With the rise of online shopping, many people have opted out of visiting brick & mortar stores. The online market is simply more convenient as it offers a wider selection of products and discounts. The thrill of going to your favorite sporting good stores have decreased over time, but the million dollar question is why?
Unfortunately, many sporting goods stores of today have hit a snag, stumbled and gone out of business. How is this possible? Back in the day, you could walk into any sporting goods store, and it would be jam packed with happy customers. As of today, several "Big Box" stores and specialty shops seem to have lost their luster and are going in the ways of the dinosaur. Lets take a closer look at how and why this industry is in the red.
Sporting Goods Stores Are Going Away
There are numerous high profile sporting goods stores in the nation today. These stores include Dicks Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Champs, Sports Chalet, Bass Pro and many more. One of the main reasons for this decline in sales is that these particular stores sell a wide assortment of products. Big ticket purchases such as canoes and other large items only make-up a certain percentage in sales and the items aren't easily transported from the store by consumers. Online stores are offering better incentives on specialty items to pull customers in as well as undercutting the competition with lower prices as well as free shipping making it impossible for brick & mortars to compete.
The downward trend has been dramatic since 2015. The countries second largest sports retailer, Sports Authority, was liquidated by closing up to 400 stores in 2016. After 57 years in business, Sports Chalet shut down its 47 stores. Dick's Sporting Goods has a fiscal fourth quarter profit decline. The numbers measure in at $90.2 million, which is considerably down from last year's $129 million.
On the other hand of the equation, (Dick's) has capitalized by making acquisitions of its one-time competitors who've gone bankrupt. This includes 22 Sports Authority stores, which will be converted into Dick's Sporting Goods.
Increase In Online Sales
This is the digital age and advanced technology rules. Unlike eras of the past, living in the 21st century gives people many more options, especially when it comes to shopping. When it comes to sales potential, the online market dominates the retail market in-general. Unlike stores that have an opening and closing time frame, online websites are open for business 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Despite the time advantage for online stores, the online market has a wider product selection to choose from. Online platforms not only have the major brand retailers, it also exposes up and coming brands. The entire athletic wear market has grown dramatically at 47% while grossing over $270 billion in the past few years.
Weaknesses In Online Shopping
Some of the downsides of the equation with online retailers are that you can't physically touch the product, and you might not receive the correct product after purchase. Physical retailers will always have the jump over online retailers in this department. Trying out/on the products still benefits physical retailers in the end, but the online market is the most progressive way too go, especially if the retailer plays both sides of the equation.
A New Way to Buy/Sell Sporting Goods
Think affiliate marketing, but instead of only online we take it to straight to the playing fields! For no why don’t we go ahead and call it “On-Field-it-Marketing” (Get it? Affiliate/On-Field-it J ). Although revolutionary, the concept is quite simple and combines the best of old school on-field sales and new online technology.
Any coach, hitting instructor, parent or player can become a rep. That rep will then automatically get an online storefront that includes any and all products they want to sell. They can choose to carry inventory and have zero inventory and drop ship straight to the client. The rep would simply have samples so that players can demo, get a FEEL for the product and they can purchase the product directly from the rep or from the rep’s online storefront.
If a player, parent or instructor is a rep they can receive instant commissions for their sales up to 30% & 50%. If the storefront is represented by a team, school or community organization, those commissions can go straight back to the team!
Advantages to “On-Field-it-Marketing”:
- Selling occurs through and by the sports community right on the practice and game field AND online.
- Real recommendations by reps, coaches, and parents who know and love the sport and products instead of by a store employee who makes minimum wage and has no clue what they are talking about.
- Product automatically becomes more affordable as it cuts out channels of distribution and goes straight from manufacturer to the customer.
- Teams and reps can earn up to 50% in commissions.
Southbat is introducing this new way of selling and is signing on new happy reps every week! We are using our sister company’s platform from Ryve Sports that utilizes high-end technology to easily build a rep’s online storefront and calculate a rep’s commissions. This facilitates taking payments from customers who want to buy with their credit card online and also makes it easy for any rep as they don’t have to hold inventory and the system takes care of every part of the sale from purchase to shipping straight to the customer.
Learn more about this revolutionary new way to sell Southbat by visiting our rep page that contains all the details you need to get started!