Sporting goods retailing for the omni-channel age

Canada Post

Shoppers today have strong personal preferences when it comes to sporting goods – whether it’s their favourite brand of footwear, home team apparel, or specialized equipment for a personal hobby.

They know what they want and the sporting goods retailers that are thriving in today’s fast-paced world are doing what it takes to keep up those demands.

That means broadening product lines by connecting with a wider selection of appealing brands, and providing those companies with alternate channels to reach far more shoppers than brick-and-mortar stores alone.

By assuming such an expanded role in customers’ lives and brands’ aspirations, sporting goods retailers can’t help but become increasingly important to both parties, according to The State of the Online Sporting Goods Industry, a new whitepaper from Vancouver-based digital and e-commerce agency, The Jibe.

Here are some of the whitepaper’s findings:

Blending the physical and digital worlds

Consumers today manage their lives with hand-held devices that provide direct connections to their friends, brands and influencers. They’re looking for the same seamless experience from retailers – across a broad mix of channels.

To satisfy this connected and active audience, sporting goods retailers not only need to get online but also need to optimize shoppers’ cumulative experience across numerous touch points and multiple (in-store, desktop, mobile, app) channels, The Jibe reports.

Ushering in a new era of shopping

Why? Because a shopper who buys from you in-store and online is the most valuable kind of customer. In 2015, the online sporting goods category in Canada enjoyed year over year growth of 31% – making it one of the fastest growing e-commerce categories, according to recent Canada Post data.

And with 80% of Canadians now regularly purchasing online – 11% of whom are buying sporting goods specifically, with an increasingly large basket size – the opportunity has never been greater.

Want to know more? The Jibe has put together a crash-course on for sporting goods stores.

Get the whitepaper