With $150 billion global revenue, the sporting goods industry is highly fragmented. Sporting goods retailers are working to stay ahead of the pack by finding new ways to cater to today's sports enthusiasts which starts with understanding and managing market demands. Such a balance requires utilizing reliable sporting goods point-of-sale software in order to offer exceptional levels of customer service, analyze data, track inventory and act quickly on shifting consumer trends. Below we’ve shared five current retail trends that are appearing in the sporting goods industry and the initiatives you can implement to achieve your business goals, remain competitive and grow in this evolving retail marketplace.
1. Consumers are fixated on fast delivery
Quick delivery is one of the most significant challenges sporting goods retailers face. Today, consumers expect exceptional and accurate shipping. A majority of sports enthusiasts want their new athletic gear or equipment almost immediately after they place an order, so it is vital that your supply chain works faster than ever without error.
In order to avoid such error, as a sporting goods retailer, it is important to integrate inventory data with your point-of-sale (POS) systems. POS integration assists in providing accurate inventory management and forecasting, and can minimize stock outs. Your POS not only manages your inventory of athletic gear and tennis rackets, but most importantly ensures that you are running your business at its maximum efficiency.
2. Mobile POS is a must in the sporting goods market
With mobile commerce, you can track inventory, update system pricing, and print labels and bar codes right from the warehouse or store floor. For sporting goods retailers, mobile POS lets you take the cash register right to the customer in the aisles, speeding the process for your customers and staff. This eCommerce approach also allows you and your employees to access important business information, inventory, alerts, analytics, and more right on a smartphone or tablet.
3. Sporting goods retailers are subject to consumer customization needs
Each piece of your customers’ journey should be customized, convenient and consistent throughout their entire shopping experience, including recognition of their purchase history, favorite colors, sizes, teams, personalized offers, and more. You can use this information to not only market to your customers but to also build a strong relationship with them.
4. Retailers are reducing the total number of their suppliers
An increasing trend amongst sporting goods retailers is the desire to decrease the overall quantity of their suppliers while also profiting from the stable deliveries and exceptional levels of customer service offered by key supply partners. Such retailers have also grown more demanding in terms of the well-timed delivery of products, customer service, inventory management, joint promotional activities and in-store marketing.
5. Factory outlet stores are becoming more prevalent
A large majority of retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike Factory Store have opened up factory outlet stores which are located in warehouse-type locations, in high-traffic downtown retail locations and inside shopping malls. It is estimated that at least 5 percent or more of all sales in apparel and footwear are from factory outlets.
Retailers who progress and innovate in these ongoing customer trends and utilize exceptional POS solutions will help protect their business in the sporting goods industry and stay at the cutting edge of the market for years to come.