Four Ways to Boost Pro Shop Revenue
You know that the families who come to your academy for sports training also need to buy sports equipment on a semi-regular basis. Why would you not offer a convenient option for them to do so while at your facility?
Harford Sports Academy, in Baltimore, asked the same question. They specialize in training for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse and decided to start selling equipment in their stores. Today, they use eSoft Planner to manage both scheduling (lessons, camps, rentals and more) and their pro shop sales. The latter makes up an impressive 50% of their revenue.
If your pro shop isn’t making as much money as you would like — or even if you’re considering adding more retail sales options in your sports complex — here a few tips on how to run a profitable pro shop.
Use Your Marketing Plan
Incorporate plans to market your retail products into your 12-month sports academy marketing plan.
On that 12-month plan, note when athletes and coaches from each sport will need to buy new equipment or apparel. Then, use that timeline to plan advance promotions.
Some promotions will be different for your retail products and your services, but it’s better if you can combine them. For example, you could create a limited-time membership that includes a bat with any hitting membership purchase.
If you’ve already done the work of opening a physical store, you might as well make your products for sale online, as well. You never know who may stumble across your store in web search results, which can result in plenty of bonus sales from customers across the country (if you’re OK with handling the additional shipping and customer service tasks).
An online store also means that you can link to products directly in your promotional emails, and that your customers might just end up buying products online from home while they’re thinking about it. Best of all, adding an online store means that the sales can keep rolling in — even without the help of a front desk or store employee.
To create an online store, you’ll need a software that works for both online and at your physical store. This will allow you to accurately track inventory across both.
Do Better Product Research
Selling more products is easy when your store carries products that your clients really want.
You need to keep in touch with your network of coaches and industry leaders to stay in the loop on new products that could be a hit with your customers. By thoroughly researching your customer’s interests through email surveys and polls, you will avoid overstocking your shelves.
If you can, start by stocking just a small quantity of any new product and see how well it sells. It’s better to sell out of a limited variety of products than it is to have too wide of a variety.
Sell Products with Higher Profit Margins
It usually makes sense to carry low-risk, non-perishable concessions like water, sports or energy drinks. But the real profits come with sports-specific products and equipment.
To boost your pro shop profits, consider carrying higher end, specialized products that offer more revenue and profits per sale. Again, do your research before you stock up, and if possible, start with a small inventory.