January 2018

Christian Retailers Enjoy A Successful Season

The Parable Group, a leading marketing agency for the Christian product industry, announced today that Christmas sales were up for the Christian retailers they serve with print/digital promotions. Collectively, November and December sales were up 0.9%. A key piece of that increase was Thanksgiving week—when sales groupwide increased 3.2%—with 68% of their partner stores seeing greater sales than 2016.

“Over the past few years new and emerging technology has transformed the way customers shop. But many savvy Christian retailers, committed to serving their local communities, are investing in themselves—in products, stores, marketing, data and technology. These Christmas sales numbers are very encouraging—there’s real hope and a future for Christian retail,” said Steve Potratz, President of The Parable Group.

To attract new customers and re-engage existing customers over the Christmas 2017 season, The Parable Group of Christian retailers used coordinated print catalogs and in-store signage as a promotional foundation and layered in various digital marketing tactics, like email and social media advertising.

Over 6 million emails were sent to customers from The Parable Group on behalf of retailers during November/December, representing a mix of mass weekly emails and highly targeted emails based on customer purchase history. Additionally, various Facebook campaigns reached nearly 950,000 people in November/ December on behalf of participating stores. These social media campaigns served over 3.7 million impressions to geo-targeted Christian consumer audiences.

Christian retailers also utilized tools on ParableConnect, the 24/7 information hub, to ensure they stayed in-stock of promoted products.

“We’re happy to see positive numbers and sales increases again. While not every Christian retailer has turned around, this suggests that more gains can be achieved. Retailers who can adjust and incorporate print and digital marketing touchpoints, backed by data, are likely going to be successful in 2018,” said Potratz.

Christian Retailers Embrace The Power Of Data

With retail data analytics emerging as a key tool to boost business and profits, Christian retailers widely embraced the technology in 2017. The Parable Group, a leading marketing agency and CBA’s exclusive data collection partner, announced that an astounding 80% of the 367 stores they serve participate in data.

The Parable Group now collects and monitors retail sales information from 290 Christian retailers (including Covenant, Munce, Logos and Parable stores), church stores, Catholic stores, and unaffiliated stores across the US and Canada.

“It’s an exciting time for Christian retailers—technology and retail data analytics initiatives are generating real value that translates into increased customer loyalty, a better customer experience and higher revenue,” said Erik Ernstrom, Manager of Business Intelligence for The Parable Group.

The Parable Group data service is designed to meet retailers’ specific competitive data needs. Some participating retailers view data analytics, graphs and reports on ParableConnect daily—to monitor sales by category, identify trends, better target customers, improve stock-turn and stock management, and increase profit. Other participating retailers, just starting out on their data journey, utilize the free Cross:Scan bestsellers lists to improve inventory.

“We’re encouraged to see the number of stores participating in data programs continue to increase—everything from Get It Local Today, to Cross:Scan, to wanting help with their catalog mailings. As our industry continues to come together, we can only get stronger,” said Ernstrom.

For additional information, please contact:
Erik Ernstrom
(805) 329-4005