Is it profitable to open an online store for my sports club?
You are probably considering the online store as a new source of income for your club. And not only that, but it will allow you to facilitate the processes both for you as a club, as well as athletes, members and fans. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
In principle, yes. Of course it’s a great idea. But it is not a trivial decision, as this will require time and effort until everything is up and running. We are going to tell you a series of tips and tricks that you should take into account before venturing into your online store. Let’s go with it!
What should I take into account when deciding whether to open an online store or not?
Have a business mindset
Most clubs are not intended for business purposes. You don’t have to have an entrepreneurial mindset. In fact, it shouldn’t be the goal of the club. But what is interesting is to assess different income streams with a business mentality, so that the income generated goes to the club, to the athletes and to offer the best of services. In that sense, electronic commerce can help you expand your horizons and expand your brand.
Size of your club
You have to take into account the number of people that make up your club and the number of fans and members. It is not the same that your club is made up of 20 people than 800. The scope of your sales will be greater the more people are affiliated with your club. Both for the direct and indirect impact. If your club is “small”, perhaps it is more advisable to focus your efforts on making it grow, attracting new members s . Later, you will take some lines of business to the digital world.
Analyze your environment
It seems obvious, but the location where your club is located is very relevant. On the one hand, by the number of inhabitants. If it is a small town, it seems more logical to sell the club clothes at the headquarters than to try to get them online. On the other hand, in a capital or a larger city, you may need to reach people who do not have access to your facilities in a simple way. On the other hand, and no less important, it is interesting to analyze the consumption habits of the people around you. Are they used to buying online? Are they digital natives? It is possible to change consumption habits, but it is a job that you will have to do, so it is worth trying to study it beforehand.
Analyze what the rest of the clubs do
This will give you a lot of information on how the sector is doing, since if you notice that no club has an online store, you can break the market. If there is a club that promotes online shopping and does it wonderfully, you should follow their example and adopt their good practices. It is easier to follow the path of a referring club, to want to invent the way.
Estimate the profitability of your online store
If you already have a physical store as such or you place orders for your sports equipment even without having a physical establishment, you can get a rough idea about the potential of this new sales channel.
Based on everything described, define your budget
You have to take into account if you have enough money to set up this online business. It does not require the same amount if, for example, you commission a company to make the website for you, maintain it, store the clothes and send them, so that you assume all these processes.
Let’s imagine that it more or less makes sense to set up an online store. With the budget you have, you estimate an interesting income, and you have observed the competition. If you are still hesitant and need that impulse to help you make the decision, here are the advantages of opening an e-commerce:
Advantages of setting up an online store for your sports club
The store is open 24 hours
This type of trade does not have hours. At any time of the day someone can access your online store and buy the product they want. It works 365 days a year.
Reach new customers
Being on the internet, anyone, wherever they are, can access the web. It does not matter where you are physically located. There is no geographical limit. You have a greater reach and what is better, greater possibility of sales.
Reduce your costs
You save numerous costs when compared to a physical store. It is not necessary to pay the rent of a physical place, nor the electricity, water … associated with this rent. You do not need a person during customer service hours, but orders can be prepared with little time per day. It is not necessary to have stock, since, on occasions, agreements can be reached with suppliers, so that they produce the club clothes after the order and not before.
Increase your profit
If the costs are lower, the profit margin is higher. It is true that we will have to add other types of cost that we did not have before, such as shipping. However, there are many clubs that pass this cost on to the buyer, or offer to receive the merchandise at the clubhouse itself.
Greater customer loyalty
If in the purchase process or at the end of the purchase we ask the clients for their data, these serve to maintain contact and be able to inform them of new promotions or relevant club news. Information is power, and if you have it, you can do great things with it.
Greater convenience for the client
The customer does not have to go anywhere to buy, they will always know if the product is available and receive the product at home. There is a trend towards facilitating the purchasing processes. The consumer is already used to not wasting time when making the purchase. Why should I do it to buy the club tracksuit?
Come on, now yes. We have convinced you. Perfect. Let us explain the 4 different ways to set up an e-commerce for your club, and decide which is the best for you
Different types of e-commerce for your sports club
If you already have your own website you can add a section that works as a store or create it from scratch. If you do not have experience in this field online you can find the steps and recommendations to create it or hire companies that are dedicated to it. It has to be an attractive and intuitive website to help the conversion. Do not forget that the website is the showcase. But someone must update the stock (when selling it is updated, but maybe you add new stock or also sell offline), take care of the orders, etc.
You can be part of a marketplace, a store of stores like Amazon or Ebay. You have to make sure that people interested in your products know where to find them. The benefit is less in these cases since you have to take into account the commission to be paid in order to be part of them. However, you have to worry about setting up an online store, they make it very easy for you to upload photos, information, stock and sell!
It works like your own store, but your role is an intermediary between the customer and the manufacturer, who is in charge of shipping the product. It is one of the best options if what you sell are manufacturer products. But if your club has custom clothing with the logo and sponsors, it is unlikely to be able to use this option. And you will have to acquire and save your own stock.
If you don’t have a big budget or want to test the waters first, you can use social networks to get started in the world of electronic commerce. Facebook from a fan page allows you to create a store in which to expose the product. If the customer is interested, you would only have to provide the payment information (Paypal or transfer) and send the product. On Instagram and Twitter you can publicize your products and the management of the sale would already be by private messaging.
Internet is a world with many possibilities ahead and it can be very useful for the expansion of your club. If you have decided to take another step towards digital transformation, we can help you set up your own online store . At Esportter we can advise you on which is the best option for your sports club.