Increasing emphasis on general health and fitness has served as a key driver for the growth of sporting goods retail franchises. These businesses sell bicycles, exercise and fitness equipment, apparel, footwear, and other related goods and accessories. Many sporting goods retail franchises specialize in a specific product or activity. Businesses that cater to changing trends in styles, materials, equipment, and customer experience, including online shopping, can compete successfully.
With the ease of acquiring any athletic gear or apparel online, you must determine how you’ll stand out and draw customers in a real-world setting. There is still room in the market for traditional brick-and-mortar locations, but such stores need a strong selling point. Here are some ideas for how to differentiate yourself in a good way from the world of online shopping.
Try It Out
This is the significant advantage that a physical sporting goods store has over online sellers. You have the gear right there in the store where customers can see it, feel it, and even try it out. Depending on the type of gear in question, they might be able to try it in the store – or you might have demo units that you can send out into the field. By doing as much as you can to emphasize the opportunity to try equipment and see what works best, you’ll give yourself a differentiating factor that could lead your customers away from shopping online.
Ready to Go
Some outdoor activities happen at the spur of the moment, and there isn’t enough time to order some gear and wait for it to arrive. For example, if some friends decide to get together and head out to the lake for a day of summer fun on the water, they might want water toys, rafts, life jackets, etc. Make sure you have a robust inventory of items likely to be in demand, depending on the season.
If you have expertise in one or more sports or build that expertise over time, you can be a valuable resource that will give people a reason to shop in person. Don’t be afraid to engage with your customers and ask how to help them find exactly what they need for their upcoming outings and adventures.