The retail sporting goods industry in the United States has grown year on year for the past 5 years, it’s no wonder that sporting goods businesses are popping up everywhere. With giant sports chains taking a large slice of the market share, smaller businesses need to look towards customer acquisition to increase their profits.
Large national chains obviously have multiple advantages including hundreds of locations around the country, user-friendly websites and gigantic marketing budgets. For smaller local shops and ecommerces specializing in niche sports like soccer or baseball, it can be difficult to compete. But as a small business, you can use your local community to your advantage. Find out below how to find and win new customers.
What is Customer Acquisition ?
The process of finding customers requires planning strategies that will work for your business and customers. There are many different customer acquisition strategies that can be used but the success and effectiveness of each of the methods centres on the specific types of customers you are targeting and your position in the market.
When you are looking to acquire new customers for your business you are primarily focusing on persuading consumers to purchase your company’s products. One way to think about acquisition is as the link between advertising and customer relationship management. Some successful acquisition strategies include customer referrals and customer loyalty programs.
The Basics Steps of Acquiring New Customers
There are a few basic steps that every business should include in any type of customer acquisition plan. The goal is to establish relationships with prospective customers to identify their needs and determine how your products relate to those needs.
The first step identified by Pathwwway Internet Gaming is to identify quality potential customers. You can do this by reaching out to potential customers through call centers and mailing lists. This method will allow you to determine which individuals are interested in or already use products similar to yours.
Next, you need to use different research methods to determine the viability of the given lead. If it seems likely that you’ll be able to acquire this new customer, his status is upgraded to that of prospect and he is assigned to a salesperson to begin the sales process.
Now you know the basics, if you run a sporting goods store or ecommerce website and are looking to find and win new customers then you’ll benefit from trying out these tips.
1. Explore Your Local Community
A great place for sporting goods stores to start when looking for new customers is the local community. There’s a ready made pool of leads right at your backdoor that you can successfully tap into, this can include schools, sports teams and many other community groups.
Contact schools and organisations and find out if they are looking to buy new equipment. You could also benefit greatly by offering to give their students or team players a referral discount. This will encourage organisations to steer students to your store or website.
2. Connect with Local Bloggers and Facebook Groups
One of the most cost effective ways to get publicity for your sporting goods business is to utilise digital marketing. Take a leaf from marketing strategies of bigger companies books and contact bloggers to feature and review your products. Connect with your local sporting community through Facebook groups, if they don’t exist in your area build your own Facebook group to bring the sporting community together.
If you’re going to be undertaking digital marketing make sure you have a basic website and Facebook page up and running beforehand. Then locate popular local blog and contact each blog owner or Facebook group administrator directly and ask them about their policies regarding new business promotion.
3. Advertise your Store Online
Once you’ve got the ball rolling with bloggers and Facebook groups, it’s time to start setting up some paid advertising. Your first step should be to register your business with Google, this will enable your business to appear prominently in Google search results, on Google Maps (if you have a physical store) and it will also allow you to set up Google Adwords campaigns.
In order to advertise online you need to be using Google Adwords, this allows you to create geographically targeted ads for your store or website. This can be a complicated process and you should consider hiring a professional Adwords manager to create and manage your campaign.
In addition to keyword ads you can also take advantage of adverts called ‘remarketing’ campaigns. This simple but effective tool targets adverts to people who have visited your website previously, it reminds them of their visit and is intended to drive them back to your store.
- Email Marketing
It’s common knowledge that email marketing is a powerful customer acquisition tool. There are two main ways to use email marketing to gain new customers and drive sales. Firstly, following up and secondly increasing retention.
Start building your email list as soon as possible but don’t just include previous customers. For your email marketing strategy to acquire new customers you need to capture emails of prospective customers. You can encourage people to sign up for newsletters or sales notifications. Then further down the road when you have a special promotion you have an email list of people who are interested in your product and are open to being contacted again.
- Incentivize Referrals
One of the easiest and quickest from ways from Pathwwway Internet Gaming to get more customers for your business is to utilise your existing customer bases. This can have outstanding effects on your plan by offering your current customers benefits for referring their friends you can easily gain new customers with minimum effort.
This is a great way to market your sporting goods business it’s word of mouth marketing at its finest. When referrals come from a trusted source like a friend, colleague or family member, people are more likely to buy from your business than someone who was contacted through conventional marketing channels.
As you can see there is more than one way to approach finding and winning new customers. Choosing the right method for you depends on your market position and target market. With the tips above, you should have no trouble creating a customer acquisition plan that works for you and your company.