Earlier this year, we wrote about the unprecedented demand for bikes brought about by the pandemic. Demand for bikes was outstripping supply and manufacturers needed creative solutions to support retailers in satisfying their customers’ requirements. Although the lockdown rush has slowed somewhat, stock of entry and mid-level bikes is still low. In this blog, we explore this challenge further, before sharing some innovative ideas for sales promotions that can help boost sales with strategies for upselling in the retail market.

 A summer high that led to sell-out bike stocks

Social distancing restrictions and encouragement to use other means of transport during the pandemic had an enormous effect on bike sales. Data from the Bicycle Association has now confirmed that between April and June 2020, bike sales increased by a massive 63% year-on-year.1 These sales were strongest for bikes under £1,000. As health concerns continue and the focus on environmental benefits increases, this demand is set to continue, but perhaps not at the same colossal rate. The UK will likely follow the same trend as the US, where July saw the highest value of bike imports at $151 million. Although a slight taper was seen in August, at $142 million in imports, this is still an increase of 24% when compared to the same month last year.2

Facing an autumnal challenge of demand exceeding supply

The bike market has been left with vastly diminished stocks, with entry and mid-level bikes sold out, and, despite the peak in sales being in the summer, new stock cannot be produced quick enough, and any that is received is likely to sell out fast. To maintain a good level of sales and keep customers brand loyal, manufacturers need ways to motivate customers to make a more expensive purchase, without resorting to discounting their bikes and impacting their longer-term profitability. Understanding strategies for upselling has therefore never been more important.

3 unique and innovative sales solutions

Buy & Try, Satisfaction Guarantee Promotions

Customers are often hesitant when faced with making a more expensive purchase or trying something new that’s out of their comfort zone. Tackle this uncertainty by adopting a sales promotion that overcomes the purchase barrier and gives your customers confidence in their buying decision.

For example, a Buy & Try promotion can offer a risk-free, no-obligation trial period. Customers have the opportunity to try out their new bike with the option of returning it, if not suitable, and quickly obtaining a refund. Taking out this risk consideration creates a sales uplift of these higher-value products.

Job Safe Schemes

Particularly at this time, the future of many people’s jobs is uncertain. This unfortunate circumstance means that customers may worry about making a higher-value purchase, losing their income and then not being able to afford the payments.

Remove this concern by offering a cashback option should an individual lose their job. A redundancy refund policy, such as our Job Safe scheme, acts to boost buyer confidence. When a customer enrols in this scheme, if they lose their job in the following 12 months, a payment of 50% of their purchase is made directly to them.

Basket Boost Campaign

A Basket Boost campaign, where customers receive cashback on their purchase when other store accessories are purchased alongside, is another method of removing the purchase barrier and allowing room to upsell. This strategy delivers increased sales in two ways; firstly, by providing the customer with a better-perceived value, and secondly by giving your brand an advantage with the retailers. Stores are far more likely to showcase your line of bikes if your promotion encourages further purchases at the store.

Shortage of certain product lines does not have to mean a loss of customers to rival competitors or a drop in prices that hurts your bottom line. With imaginative thinking and relevant, targeted campaigns, you can run sales promotions that drive volumes, protect your margins and strengthen customer loyalty for future profitability.

To find out more about how we can support you with your upselling strategies, please get in contact with our team, who will be pleased to explore the opportunities with you.


1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/08/03/bike-sales-increased-63-during-lockdown-reveals-uks-bicycle-association/#6f86a3177e12

2 https://www.bicycleretailer.com/studies-reports/2020/10/06/bike-imports-24-august#.X32G42gzY2w