The internet is great and we all have benefited from its existence.
The outdoor industry is facing growing challenges: Loss of walk in traffic, increasing rents for shops, competitor shops opening nearby selling the same brands. Challenges in the outdoor industry are nothing new, and only increasing.
Customer behavior changes and moves more and more towards online purchasing. I need only to look at my millennial kids to know this fact. If I had to bet I’d take the over betting that 60%+ of their lifetime purchases have been made online without ever walking into a local shop. It’s not only millennials – my wife makes about 70% of her purchases online and in talking to my friends the number is confirmed.
Trade shows are drying up, never at the “right” time of year and everyone is scrambling to figure out where and how to engage the next customer. Making things worse is that most shops continue to use antiquated marketing strategies with diminishing levels of success. For small-business owners stuck in the old days it is the beginning of the end.
Marketing issues in the Outdoor Industry
Google it – As a small business owner, you are advised to be on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Companies will happily charge you to manage your social accounts and post for you, but you have only a few followers so who will ever see the content? It’s like putting a billboard on the moon until you grow your base of followers, oh yes you can pay someone to grow your social media base but does the new growth actually grow your interaction rate? Take a look and I’d bet if you pay someone to grow your “followers” your interaction / like rate will seriously drop. Organic growth is always best IMO because those followers found you and followed you because they like what you’re slinging.
So what now? Go ahead and fall back to antiquated methods like ads in phonebooks, local classifieds, visiting local events, and knocking on doors. Shockingly this is the roadmap for many local businesses. As traditional marketing sources have changed and people have become increasingly difficult to connect with, the solution has been to double, triple, and even quadruple down on the the same old methods. Yes, you may still get a call out of the phonebook every season, but do you get anyone under the age of 65 calling? I am a perfect 15/15 years running for tossing the annual phonebook slung in my driveway at 4am directly into the trash can without ever taking it out of its enticing plastic wrap.
You need a marketplace – your website alone isn’t cutting it
Isn’t cutting it, yes I said that and unless you have a full time SEO person and lots of $ to keep improving it your shop site probably isn’t getting you much of a return. So why should you listen to me? Reality is I really am trying to sell you something here. Ahem, (bike2020.com, ski2020.com, SUP2020.com, Moto2020.com). Listen or not but I have been in the outdoor industry for over 15 years and have been everything from rep to sales manager for some pretty swanky brands and have visited or spoken to IDK 1,000’s of shops. Shop owners are a great source of fact and fiction when you are talking to them and you always know the fact when you hear the same things from lots and lots of shop owners
We KNOW when consumers want something they go straight to Google, ( I do ). Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – I bet you do the same. It’s just so easy and you can be a much better informed consumer when you make the purchase. Our marketplaces have been designed with this in mind and we know how consumers search for information. We know where to put it, and how to present it. Our marketplaces, blogs and SEO strategies put your shop and your products in front of those eyeballs.
All for one or one for all?
Ok we’re all in business for ourselves first and foremost and that is not a bad thing. You probably invested your entire savings and perhaps a home line of credit to open your dream shop. Why then would you join one of our marketplaces and put your products in harms way and risk the sale in a place with lots of other shops all listing similar, or the same, items at perhaps a lower cost? Let me ask you a few questions before I answer –
- How many NEW customers walk in to your shop every month?
- How many NEW users do you get on your website each month?
- What are you paying a sq. foot for rent?
Simple answer – you MUST always be increasing your customer base, and SALES or the business won’t survive too long, ( Yes this is true with us as well ). Yes yes when you list with us you are exposing your inventory, and pricing to lots of other shops that use our marketplaces BUT you are also exposing YOUR products to 1,000’s of NEW potential customers every month that may not otherwise ever know you exist. Their IS strength in numbers with us and when you join one of our platforms you benefit from others listings.
Simply put – 1 brand X on 1 website, ( yours ) will get about zero search engine visibility but 5, 10, 20 or so of brand X on 1 marketplace gets that item on page 1 of a Google search. Consumers click on one of the 5, 10, 20 or 30 of the brand X listings and then can compare to yours based on your location and their location. If pricing is similar and you live in CA are you going to buy from the guy in FL? No you’ll buy from the closest shop and if the price is higher with you the consumer will usually ask if you can “do the same”. Then they will probably go to pick up the item at your store and buy more stuff. If you treat the customer well you can benefit from repeat business.
Oh yeah our marketplaces are,,
ONLY $29.99 FOR AN ALL INCLUSIVE PLAN.
You get unlimited listings, ( so list ALL your items even the full price stuff and expose your inventory), each with: 5 hi-res photos, 1 video, a URL link, email & social media marketing, unlimited blog posts, buy now button, and live web statistics. Support available via. live chat, email or phone.
Or you can pay what 17% + to sell on Amazon, ( at a lower price ) or 14% + on eBay ( also at a lower price ) or call the Yellow page guy and the guy that does the advertising placemats for the local diners,,,,
If you would like a live demo of how any of our marketplaces work CONTACT US
Or simply sign up by clicking the site your interested in below: