Sporting goods stores are a dynamic segment of the retail industry. The sports equipment industry has fast changing models of equipment and sportswear trends that are hard to keep up with. Digitization in this industry is an advancement that has created challenges for the small sporting goods stores. With e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay selling sporting goods, many small businesses are finding themselves put out of business. They don’t have the same level of money, resources or time to compete with these large businesses. However, there are ways to play in 2019 that can put your business in a successful position for growth.
There are two ways you can personalize your business for your target customer:
Customization of Goods
Custom sneakers and sports goods are becoming popular, and even premier brands like Nike have custom sneakers options. You can have customization for all your sports goods like racquet grips, sneakers, workout clothes, gym gears, etc. If you supply in wholesale for schools or sports club you can undertake jersey personalization too.
Personalization of Customer Experience
If you are a small business with a manageable number of customers, you can easily personalize their buying experience. Build a good rapport with your customers and record information about the sports they play, their regular buys, and how they like to customize their products.
Add “Athleisure” to your Inventory
If you haven’t noticed, athletic leisure wear or athleisure is a hot commodity for consumers everywhere. Athleisure is an excellent inclusion to your business plan to target a larger group of customers. Introduce a new line of clothing or simply position your existing sportswear as athleisure. You can investigate retail financing options for your new line if need be. Also, create marketing collateral for athleisure like blog posts on ‘Ways to Style your Athleisure’ or ‘Latest Celebrity Trends in Athleisure’. These are trending topic conversations your business should not be left out of.
Offer Sustainable Merchandise
Brands large or small are now turning towards sustainable options for their merchandise practices. In fact, 66% of global customers will spend more on a product from a sustainable company! Customers are attracted to brands that make an effort toward bettering the environment. Though it is easy to direct some of your profits towards an environmental cause, your business will stand out if you take measures to stock eco-friendly items. For example; Wilson Sporting Goods produces basketballs that are made up of 40% recycled rubber and the display packaging is made of 80% recycled materials. There is a large segment of customer who buys only sustainable products-don’t miss out on that market!
Partner with local brands and athletes
Brand partnerships are a proven concept that will work for your business. Large brands like Nike or Puma have agreements with international athletes to promote their brand. People buy from people they like and especially at the local level! If your customers feel like they are supporting local athletes, they can feel better about spending their money at your shop. You can also partner with other popular brands in your geography. For example, you can collaborate with a clothing brand and create an exclusive line of active wear or athleisure.
Make it Easy to Purchase from you
If online retailing giants are disrupting your business, it is time to stop fighting them. They are successful for a reason; people love shopping from these sites and they are convenient. Look at this as an opportunity to reach larger than what you have. Instead of having an independent e-commerce site, sell your sporting goods on already established sites.
The sports goods industry has seen a consistent increase in the number of female customers and yet still provide them with minimal options. Your business can stand out from the rest if you focus on serving this market. Consider customizing your goods to suit your female customers. If you already have not, you can produce gym gear and sports equipment that are female friendly.
Optimize the Seasons
Focus on the game seasons and market your business to appeal to these game players during set months of play. Football team branded clothing and equipment do well in the fall and baseball in the summer. Similarly, the holiday season is when you can create exclusive products or packages that can be given as gifts.