Instead of celebrating record sales growth, we are now in a cooling economy, especially when Outdoor-Bike-Wintersports is the market segment. The phenomenal lift realized from the COVID-high has returned to earth. 

US retail sales and D2C sales, overall D2C penetration.
US retail sales and D2C sales, overall D2C penetration.

The really good news is that while the market is back to single digit digital sales growth year-over-year, the total volume is much bigger compared to pre-COVID.  D2C now represents ~21% of total US goods sold via the digital highway. 

Ecommerce growth by quarter 2019-2022
Ecommerce growth by quarter 2019-2022

LOOKING AT Q3 sales growth IN DETAIL

Our ‘digitally mature’ CrankTank “Super 6 Clients” saw year-over-year sales growth of 128, 102, 98, 92, 31, and 15 percent respectively on moderate to big sales levels. All beat the market D2C growth rate of 6-7%* by working on all aspects of owned-earned-shared-paid media in sync with brand leadership, and we continue to raise the bar with aggressive investments in digital marketing.

*This is a projection as final Q3 results were not yet confirmed as of this edit, though it was estimated Amazon grew at this rate, which is a good benchmark.

THINKING AHEAD TO growing sales in 2023

During slow to no growth periods, managing cash, expenses, and keeping key staff are all crucial. The great news is that brands with excellent products and the right strategy are still seeing growth, usually by taking share from less nimble, less digitally focused, and less digitally fluent competitors.

The beauty of D2C sales once your operations are digitally mature is that ROI delivers high margin sales, with excellent cash flow (typically paid within 24-48 hours by credit card), and drives more B2B sales too when managed in sync with other sales channels. 

The CEO/CMO challenge is to trim the weakest link in the overall expense line to preserve profitability while at the same time building on Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) of the existing customer base. Then, leverage your brand and take share from the weakness of the less well managed competitors that may not be capable of pulling the right levers. 


We are very pleased to have the capable skills of Cole Casperson, CFO, Director of Amazon services and Scotty Peck, Marketing Coordinator, Growth Marketing on board to help us continue to improve our team and overall capabilities and capacity.