Sports Experts' Digital Turn

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Invasion of the Showroomers!

Armed with smartphones and looking for the best deals; showroomers have invaded the retail space!

Who hasn’t encountered consumers who visit brick-and-mortar stores before making the purchase from online retailers whose lack of overhead expenses enable them to offer discounted prices?

Sports Experts, a major Canadian sports-retailer franchise who is no stranger to this dramatic shift in consumer behaviour, chose to arm itself against the invasion rather than stand idly by while consumers use their stores as showrooms for the competition!

“Our objective is to reach out to our customers. Selling products is no longer enough, we want to be a store that builds long-standing relationships with clients.” 

- Jean-Stéphane Tremblay, Executive Vice-President, FGL Sports

According to a recent SecureNet study, more than one in five consumers (21%) actually completed the purchase of a product from a smartphone while browsing for the same item in a physical store!

  • More than half of consumers (55%) have used a mobile device to research a product while in the store. Among the 18- to 29-year-old demographic, that number jumps to 68 percent. For the 30-44 demographic, that number jumps even higher to 72 percent
  • More than 53% of in-store customers abandoned at least one purchase due to online insights obtained via the smartphones

The Counterattack

To win a fight, it’s always better to have back-up! In this case, from a partner renowned for its expertise in developing digital experiences that reflect their clients’ brands, help reach marketing objectives and connect with consumers on an emotional level. That’s where Stingray Business came in! In collaboration with Sports Experts’ management team, Stingray Business helped developed a two-pronged approach that would drastically reduce showrooming:

“I feel that with this project, we have created a shopping destination for visitors of all ages. The new Sports Experts concept stores at Carrefour Laval and Place Ste-Foy are absolutely awe-inspiring and a great example of how digital innovations can enhance the overall customer experience and be a living part of the store design.” - Michel Huneault, VP of Operations at Stingray Business, Digital Experience Group.

High-quality, digital innovations combined with engaging content have proven to have a measurable impact on consumer behaviour:


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Harnessing Digital Experiences

Over a period of 18 months, Stingray Business’ multidisciplinary team composed of project managers, motion designers, art directors, IT engineers, programmers, marketing specialists, user experience designers and interactive app designers, reimagined two key Sports Experts locations (the 43,000 ft2 Laval location and the 22,000 ft2 Ste-Foy location).

Adding to the challenge of this massive undertaking, digital supports and content needed to be developed and installed in parallel with the design and construction of both stores.

The end-result: the seamless integration of cutting-edge digital innovations and the transformation of the shopping experience:

This audacious project has brought Sports Experts years ahead of the competition with respect to integrating technology into the retail environment. The two revamped Sports Experts stores also serve as a menu of options for franchisees wishing to implement and customize one or many of these solutions.

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Coming Up Next

To keep the showroomers at bay for the long haul, Stingray Business will continually update the custom content broadcast in-store on a weekly, monthly and seasonal basis. Modernizing the in-store experience is only the first step for Sports Experts; their transactional web site will be launched before the end of 2015. A digital makeover is a long-term investment with a potential for enormous returns.

Integrating digital experiences is a strategy that any retailer can implement to connect with consumers, increase brand awareness and encourage repeat visits. To find out more about Stingray Business’ custom digital innovations, contact us now

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