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Dick’s Sporting Goods scores mobile in-store goal with app update

The sporting goods market is in flux, with weak sales causing Sporting Authority to sell off the business and putting pressure on other chains. Savvy retailers in this space understand the growing role that mobile is playing on influencing in-store sales – still the lion’s share of revenue for most – and are adapting.

“Stores are a critical component of our strategy and providing a meaningful mobile experience while customers are in our stores is something we’re spending a lot of time on,” said Rafeh Masood, vice president of customer innovation technology at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“We recently relaunched our in-store feature within our mobile app, which allows our customers easy access to features meaningful to them while in-store, such as Scorecard access, rewards, weekly ads, etc. accessible through the store section,” he said.

“In select pilot stores, the app automatically switches to in-store mode when used inside of our stores, as long as our customers are sharing their location with us.

Store details
Dick’s Sporting Goods updated its iPhone app this week with a new Stores section. Here, users can see details about their closest stores, present their ScoreCard loyalty card at checkout, scan products and check out the weekly circular.

On the Store Details page, users can also find out which services, such as equipment serving or repair, are offered at that location.

Bricks-and-mortar retailer chains see a large majority of their sales come from in-store shoppers even as online and mobile sales continue to grow.

However, even when a purchase is made in a store, mobile is playing a bigger role influencing that sale, whether a shopper is researching products, comparing prices, looking for deals or reading reviews.

Shoppers today want access to information that will help them shop smarter, faster and better,” said Jeremy Gilman, vice president of strategy at DMI. “By providing information on locations, and services available at those locations – Dick’s is helping their customers access the information they need to have a satisfying and successful shopping experience.

“Mobile also lends itself to taking advantage of a customers actions and intent,” he said. “By recognizing when a customer searching for locations, brands need to serve them immediately to capture that intent and convert.”

In-store experiences
Savvy retailers recognize the need to cater to these shoppers with mobile services built around their stores.

A new segment of shopper is emerging who uses mobile devices more frequently and represents the greatest opportunity to increase revenue via a focused mobile in-store strategy, according to a recent report from DMI (see story).

The report found that 33 percent of shoppers regularly use a mobile device while shopping in a store the majority of these shoppers would visit a store more often and buy more if leading in-store mobile shopping tools were available.

A number of big retailers across categories are focusing on enhancing the in-store mobile experience.

In a significant enhancement to Macy’s smartphone app, it now boasts an in-store mode, creating a destination for on-premise shoppers that brings together a number of useful tools (see story).

Target is making the in-store shopping experience easier and faster for customers using the Cartwheel application via an update that includes a store map highlighting products with coupons available as well as store-specific deals (see story).

Pushing ahead
Dick’s Sporting Goods is betting on mobile as one way to prevail during a turbulent time for the sporting goods market.

Yesterday, several reports said that Dick’s Sporting Goods won a bid for Sports Authority’s brand name, other intellectual property and 31 stores, which were auctioned off as part of the retailer’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Many retailers in this space are facing lackluster same-store sales as the number of stores outstrips consumer demand.

“We are constantly soliciting feedback from our customers on the experiences they would like to see in our app,” Mr. Masood said. “Recently, we enabled store maps for three of our stores in the Pittsburgh area for users to easily search and locate of products while in our store.

“There is a robust roadmap to continue to iterate and evolve our app to augment a superior in-store experience,” he said.