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Dick’s reveals secrets behind 200% increase in e-commerce business

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The resurgence in retail sales around the world has been well documented, but the 200% increase in e-commerce business reported by Dick’s Sporting Goods for one quarter is a stand-out performance even by current measures.

Now the 800-store US chain, which reportedly accounts for 10% of fishing tackle sales in the country, has provided an insight into how it did it. Speaking during the virtual Intersport Brand Innovation Summit, Dick’s VP of Community and Sports Marketing Mark Rooks highlighted how the company has pivoted its strategy during the pandemic.

On e-commerce: “Over 50% of sales are coming through mobile, which is fantastic. More than 75% of our online sales were actually fulfilled by our stores serving as local distribution points and really the hub of our omni-channel experience. It’s really lifted our business.

On reacting quickly: “We’ve been forced to be really creative and scrappy as an organisation, first by enhancing our e-commerce business with a curbside pick-up, which we were able to set up in two days back in March.”

On supply shortages: “At different points in the pandemic, certain categories were supply constrained. But we tried to leverage our partnerships with vendors and our private brands suppliers to aggressively chase after products so that we had product for in-demand categories.”

On increasing foot traffic to stores: “A lot of it was shifting a little in how we think about marketing. We leveraged our Scorecard (customer loyalty) database to help revive a lot of our digital and direct marketing efforts to enable us to be a lot more precise and personalised with consumers. We didn’t stop non-digital marketing either, so our direct efforts were pretty strong. We were out there in a big way with TV, but we had to recognise that the stores were closed.”

On innovation: “We’ve had to really shift our focus towards real health and safety, which led to the implementation of a number of preventative measures to keep our stores clean and safe… and also limiting the number of guests as required by law.”

On new initiatives: “We are opening a limited number of soccer shops, which are more of a shop within a shop concept. So as some retailers are shutting down or consolidating stores, Dick’s is opening up new ones.”

Rooks also said that no one knows how COVID will affect the sporting goods industry: “We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing and make sure we’re in a good position to service the needs of our customers and remain nimble, flexible and aggressive in the marketplace,” he added.

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