NEW REPORT: Why Hibbett Sports Waited Until Just Now To Move Online

Online shopping is nothing new, but with heavy promotion and low prices among sporting goods companies, just having an online presence likely isn’t enough to pull out a victory, especially if and when the competition somehow goes into extra innings. But while most merchants are embracing omnichannel strategies as the market continues to evolve, some established retailers are still looking to get the eCommerce ball rolling, dot-com-style. In 2017, are such belated efforts too little too late?

In the latest Omnicommerce Tracker™, powered by Vantiv, PYMNTS looks at how omnichannel commerce is motivating both online veterans and novices alike. 

Around the omnichannel world

Big-box stores are losing ground to online warehouses like Amazon. But the big-boxes are starting to battle back, with both Target and Walmart recently debuting new omnichannel options to win back at least some of the business lost to eCommerce competitors.

Target is hoping to improve its loyalty credentials, ending its pilot Cartwheel Perks rewards program in favor of a yet-to-be-released platform hosted on the company’s main mobile app. The company is also working on other omni-upgrades, including curbside pick-up, mobile payment for Target credit card holders and interactive store maps.

Meanwhile, Walmart aims to improve operations capabilities with a newly opened 2.2 million-square-foot eCommerce fulfillment center in Florida. The facility is designed to enable faster shipping to customers and stores. 

Find a roundup of the latest omnichannel headlines in the Tracker’s news section.

A late arrival to the online commerce game

Despite years of revenue reports indicating that cyberstores had become vital lifelines for retailers in every segment from furniture to fashion, some businesses have resisted selling online. Before this summer, Birmingham, Alabama-based Hibbett Sports, a chain founded in 1945 with more than 1,000 stores in 35 states, was one of the holdouts. But, as sporting goods retailers continue to lose in-store sales to online competitors, not to mention online sales to online competitors, the company finally made its eCommerce debut just last month.

In the latest Tracker feature story, PYMNTS caught up with Hibbett Sports’ vice president of digital commerce, Bill Quinn, the day after the site’s launch, to discuss how — and why — Hibbett Sports finally decided to build the company’s first online offering. Quinn told PYMNTS that the brand once believed its customers weren’t interested in buying online, but, after research revealed they were eager for eCommerce options, the company decided to open its virtual doors for the first time.

“That changed our minds and, because the company needed a new channel of opportunity and growth, we decided at that point to move forward and make the investment in an online store,” Quinn said. 

To read the full story, along with the latest omni news and trends, and for rankings of the top omnicommerce players in the space, check out the Tracker. 

To download the August edition of the Omnicommerce Tracker™, powered by Vantiv, click the button below.

About The Tracker

The Omnicommerce Tracker™, powered by Vantiv, features industry-spanning research and insights that arm retailers with data to make smarter decisions for enabling omnichannel commerce.