The 2020 sports season looks wildly different than any other, and brings plenty of unanswered questions. What impact will the pandemic have on school sports? Will the season be delayed and for how long? How will the pandemic impact sports participation rates going forward?
Despite all the uncertainty surrounding upcoming sport seasons, there are a number of things that can be incorporated into your strategy to position for a successful fall season. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your sports-related online stores.
Sport seasons may be delayed, but athletes are not the kind of people to sit around and wait. The uncertainty around when exactly they’ll make their way back onto the field or court can motivate athletes to hone their skills at home so they’re prepared for whatever happens over the next few months.
This means athletes will need training items they can use to practice while they’re away from the gym and their team. Agility ladders, cones, resistance parachutes, high step trainers, resistance bands, and hurdles are all items athletes will need for personal training.
In addition, athletes may need sport-specific equipment like nets, balls, rebound trainers, kicking tees, blocks, bats, and pads.
Athletes doing at-home training will still need high-performance practice apparel to exercise in. Get athletes excited for their season by providing branded Team gear and apparel designed to support their new training regimen.
Practices will kick off several weeks before the regular season, and because of the delays, athletes will need weather-resistant sportswear capable of carrying them through the end of the year. Compression pieces and layers become essential in colder months, so be prepared to have conversations with coaches and leaders about products that will support their players in various weather conditions.
Lastly, athletes may also need (or prefer) to use their own items instead of those that are typically shared. This includes things like helmets, water bottles, and towels, so be sure to add these items to your online stores. Don’t forget popular items like hats, slip-on slides, and sanitizer clip-ons.
The uncertainty around what sports seasons will look like this Fall means you should be prepared to move forward at a moments’ notice. Consider having template stores ready, pitch coaches ahead of time, and have things prepared for immediate turn-on when you get the green light.
Delaying fall sports could also lead to a stacked season in the spring. Protect your customers interests by hosting online stores stocked with products that have healthy inventory levels to ensure they get their orders in time for the season. Utilize OMG’s Live Inventory feeds during the store building process to hedge against backorders.
Athletes aren’t the only ones excited about upcoming seasons – so are the fans! Take a fan focus by making an extra effort to provide quality spirit wear that will get the Team and their supporters excited to take the field or court. You can even run online fundraising stores to support clubs and Teams that could use an extra boost.
Season-specific items like face coverings and layers can stand alongside classic spirit wear like t-shirts, bags, hats, and sweatshirts. Consider adding additional items like hand sanitizer, blankets, stadium chairs and towels to ensure their game-day experience is their best yet. And again, don’t forget about those layers they’ll need for watching games in the colder months!
Because it’s not quite clear what school sponsored sports will look like this season, athletes and parents may look for sports leagues and clubs, where there are less restrictions around play. Some leagues and clubs rely on school facilities for practice and games, so search out those that have their own facilities.
It’s also important to remember that each league and club may have their own unique schedule and season timeline. Lean on your network and do your research to identify opportunities that make the most sense for your business. Reach out to your OMG Account Manager for data and insights to help you capitalize on sports and seasonal trends.
Regulations restricting large group gatherings have paved the way for virtual events to take center stage. Virtual clinics are being held to support athletes with at-home training and provide a more engaging experience. Offer apparel and gear leading up to the clinic to help athletes feel even more involved.
Offer up your expertise and maximize your sales by providing key gear and apparel to contribute to the positive participant experience for virtual events beyond your normal Team sales. Consider providing athletic gear and apparel for virtual events like 5k’s and 10k’s, walk-a-thons, cycling groups, lazy ironmans, rucking clubs, fundraising events, and golf tournaments. Connect with clubs, leagues, and organizations in your area to determine need and offer top-of-the-line athletic apparel to enhance the participant experience.
OMG online stores are designed to support your business and maximize sales. Be sure to take advantage of these key features while you launch and run your online stores this season:
Live Inventory: Sell with confidence and prevent backorders by viewing live inventory feeds from top brands to inform your product selection during the store building process.
Fundraising Tracker: Maximize fundraising efforts by rallying the community towards a cause, and giving consumers a real-time visual on how their purchases are contributing towards a goal.
Tiered Shipping: Encourage consumers to order more by offering free shipping once they reach a certain cart total. For example, you can use tiered shipping to offer free shipping for orders over $150, or free two-day shipping for orders over $300. Just be sure to analyze the economics to ensure it makes sense financially.
Purchase Order Report: Reduce ordering errors and save valuable time with OMG’s Purchase Order report. This report makes B2B purchasing simple by allowing you to organize orders by vendor or supplier without tallying product quantities by hand.
Personalization Report: Use the Personalization Report to eliminate potential decoration errors on customized items. This report is especially helpful for fulfilling made-to-order products like uniforms and spirit wear that include names and numbers.
Manage Group Access Portal: Give coaches and leaders the ability to see which athletes have ordered and which items they ordered, as well as promote the store to ensure the entire Team gets their orders in on time.
All the questions of the upcoming season have nothing against your innovative strategy this year.
OrderMyGear is an industry-leading sales tool, empowering dealers, distributors, decorators, and brands to create custom online pop-up stores to sell branded products and apparel. Since 2008, OMG has been on a mission to simplify the process of selling customized merchandise to groups and improve the ordering experience. With easy-to-use tools, comprehensive reporting, and unmatched support, the OMG platform powers online stores for over 3,000 clients generating more than $1 billion in online sales. Learn more at www.ordermygear.com.
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