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Champs Sports drives 183pc increase in mobile sales

The company has also seen mobile visitors increase 75 percent and repeat visits rise 170 percent, according to Scott Burton, director of marketing at Champs Sports. Its conversion rate is up 33 percent, he said. He declined to provide the specific sales volume totals these figures represent.

“We have always seen that it has been worthwhile over-investing in mobile media,” Mr. Burton said. “Our kid just consumes media, and consumes knowledge about products more so than ever on their mobile device, so from campaign to campaign, we have typically over-invested in that type of platform.”

Champs operates 540 retail stores across North America offering footwear, apparel and accessories. It is a division of New York-based Foot Locker Inc.

The retailer’s target audience is male high school varsity athletes, Mr. Burton said. It often seeks to appeal to them through its “We know game” tag line and campaign themes.

Driving commerce with content
Content is at the heart of Champs’ mobile effort, Mr. Burton explained. The retailer has been partnering with lifestyle publisher Complex Media to boost the content on its own site and to drive traffic to its ecommerce platforms.

The most recent iteration of the partnership with Complex Media is The Drop, a blog on the Champs Sports site that launched on July 1. The Drop features three original editorial articles a day created exclusively for the blog by editors at Complex Media. Currently 53 percent of the traffic to comes through The Drop, Mr. Burton said.

It is updated seven days a week, focusing on what Champs Sports calls the “four pillars of Game” — style, sports, sound and smarts. Content includes such features as Hear Me Out, through which athletes share songs from their playlists; She Got Game, a look a trend-setting women in sports; and The Prequel, which is monthly overview of upcoming sneaker releases. Other features revolve around professional athletes and their lifestyles.

Features posted on July 2 included “The best five wide receivers not named Calvin Johnson” and the music playlist of Aaron Gordon, who was one of the top picks in the recent National Basketball Association draft.

Evolution of content
The Drop is an evolution of Champs’ previous use of lifestyle content from Complex Media, Mr. Burton said.

“Through our partnership with Complex last year, we did a lot of co-branded editorial online, and have since evolved that into our Drop blog,” he said. “We know our kid has an immense appetite for media, and this blog is an opportunity to speak to them on a daily basis on the platform that they use most frequently.”

The Drop is part of the second phase of Champs Sports’ digital revamp following the Web site’s transition to responsive design. All of the retailer’s digital platforms, including micro-sites for specific campaigns, are now optimized with mobile at top of mind, Mr. Burton said.

Champs is promoting the blog through links in content on Complex Media’s Web sites and through its own social media.

The retailer has long used a variety of mobile advertising techniques to reach its core audience. These platforms have included links within videos, interstitial ads on apps and mobile display ads.

“Whether it is in a campaign-specific media buy or in brand-specific promotions, we have always felt the need to reach the kid where he lives and breathes,” Mr. Burton said.

“It has really paid off for us over the years. When we have seen industry averages of 15 percent of traditional media buys going toward mobile, we have significantly increased that — up to at times doubling it. We have seen that pay off, because we know that is where our kid lives.”

Final Take

Mark Hamstra is content director at Mobile Commerce Daily.