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16 Sports & Outdoor Brands Leaving the Competition in the Dust

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Sports and outdoors online sellers are seeing success like never before. The segment is one of the U.S.’s fastest growing, earning $63 billion in sales each year.

But as with any trending retail segment, there is plenty of competition. Which begs the question, how do successful sports and outdoors retailers stand out from the crowd to both sell goods that help their customers compete and to out-compete their own competitors?

The answer starts behind-the-scenes, rather than at a site’s face value.

“Online retail has become a huge growth driver for our merchants across the entire sporting goods industry,” said Tod Klubnik, SVP of Global Sales for BigCommerce. “For retailers selling in competitive categories like sporting goods and outdoor equipment, a flexible and open SaaS platform represents a competitive advantage and allows them to focus on winning market share instead of managing backend infrastructure.”

Here are 16 of online retail’s fast growing and most successful sports and outdoors brands, and why they have signed on to the SaaS way of the future.

Bombtech Golf

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In my first year on BigCommerce, I did $1.1M. Now, we’re on target for more than $4 million.

“I was doing $400,000 on Volusion and I decided to make the leap to BigCommerce because you guys had a theme option that was mobile-responsive,” says Tyler Sullivan, Founder at BombTech Golf. “I bought a theme for $149 and that was a game-changing moment. Our conversions went up! Mobile time on site went up! Everything went up! In my first year on BigCommerce, I did $1.1M. Now, we’re on target for more than $4 million.”

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Carolina Panthers

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We were able to deliver a shopping experience that is on par with the one that fans receive at the game.

“We wanted to provide Panthers fans around the world with an exceptional online shopping experience,” said Tom Crocker, Delaware North Sportservice general manager at Bank of America Stadium. “BigCommerce worked with us to expand and enhance mobile shopping for team products, making it easier for fans to browse for the latest team gear from anywhere and from any device at anytime.”

Delaware North Sportservice brought in EYStudios to redesign the online store. The results include a new responsive design, faster page load times and streamlined checkout. In addition, BigCommerce’s cloud-based architecture is designed to handle high volume transactions during peak traffic periods such as playoffs and the holiday shopping season.

“Our goal was to develop a site that served as an extension of the already strong Carolina Panthers brand,” said Sean Callihan, director of business development at EYStudios. “By leveraging the key features of the BigCommerce platform, our custom design was not only able to appropriately represent the brand, but we were also able to deliver a shopping experience that is on par with the one that fans receive at the game.”

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“Football is a high-stress, high-stakes environment, but replatforming your online store doesn’t have to be,” said Tod Klubnik, Vice President of Global Sales at BigCommerce. “By migrating to a flexible, modern platform, the entire Panthers organization can focus on the things that really matter rather than worrying about managing the intricacies of their ecommerce infrastructure.”

Dallas Golf

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BigCommerce provides us the functionality to deliver the same custom experience digitally that we offer in-person.

“We’ve been selling new, used and custom golf clubs since 1983. Golfers, more than ever before, want custom clubs and shafts,” says John Bishop, Ecommerce Project Manager at Dallas Golf. “BigCommerce provides us the functionality to deliver the same custom experience digitally that we offer in-person. We are proud to be an omni-channel retailer and our branded BigCommerce store is a big piece of the puzzle! Year-over-year, our revenue per visitor is up 14.5%.”

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Dazadi

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By migrating to BigCommerce, we were able to take a big leap forward technologically without the corresponding development time.

Web-only sporting goods retailer Dazadi migrated to BigCommerce Enterprise after previously selling on a custom-built platform. The company, which was named as one of the top online retailers in 2015 by Internet Retailer magazine, grew sales by more than 80% during the past year.

“We maintained and hosted our own site since our company started and felt that we had fallen behind in some of the new features that were available on most other current websites,” said Josh Klaristenfeld, co-founder and chief operating officer for Dazadi. “By migrating to BigCommerce, we were able to take a big leap forward technologically without the corresponding development time.”

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Exxel Outdoors

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Our sites are now responsive, and as a result, our mobile conversion rate has doubled.

