In this episode, Filip Lindwall and Magnus Kjellberg from iStone share their experiences from a Hackathon they did with some of their customers around the feature In-Context Editing and how this feature can increase business value in PIM solutions.
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Last year, the sporting goods industry experienced a series of changes that altered the realities of many manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Stores like The Sports Authority, Sport Chalet, and Eastern Mountain Sports filed for bankruptcy.
Yet, health-conscious consumers are purchasing sporting goods and focusing on healthy lifestyles; the sporting goods market saw current value retail growth of 40% from 2011 to 2016. So what gives for these bankruptcies? Well, online sales of sportswear recorded much faster growth of 159%. If brands and retailers are unable to compete online, they can’t thrive, much less survive.
The new sporting goods consumer is digitally savvy and expects more than ever when it comes to their shopping experiences.
Here are 4 Elements Shifting the Sporting Goods Industry
1. Decreased foot traffic + increased online shopping.
Across industries, less people are visiting stores. They are instead turning to online shopping, mobile sites and apps to make purchases.
To respond, some big retailers have turned to in-store experiences to draw customers back in. Think Lululemon’s yoga classes or American Eagle Outfitter’s concert series. A new wave of experience-based retail is being implemented in an attempt to increase foot traffic. Brands are looking to establish themselves as lifestyle brands, meaning that they want to be relevant in multiple arenas of their consumers lives.
2. The saturation of the activewear market.
Traditional clothing brands continue to launch workout clothes and accompanying products. You can now buy yoga pants and even yoga mats at clothing stores like H&M, Gap, and Aritzia. To remain competitive, stores like Dick’s have launched their own branded lines, like a Carrie Underwood’s CALIA line, only available at Dick’s.
3. Pricing free-fall.
Regardless of their location, the new digital consumer can compare brands and check prices before buying. Pricing strategies therefore have to be transparent and nimble. Dick’s Sporting Goods, for instance, has followed the path of Best Buy by guaranteeing the lowest price for any of their products. Check out their ad spot on the guarantee:
This is a dangerous reality for smaller retailers who might not have the ability to change their profit margins so easily.
4. Increasing preference for direct-to-consumer.
With a streamlined online presence, brands can interact directly with their consumers. In fact, 35% of millennials say they are more likely to shop for sporting goods on a brand manufacturer’s website. Compare this to 25% of non-millennials who say they prefer shop with the manufacturer. One in four is not negligible.
From Nike and Under Armour to Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, brands are therefore increasing their direct-to-consumer business in order to cut their reliance on retailers like department stores.
So what is a retailer/distributor/manufacturer in sporting goods to do?
It’s not all doom and gloom. To stay competitive, sporting goods merchants need a smart and adaptive digital strategy. In our publication “The End of Sporting Goods Retail As We Know It”, we have outlined some of these challenges and their eCommerce responses. Download it today.
Absolunet is an eCommerce agency and integrator with 200+ people obsessed with delivering results, creating ROI-producing (and award-winning) eCommerce experiences since 1999.
Shopping online can be a gamble; it’s either really great or a complete disaster. Have a wedding to attend in a few weeks? You typically scour the web for hours in search of the perfect dress, then order two styles, from different stores, and in two different sizes, or risk having to unearth your high school prom dress from the depths of your closet as a last resort. Neither of these options offer a great customer experience (CX), or a good look at the wedding.
The advent of e-commerce meant saving time and effort in shopping. However, when e-commerce isn’t done well, shopping online can be harder to navigate than a crowded store. When shopping online you rely on product images and descriptions to give you everything you need to be confident in making a purchase. Few things are as exciting to an online buyer than seeing a package delivered to their door. But then, nothing is more frustrating than realizing that the item isn’t as expected, or described, especially after it took time to find what they thought was the perfect product in the first place.
The challenge of delivering an exceptional customer experience is just as important in B2B as it is in B2C. Maybe even more so, as B2B purchases are often considered extensively, involving long sales cycles and buying committees. But in both cases, the need to engage buyers with excellent product information consistently across every channel is always important and often distinguishes high-performing e-commerce brands from mediocre ones.
Telling your product story
Every product tells a story. But sometimes, gaps in descriptions and inconsistencies in product content lead to a confusing experience for buyers as they compare products across sites like Amazon, Walmart, eBay or even the direct retail site. Buyers today use many different channels to shop and expect to find consistent information without exception.
A Product Information Management (PIM) solution helps e-commerce teams deliver accurate and complete product information to help ensure a consistent customer experience. It eliminates the errors that turn buyers away from your products or prevent them from finding them in the first place. Online, the product description is what matters most, and it’s more than just weights and measurements. It means having relevant images, 360-degree views of the product, showing the product in context and even in multiple languages when required. It puts the product on the stand, and makes it swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Learn to tell your story the right way
inRiver is hosting the first US PIMpoint Summit in Chicago on October 4th after perfecting the show (with over 700 of the best e-commerce marketers) in Europe for the last five years. It is a must-attend for anyone in the e-commerce and digital marketing community. PIMpoint offers a chance to connect with industry leaders, marketing rock stars, and PIM experts to help transform your business.
We’ll also have keynotes from Bruce Eppinger from Forrester, Peter Shankman, author of Zombie Loyalists, and key partners, customers and visionaries to help inspire and guide you on this ever-evolving digital transformation.
Where to next?
Check out the PIMpoint Americas website to register for the event. It’s an opportunity to engage with the vibrant inRiver community that you won’t want to miss. See you at Chicago’s Mid-America Club on October 4, 2018.
Your digital transformation starts with product information.
Lisa Trowbridge, Marketing
Lisa is a budding marketer and writer, and a senior at Miami University in Ohio. She loves peanut butter and skirts with pockets, and doesn’t believe in horoscopes, but always reads hers anyway.