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Dick’s Sporting Goods rules mcommerce via geo-fenced ads, in-aisle mobile

Dick’s Sporting Goods saw its ecommerce sales grow to nearly 15 percent of total sales in 2014’s fourth quarter as a result of the retailer’s decision to equip its sales associates with mobile devices for easy ordering in any aisle, enable geo-fencing capabilities for sending weekly ads and launch a stronger in-app loyalty platform.

Dick’s, which is the United States’ largest omnichannel sporting apparel and gear retailer, has been focusing on integrating mobile strategy more into its in-store, online and offline shopping experiences. It has found that its consumers spend approximately three times more on omnichannel platforms than bricks-and-mortar customers.

“Enhancing our mobile capabilities is a significant part of our omnichannel strategy both for consumers and Dick’s associates,” said Rafeh Masood, vice president of customer innovation technology at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Coraopolis, PA. “We recently updated the app to create a more user-friendly interface designed to improve accessibility and drive users to an omnichannel shopping experience.

“It also features access to Scorecard, our customer loyalty program, as well as local store ads and offers,” he said. “For our store associates, next generation mobile devices provide a consumer-grade experience.

“The device can be used to enhance store operations and as a customer assistance tool, providing an Endless Aisle and additional product info.”

Ramping up sales
The increased focus on mobile and omnichannel experiences has fuelled Dick’s to attempt to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world, as it has discovered that ecommerce sales grow by 50 percent in local markets when a storefront is also present.

This lends credence to the possibility that consumers enjoy browsing items in-store, but take advantage of localized deals to ultimately complete the checkout process online or on a mobile device. Dick’s sends consumers deals and weekly ads from geo-fenced services that fuel more in-store traffic as well as mcommerce.

Dick’s also makes sure its stores function as mini-shopping centers that offer consumers the ability to purchase items online and pick them up in-store with no shipping cost. This has enabled the brand to increase speed, service and productivity, and also ship thousands of products weekly from its stores.

Furthermore, the retailer is engaging in an “endless aisle” strategy that equips its sales associates with mobile devices so that they may help customers order any item online from any part of the store, should the customer require a different size, style or out of stock inventory.

“Endless Aisle allows our associates to provide additional options for customers who are interested in products that are out of stock or only available online,” Mr. Masood said. “It is a valuable service that widens the selection of products available and provides the convenience of having purchases sent directly to consumers’ homes.”

The brand is also allowing users of its mobile application view and redeem their rewards points directly from their smartphones, and opt-in to receive alerts based on data and location.

Relevant partnerships
Dick’s Sporting Goods counts its relevant brand partnerships as part of the lure for fitness and sports enthusiasts. The retailer sells more Nike and Under Armour items than any other national store.

The brand also develops original content series and films to celebrate the power of sports and build long-lasting relationships with its customers through their interests.

It taps unique partnerships for leverage over competitors, making it the exclusive ecommerce provider of certain licensed sporting goods and merchandise on and other digital channels.

“We look for ways to use mobile technology to continuously enhance the user experience for consumers and our store associates,” Mr. Masood said. “We have additional enhancements we plan to roll out later this year.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York