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How to Boost Traffic During Your Slow Season

A familiar winter stupor has fallen over your store. The clinking of the doorbell is infrequent, the phone barely rings, and your backlog of service requests is getting short. Sound familiar? Welcome to the off-season.

Before you despair, keep reading. We’ve shared some prime tips for boosting traffic at your small business during the off-season.


Launch New Initiatives Like a Loyalty Program

If you’re thinking about implementing a loyalty program, do it now. Better to test something on a day with five transactions instead of 500.

If you already have a loyalty program, consider emailing customers to update them on how they can get points to redeem. Many times, it’s all the incentive they’ll need to re-engage with your company. 

Loyalty programs aren’t just for coffee shops anymore. A recent study by Accenture found that 77% of consumers participate in one mor more loyalty programs – and the number is only rising.

But it’s true, upgrading systems and launching programs can be time consuming (depending on the system). That’s why it’s a good thing your slow-season gives you some extra time!


Have you tried The Bike Cooperative’s RideClub Rewards program?

Whether you’re implementing a new rewards program or taking it to the next level with automated customer engagement – RideClub is a flexible and powerful loyalty program made for independent bike dealers like you.

Learn More

Add new products or services to your offering

The off-season is a good time to introduce new products or services to your mix. For bike retailers – a lucrative segment of customers is turning out to be the droves quietly riding stationary bikes in their living room or basement looking for shoes, a more comfortable saddle, water bottles, towels, bike shorts, and accessories. 

Looking for proof? A quick search for “Seats” and “shorts” in the Official Peloton Member Page on Facebook shows hundreds of riders interested in products ranging from shorts to Chamois Butt’r.

The stationary bike market is heating up – are you taking advantage?


Event season is here: take advantage

because knowledge is power (for you and your customers)

When you have ample time on your hands and business is predictably slow, it’s prime season for events. Whether this means attending an event to expand your skillset and network with industry colleagues or throwing an event that keeps your customers engaged, we leave up to you.  This could be anything from an open-house with coffee and donuts to a full-on party to say “Thanks” to your customers.

Get creative but make sure you stick to something that appeals to your core customer base.

Whether you’re hosting or attending an event in the off-season, it doesn’t have to be a three-ring circus. Keep it simple, focus on education or customer engagement

Focus on ideas that can be executed at a fairly low-cost. Utilize the internet when possible, but make sure the event either drives people in your door or makes your company stronger, better, and more prepared to capitalize on your “busy” season.


People love FREE, consider a freebie

Customers are nuts about freebies. They love them! Figure out a good giveaway, like a low-cost product you currently sell, a free add-on to a flagship product (after purchase), or a marketing item like water bottles or stickers, and advertise through social media and email. Then, hand out those freebies to every customer that comes into the store!


Find a cause to support, or partner with an organization

There are countless organizations that need funding. Pick one that’s relevant to your business or close to your heart and work out a partnership. Consider directing a percentage of your sales for the month to an organization you care about. Or, if you have a customer-facing or retail location, ask customers about rounding up at the register for the cause of the month. Make sure to post on social media about it and ask the organization to post as well.


Reward Your Local, Loyal Customer Base

In addition to planning events and giving your customers incentives to stay in touch, consider a special sale for your most local advocates.

Something like “Neighborhood Ride” where local customers are given a special discount can be an easy way to support your core base of local customers.

If there’s a business nearby that you have a good relationship with, consider getting together and advertising it as a day or evening for customers to patronize their local businesses. Almost like a small-business ‘block party’.


As you endure the slowness of the off-season, think creatively about ways to bring customers in the door. By hosting an event, launching a loyalty program, or partnering with businesses around you, you’ll see an uptick in customer traffic in no time.

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