In just six months, Exxel Outdoors, a leading provider of high-quality, innovative outdoor recreation products, migrated all seven of its ecommerce websites to BigCommerce in order to deliver an exceptional site experience for each of its growing range of outdoor brands.

“Since migrating our stores to BigCommerce, we’ve seen significant improvements in conversion rate, bounce rate and total revenue,” said Cory Barnes, digital marketing manager for Exxel Outdoors. “Our sites are now responsive, and as a result, our mobile conversion rate has doubled. With the help of our development partner, we’ve also been able to launch store improvements and redesigns at a fraction of the time it would have taken on our previous platform. With lower development costs, we’re able to experiment and work with new vendors that can potentially bring more value to the consumer.”

Brands under the Exxel Outdoors umbrella include:

  • Kelty
  • Master Sportsman
  • Sierra Designs
  • Slumberjack
  • Tailgaterz
  • Ultimate Direction
  • Wenzel

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Golf eTail

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We looked at other ecommerce platforms that claimed to offer similar enterprise-level flexibility and features, but BigCommerce far exceeded the competition.

Leading golf equipment retailer GolfEtail migrated to BigCommerce Enterprise for its enterprise-level integrations and high-level of security and uptime. In the week after launching on the BigCommerce platform, GolfEtail saw a 12.4% increase in transactions and 8.9% increase in revenue as compared to its previous platform.

“We looked at other ecommerce platforms that claimed to offer similar enterprise-level flexibility and features, but BigCommerce far exceeded the competition by offering the highest level of stability, particularly through its robust integrations and API,” said Marc Ducey, president of GolfEtail. “With BigCommerce, we don’t need an IT team to maintain our online store and we have access to the enterprise-level functionality and support we need, which allows us to focus on what we do best.”

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Talk about a brand pushing always toward innovation, Golf Etail was one of the first online companies to implement a new Stencil-based theme. That was almost a year ago, when they saw time on site and conversion rates increase in parallel to their enterprise growth goals.

Kap7

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Our goal is always to come full circle in creating and developing opportunities for young water polo athletes to achieve their goal. Plus, sales have grown over 75%!

“In 2016, we were looking to update our website design and wanted to incorporate more imagery and graphics. The theme we selected allowed us to showcase our products, athletes and partners in a unique manner that sets us apart in our industry,” says Alex Young, General Manager at Kap7.

“We were looking to incorporate lifestyle images that connected water polo players with the highest level athletes. Because we are the Competitive Gear Sponsor for the 2016 USA Men’s and Women’s Olympic Team, we are able to really dive into connecting those athletes with the individual athlete. Our goal is always to come full circle in creating and developing opportunities for young water polo athletes to achieve their goal to someday reach the national level. Plus, sales have grown over 75% in the last six months, just because of this change.”

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Marucci Sports

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We moved to BigCommerce so we could stop worrying about maintaining a Magento Enterprise server, which was costing us tens of thousands of dollars every year.

Founded in 2004 by two former professional baseball players and their trainer, Marucci Sports is the number one provider of bats used by Major League Baseball players. Since migrating to BigCommerce, a process that took only two weeks, Marucci has seen a 50% increase in mobile conversions and a 24% increase in tablet conversions.

“We moved to BigCommerce so we could stop worrying about maintaining a Magento Enterprise server, which was costing us tens of thousands of dollars every year,” said Kurt Ainsworth, CEO and co-founder of Marucci Sports. “With BigCommerce, we’ve dramatically reduced our website’s operating costs, which allows us to focus on more revenue-generating activities.”

“If you’re a merchant on BigCommerce, especially one who is using a stock theme, I’d highly recommend taking a look at the gorgeous Stencil themes available on the Bigcommerce Theme Store,” says Dylan Staley, developer at Marucci. “I speak about a lot of the development benefits to Stencil, but I strongly feel that a good development experience leads to better themes with more features for merchants!”

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Prepper Gear

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Our conversion rate is up 541% in the first six months vs. the last six months using the Magento platform.

