“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
As a seller of sports equipment online, you can’t dream your way to the top. You must shoot your shot, again and again. And, while it’s a dance of trial and error, it’s worth it. According to Statista, the U.S. sporting goods market generates more than $47 billion annually, a number that includes purchases of sports equipment, athletic footwear and apparel, exercise equipment, and more.
In this post, I’ll share a three-step plan to help your online sports equipment store:
- Assess and manage its online presence
- Streamline your sports equipment offerings
- Give your shoppers more purchasing power
Depending on where you are in your digital marketing journey, you may find some or all of these steps helpful.
Step 1: Assess and Manage Your Online Presence
What is Google revealing about your online sports equipment store? Take a good, hard look at your online footprint. Check up on your online store, social media presence, customer reviews, news articles, blogs—any and every morsel of what your brand represents online.
Here are five strategies to help you optimize your online presence as a sports equipment merchant:
- Make your site attractive to customers – Two keys to increased website conversions are excellent design and usability. Make your site stand out with consistent, vibrant color schemes, clear pictures of products, and graphics that make sense for your sports equipment. A personalized user experience is a must. Offering live chats, surveys, and easy-to-find customer service support can go a long way.
- Optimize your checkout process – Simplify navigation and eliminate unnecessary steps. Hindrances to purchase flow can trigger cart abandonment. Start using cart abandonment emails to draw distracted shoppers back to your store.
- Control the narrative about your brand – Set up a Google alert for your store name. You’ll get an email every time it’s mentioned online. This can help you stay on top of public perception and provide opportunities to reach out to the press and influential bloggers. Get people talking. Conversations can lead to sales.
- Build a strong social media presence – Share consistent, on-brand content on your preferred social media channels. Use brand ambassadors to carry your message. Engage with commenters and offer incentives when they like or share your content. Use live broadcast features to connect with potential shoppers. Be accessible.
- Address customer reviews – Make time to respond to reviews, whether good or bad. Remember, your online audience includes potential customers who want to see how you’ve treated your past customers.
With your online presence going in the right direction, you may gain insight about what items customers like most. You might even find that it’s best to focus on a specific niche.
Step 2: Streamline Your Offerings
Evaluate your sales data and make decisions about future offerings. You might find that it’s time to adjust what you’re selling. It’s also helpful to bundle equipment that works well together so that your shoppers can make well-aligned purchases.
If it makes sense, you can also begin the process of setting yourself up as a niche-specific site like HEXR, a pioneer maker of custom-fit cycling helmets. Your store and its offerings will develop over time so go with the flow of demand or put energy toward creating demand for your brand. Feedback from shoppers will help you offer more of what they want and need.
Step 3: Give Shoppers Purchasing Power
Quality sports equipment can be expensive, but you can help your shoppers manage large purchases by offering a variety of payment options. Besides credit and debit cards or options like PayPal, offer an interest-free, pay over time solution like Splitit.
Splitit is a global alternative payment solution that uses your customers’ existing credit line on a Mastercard or Visa to pay for purchases. Your online shoppers won’t have to endure applications, credit checks, or fees. In seconds they can checkout with the benefit of increased spending power while staying on track with a budget.
Use of Splitit is proven to help increase your average order value (AOV), increase conversion rates, and decrease cart abandonment. Read success stories of Splitit merchants and then contact us today to request a demo to learn more about how Splitit can help boost your sports equipment sales.