Matt Haracz, Director of eCommerce, Golfsmith
If anyone understands the golfer’s psyche, it’s Golfsmith. Consider its recently launched ad campaign:
“Did you even see where it went in?” complains one golfer from the heavy rough. “Dude, I will find it,” vows the owner of the not-so-beautifully executed shot. “No, you won’t,” sarcastically laments the voiceover. “But, that’s okay. Because you also won’t find better prices on the gear you need than at Golfsmith. And even you can find a Golfsmith.”
In this humorous, relatable moment, Golfsmith shows how clearly it identifies with customers and understands, even in its cruelest moments, what it is really like to be a golfer. Whatever the experience level, wherever they are — on the course, in the rough, in the car, in a store, or using a tablet, desktop or mobile device. Sparking an engaging customer experience to create a lasting relationship is at the heart of the game for the world’s largest specialty golf retailer.
With over 160 locations operating under the Golfsmith brand in the U.S. and the Golf Town brand in Canada, Golfsmith International sells a lot more than the best golf merchandise. They offer an experience, featuring state-of-the-art club fitting studios, on-site experts, putting greens and more.
“Like a lot of retailers, our strategy is to make sure the omnichannel experience is seamless between channels,” says Haracz. “But while most companies can define what omnichannel is, not too many can change out all their systems quickly in order to move from theory to practice. Omnichannel is an ongoing evolution.”
From a technology standpoint, having the right systems and software to create and maintain an exceptional experience is an ongoing journey, according to Matt Haracz, Director of eCommerce. As a result of combining the two brands, Golfsmith International was faced with two ecommerce websites to integrate and a dedicated m.dot site that was in need of updating.
Haracz says Golfsmith began the process of upgrading their ecommerce systems with the m.dot site because mobile was becoming an increasingly important channel. Yet the first mobile site had many limitations. Mobile traffic has been increasing as a percentage of overall ecommerce traffic over the past few years. “But mobile easily dominates traffic on the weekend and evenings,” he says. “A modern mobile website is a big job, but it is essential to meet the customer where they are.”
“Golfsmith customers don’t just want a shopping experience,” Haracz explains. Avid golfers are immersed in the game. They want to read reviews, find expert advice, and arrange for custom club fitting and other services that are the hallmark of the Golfsmith experience. “Our customers expect a lot more while shopping in store. The mobile experience needs to help our store associates convert store traffic into sales.”