Golfsmith case study header

A customer success story

Building a Great Customer Experience is the Name of the Game at Golfsmith

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 site that was in need of updating.

Haracz says Golfsmith began the process of upgrading their ecommerce systems with the 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.”

Increasing Conversions with Better Mobile Web Design

Golfsmith’s new mobile website with Mobify went online in November 2015, with many of the performance issues solved immediately by Mobify’s mobile web design. Page load times are faster without redirects, and the new design creates a much better shopping experience with buy buttons positioned for optimum conversion.

Many retailers like Golfsmith are moving away from to mobile-first technologies as such approaches typically increase mobile conversions 24% and revenue 137% over traditional websites.

Solid Location-Based Technology

Working with Mobify, Golfsmith also upped its location game, implementing a brand new store locator – a feature of the Mobify mobile customer engagement platform.

Golfsmith had a store locator for years, but with the upgrade of the mobile site, the new locator is a much better fit. Retailers can enable the “find store feature” anywhere, on a product page or wherever appropriate to connect customers to its capabilities in context. And most importantly, it can be connected to inventory, with full address, phone, directions, store hours, and other information at hand.

“Store locators are not simple technology to integrate and they’re not easy for customers to use,” says Haracz. “Most people can get the location of a store,” he explains, “but they struggle with getting the right location for the product or service they want.” Earlier location technology did not make it easy for people to quickly grab what they want and ship it or pick it up. Further, Golfsmith is targeting offers to specific customers, where certain services are only available in a particular area. “We have big plans for what we can do with location-based marketing, so we needed the best solution available,” says Haracz.

Haracz estimates bounce rate with the improved store locator has been reduced by about 33% and session duration for store locator visitors has increased by 28%.

Partnering with Mobify

For Golfsmith, two things stand out about working with Mobify: “Mobile retail marketing is complex, yet whenever we present a problem, such as how to have a smarter store locator, Mobify has come back with a solution that exceeded our expectations,” he says.

Further, he says, “Having new location and other core technologies as part of a mobile customer engagement platform is critical to our ability to be on top of the trends. Most importantly, the technology is complex, but customer behavior is even more challenging – Mobify understands the mobile customer experience the way Golfsmith understands the avid golfer.”