“Since relaunching, our traffic is up by 300% in the first six months utilizing the same marketing budget,” says Charles Countryman, Owner at Prepper Gear. “Our conversion rate is up 541% in the first six months vs. the last six months using the Magento platform. Our average number of page views by visitor is also up 220%.”

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RedShift Sports

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PayPal and Bigcommerce are so well integrated that it was essentially a turnkey operation for us.

“We build and design high-quality components, and we wanted the website to reflect that level of quality,” says Stephen Ahnert, co-founder at RedShift Sports. “Bigcommerce works so seamlessly with PayPal that we set up our store and checkout at the same time. PayPal and Bigcommerce are so well integrated that it was essentially a turnkey operation for us.”

Watch the team at RedShift talk through why they bet on a BigCommerce + PayPal partnership.

SISU Guard

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Adding the mobile platform capability to our website increased our mobile conversions by a staggering 900%.

“Simple built in features that BigCommerce offered, such as responsive design, allowed us to support our mobile customers (55% of our audience). Adding the mobile platform capability to our website increased our mobile conversions by a staggering 900%,” explains Rita Shelley from Sisu Guard. “Year over year we have experienced 55-100% growth in online sales and maintained our 5-6% conversion rates through the last 2.5 years of selling on the BigCommerce platform.”

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Spinning.com

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The BigCommerce implementation provides direct top-line growth benefit and operationally will be more economical as an overall solution than our previous custom product.

“Our previous solution supported growth across the commercial segment, but it’s proven to be limiting in allowing the business to expand its global footprint across the consumer ecommerce channel,” says Stewart Guest-Smith, VP of Digital and Strategy at Spinning.com. “The need to efficiently service our consumers globally has become a key strategy for the business going forward. To support the increasing consumer demand across Europe, China, UAE, Latin America and Africa the business required an alternative, integrated platform.”

“This future-state solution provides a seamless and well-structured experience to our consumers. It allows us to extend our ecommerce landscape and service the demand across channels that have been previously well under-serviced. Strategically, the BigCommerce implementation provides direct top-line growth benefit and operationally will be more economical as an overall solution than our previous custom product.”

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Sportbike Track Gear

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With Magento, there were so many moving pieces, and the cost of development was going to be astronomical.

“With Magento, there were so many moving pieces, and the cost of development was going to be astronomical,” says Brian Van, Founder at Sportbike Track Gear. “BigCommerce offers so much out of the box, and by working with IntuitSolutions we were able to get everything we needed with more reliability and at a far more affordable cost.”

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StoreYourBoard

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Thanks to BigCommerce’s robust APIs and customizable template files, we were able to build a customized FAQ with content crawlable by search engines.

“Thanks to BigCommerce’s robust APIs and customizable template files, we were able to build an FAQ and review system on our product pages to address these questions,” says Michael Leff, Vice President of Technology at StoreYourBoard. “All of the questions and product reviews are generated by our customers, managed by us from our custom-built administrative control panel, and with a push of a button, set live on the product page in the store. Best of all, the content is crawlable by search engines.”

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U.S. Patriot Tactical

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When we were on Magento, our site was down about once a week over the course of three years.

“When we were on Magento, our site was down about once a week over the course of three years. When customers see a 404 error, they lose trust and we lose the business,” says Paul Yoo, President at U.S. Patriot Tactical. “Since moving to BigCommerce, our site is now faster, the user experience is better and we have achieved a higher search rank — showing up as the number one result in organic listings on Google.”

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Hoops King

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The re-platform and redesign wasn’t as difficult as we thought and we didn’t lose any traffic or search rankings.

“We have always had a basketball look to our site and wanted to keep it but tone it back from previous looks. We wanted it to be crisp and clean, yet let anyone visiting our site know we love basketball and make our site memorable vs. the cookie cutter cut-and-paste merchants,” says Chris Hungerford, Owner at Hoops King.

“The re-platform and redesign wasn’t as difficult as we thought and we didn’t lose any traffic or search rankings. We stayed right where we were and actually improved our rankings. Everything is so much better for the customers. Everything is so much better for us in running the store as well.”

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