right marketing, you can certainly increase the percent of holiday spending you capture relative to REI or Amazon.

Merchandise your website

Your website is your virtual front door. Make sure the shopping experience is inspirational, purposeful, and helpful to visitors. Welcome them, and make sure they know you’re a holiday shopping destination.

The marquis graphics at the top of your homepage should be unmistakably appropriate for the holiday season. As visitors scroll through your page, present them with multiple pathways to guide their shopping experience.

Present the most common categories for this time of year like kids’ bikes, gift ideas, winter apparel, gift cards, financing, and sale items. Most importantly, make it intuitive for customers to see what you have in-stock today ready for pickup. Physical stores like yours have an advantage with last minute shoppers.

Don’t forget the simple stuff. Make sure your hours are up-to date and easy to find. Keep your contact information front and center so you can answer quick questions for gift givers.

Drive web traffic

A gift of recent years is the treasure trove of new customer data you collected and can use to sell accessories, services, and upgrades.

Email marketing is the number-one way retailers leverage data to drive website traffic during the holidays. Successful retailers send multiple email campaigns with product features, gift ideas, and promotions.

Remember, as the weeks pass in December, click-and-collect shopping becomes increasingly important. Make sure your customers know they can shop online for in-store pickup.

While social media ROI is sometimes hard to measure, it is a quick and easy way for you to communicate with your followers or entice new customers who visit your pages. Your messages during December can be hyper focused, which makes content creation easier. Experiment with photos and videos to make the ideas you share more accessible.

If you already have Google Ads in place, December is a good time to refresh your content with seasonal messages and increase your budget to compete for holiday spending.

Train your staff

Obviously, your staff already knows how to sell to customers walking through the door. But a few simple tips can help you get the most out of your website during the holiday season.

Over half of online orders are for in-store pickup. For bike orders, use our Quote feature to send add-on suggestions to online buyers so they can get in and out of the store with a perfectly equipped bike quickly. Don’t have time to learn how to send quotes? No problem. Email, call, or text customers and offer them the personalized assistance they can only find at their local bike shop.

For those click and collect orders, make sure your staff knows how to find orders quickly. Encourage your staff to ask customers if they have any questions about their purchase, and suggest complimentary items to try and increase the transaction size.

Before every customer walks out of the store, be sure to remind them that they can shop online 24/7 for free in-store pickup if they forgot anything.

We can help

You know us, we’ve planned for the holiday season. We have several marketing content packages available for your website, email, and social media marketing. Browse our page library for ideas, or contact us to see the premium options we have available.

Not certain if your website is configured properly for the season? Reach out to our Client Success team for a quick health check.

Whatever you need, we’re here to help you finish your year with a strong December.

Topics: Client Updates Marketing Ecommerce