Features Selling the dream

Published on November 2nd, 2017 | by adventuremag

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Selling the dream’Image result for online shopping graphic The growth of online shopping and the adventure industry

Any one associated with the Adventure industry right now will tell you it’s pretty healthy, operators, tourism, store sales and according to the Outdoor Shopping Focus report (produced by Demandware 2016), the adventure/outdoor sector is experiencing a period of rapid growth in digital commerce. How great is it?

Year-over-year, traffic to outdoor sites is up 38%, versus 21% across all other digital commerce. Year-over-year growth in visit spend (a measure of the change in conversion rate and average order value) is up 11% in adventure/outdoor market, nearly double the rate across all other digital commerce.

While naturally outdoor ecommerce sites have lower rates of shoppers adding products to a basket, once they do add to the digital basket they are 25% more likely to complete the purchase.

So what’s going on here? Why are online shoppers in the outdoor category visiting (and more importantly, buying) more often than the rest of the digital world?

Perhaps, it comes down to this: aspiration and trust.

There would be few retail environments where lifestyle and aspiration are woven so deeply into the brand as in outdoor. For evidence, just look at the homepage of many of these outdoor brands, most will use this valuable digital retail space not to start the hard selling but to issue an all-out call to action, with phrases like ‘Run Happy,’ ‘live wild,’ ‘Forever Faster’ and ‘Make Your Mark.’

Brands are embodying action and adventure, ‘selling the dream’ in all its muddy glory, in order to establish a connection with their active shoppers. Why? Because it works that’s what outdoor is about action and adventure first product second! People buy from those they can relate to and aspire to emulate and to trust.

When that connection is made and considered authentic by the shopper, the products (which they want to buy) become the vehicle for enabling the activity that empowers them to live the active or perceived active adventurous lifestyle embodied in the visual message.

The lines are often blurred between shopfront and guided selling and, in particular, user-generated content are enormously valuable engagement tools for outdoor brands, because it validates the brand’s credibility and creates an opportunity for retailers to engage on a deeper, less promotional level with shoppers creating trust which in turn generates into sales

When it comes to the outdoor/adventure market, there may be no other platforms whose products evoke such passion, connection and immersion into one’s lifestyle. That’s precisely why retailers in the outdoor category are leading the charge to create shopping experiences that goes beyond the transaction and serve as a call to action.

Surveying our own Adventure readers we found (we don’t necessarily agree with these statement they are just what was said) this is what they felt about online shopping its pros and cons

Top advantages to buying on line pros

  1. Saves time and effort.
  2. Convenience of shopping from home.
  3. Wide variety / range of products are available.
  4. Good discounts / lower prices.
  5. Get detailed information of the product.
  6. Can compare various models / brands.

Top disadvantages to buying on line cons

  1. Fear of credit card information being stolen
  2. I can’t tell what the product is really like
  3. Fear of fakes
  4. Not being able to track orders
  5. Needing real human assistance
  6. Time delay
  7. If you don’t like it you can’t take it back

 

 

 

Three is a lot of discussion re online stores and brick and mortar comparisons and not unlike the magazine industry we need to offer both platforms to meet everyone needs and wants.  We approached a range of wholesalers and store owners and asked them to comment on the responses although varied carried they very much carried the same message

 

The online operators and those that offered both online and retail outlets (which is nearly everybody)  addressed ‘cons’ column from outlining bullet proof payment process  through to returning goods. They recognised that there is always going to more time delay buying online rather walking in and out of a store but the tracking and information to the online buyers had improved and in all cases there was a money back guarantee of satisfaction with all the reputable online stores.

 

Hamish Pirie Gear Shop

People understand that ordering online has the advantages of variety and price, but clearly it’s going to take longer than walking into somewhere and buying off the shelf. So online is great for people who are organised and plan to purchase in advance, but perhaps not so good for last minute shoppers, there are limitations to shipping.

 

Both online and bricks and mortar have their place one offers variety and convenience the other hands on tactile experience and immediate expertise

 

Susan Park from Zen imports

‘Generally, I think that brick & mortar businesses can still thrive despite current trends as this is where people turn to for specialist gear & expert service. The standout adventure/outdoor stores are the ones that offer a range that reflects the specific needs of their customers & locality. It’s about building the relationships & trust’

 

The negative for online stores and online shopping has its base when you move ‘offshore’ – chasing that perceived lower price – that is when the rules get changed and the risks multiply lothrythmically

Nic Burgess from Ampro outline that fact that some

 

‘Product bought online ‘off shore’ if purchased overseas, the local distributor is unlikely to offer any support. As the importer, the purchaser takes on any local warranty obligation and the likelihood of inadvertently getting counterfeit product. If the price seems to be too good to be true, it probably is!

 

Not only do the risks multiply but there is peace of mind involved as well and supporting local industries

Neil Stichbury from Outfitters

Yes you may pay more but you can have peace of mind from a support perspective and remove most of the concerns in your cons column. You often find when you do the sums you aren’t saving a lot anyway. A local purchase also helps us all in paying wages locally, taxes, duties, customs charges, power, rates ….. Is buying from an overseas company any different from a funds perspective, than having foreign speculators buying property or us selling NZ businesses offshore – it’s all sending money out of the country and doing nothing for the local economy. That is “piece of mind”!

So to surmise online stores are showing amazing growth worldwide outdoor and adventure stores in many ways are at the forefront but with that fast growth comes risk, so if you want to shop online choose reputable online stores and choose local – you might not find that amazing jacket that you saw on the Mexican online store but you know it will arrive, and you can send it back and you credit card will not end up paying for a fiesta somewhere on the other side of the world.

Bricks and mortar store re here to stay for those that need assistance, advise, direction or wants to feel the fabric or just needs confidence that when I buy I 400 jacket I want to make sure it fits and it does what it is supposed to do.  And Online stores are not just an add on but a thriving organic new way to shop with convenience, variety and no need for a location.

 

Keepign yourself safe while shooping on line

Consider using single-use credit cards for online shopping. Most banks offer so-called disposable or single-use credit cards that can be used for online shopping. The virtual credit card number usually has a customizable time frame and dollar limit, which protects your real credit card number from thieves.

Use a credit card over a debit card, wire or bank transfer. Credit cards have more built-in safeguards to protect you against identity theft and give you a better chance of immediate refund in case of fraud or if you buy a defective product.

Install anti-virus software and a firewall. Make sure you regularly update your security software and never open suspicious emails. Security apps and browser extensions can add protection by blocking pop-ups and detecting malware.

Enable a lock screen or timeout on your smartphone. If you ever shop online through your phone, enable timeouts or a lock screen on it. They automatically require a password after a brief duration of time when the device is on but not in use, in case it is stolen or lost.

Be careful which websites you visit. Check the privacy policies of websites and avoid those that share information like email addresses with other companies. Shop at brands and stores you are familiar with and trust. Warranties are best to protect against defective products. And when shopping online, always make sure there is an “s” after the “http” in the address bar of your Web browser, which designates a secure site.

Only shop online with a secure Internet connection. That means don’t use public Wi-Fi, like at a Starbucks or airport, to cross presents off your holiday gift list. Instead, shop online with your home Internet connection.

Limit your banking and online purchases to as few machines as possible. The more computers, tablets and mobile devices you use with your credit card information, the more you’re at risk for fraud.

 

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