Pro shops are businesses involved with selling sporting equipments that are required in the sporting facility. The chain of pro shops is situated in an Ice Arena and offers a wide range of hockey equipments as well as bags, apparels and coaching products among others. The chain has a single supplier and for this reason, the products are similar and range within the same price.
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These shops are dedicated to ensure that the players, coaches, fans and other interested shoppers get the greatest services and high quality goods.
One of the main aims of the company is to increase the awareness among the customers of the available services and products as well as develop trust and loyalty for the growth of the shops. Increase in promotional tools will be used as a marketing strategy, as well applying proper inventory management techniques.
The current market status of the pro shops is determined by the players and the individuals who visit the arenas. While the customers have been mainly the fans and the teams using the arenas, there is a need to increase the scope to reach even those who watch the game at home.
The new strategy is meant to include online customers, who would access the shops’ products and purchase online. While there is a problem with congestion of shops in one arena, the strategy is to start specializing in certain products in order to avoid competition.
The arenas are used by both schools and professional teams. The amount of customers is therefore at a constant flow as a result of large number of tournaments. While the neighborhood has some other arenas, the specific arena within which these pro shops are located is one of the biggest.
There is therefore a better chance of increased customers’ inflow as compared to the other ice arenas. With these considerations, the target customers are those attending the matches as well as those from the neighboring arenas, who should be encouraged by the new marketing strategy.
Target Market Growth
The popularity of ice hockey has been increasing significantly. According to the TalkOn (2008) guide, Ice hockey is increasingly gaining popularity and for this reason, there is potential for increased customers in not only the United States, but also the rest of the world.
With effective online marketing strategies, the shops will have the potential to increase their products awareness to potential customers and hence increase the sales of the sporting equipments and associated products.
- One of the major objectives of the pro shops is increasing the awareness of their products to not only the local customers but also international fans.
- Increase the seasonal revenues to over $ 1 million collectively.
One of the strengths of the pro shops is that the arena is state-of-art and hence encourages more fans than most other arenas. There is therefore a chance of increased demand of the products in the pro shops. The pro shops retail in many products and they combine a variety of products from different teams. This allows the fans an opportunity to get the specific products that they require.
One of the major weaknesses with the company is the concentration of many pro shops within one arena. This creates unnecessary competition and affects the returns generated.
The increasing use of online marketing and financial transactions will allow for increased and expanded sales to not only the local-based customers but also the international ones.
The increasing popularity in other games like basketball and soccer may lead to reduced interest in Ice hockey and hence lead to reduced demand for ice hockey products.
Some of the products in the pro shops are considered to be overpriced. The shops will try to adjust the prices by considering various cheaper sources and this will require the diversification of supply chains.
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In addition, to avoid price competition, the pro shops will develop a strategy that will have the different shops engage in different products to avoid unnecessary competition. This will allow for the comparison with other competitor prices in different arenas in the region (Mondschein, 2009).
Through appropriate and timely promotions, the pro shops will ensure that the customers are given a chance to purchase at reduced prices (Smith, & Smith, 2011). Some services will be introduced that will be meant to save the customers’ spending, while still contributing to the shops’ returns.
One of such will be skates’ repair and sharpening in order to tap those individuals who would not afford new pairs of skates. Through this strategy, the shops will create another way of increasing the customers without compromising on the shops’ returns.
Marketing Communications Plan
To increase the customers’ awareness of the available products in the pro shops, it will be essential that proper communication strategies be implemented (Masterman, & Wood, 2006). One of the strategies that the shops will adopt is the use of brochures and leaflets during tournaments. This will ensure that the customers will spread the information about the shops’ products as they leave the arena after matches.
In addition, the shops will develop personal links that will help the interested customers to gain access to their sites for information about the available products and the prices (Meyerson, 2005). The creation of online databases will also occur in line with the development of online payment options that will save the customers the hustles of making physical contacts with the company.
Advertisement will also be made through print and electronic media in order to ensure that the public knows about the products. The internet for example will be great since it is expected to reach a large number of potential customers (Masterman, & Wood, 2006).
Sales and Marketing Channel Plan
The products would need to be introduced to the potential customers through effective sales and marketing channels. This would ensure that rather than knowing of the existence of the products, the customers will be persuaded through appropriate means to purchase the products. One of the important aspects within this strategy is the workforce (Mathur, 2006).
While the chain has three sales persons in each shop, it will be important to increase the number of sales persons to five, especially during tournaments. This will ensure that there will be broader coverage and hence increased sales. The sales teams will also be positioned in the online channels in order to communicate directly with the customers and offer help and ideas about the available products (Meyerson, & Scarborough, 2007).
The shops will set sales goals in terms of distributed brochures and leaflets per individual match. This will proceed to be cumulatively reflected at the end of fiscal period, which should also coincide with playing season. In each match, the sales persons will strive to distribute around 5, 000 brochures in each game.
This will make it easier for the awareness campaign to speedily get integrated into the interests of potential customers. In addition to the brochures’ distribution, the sales team will strive to increase the number of promotions to one per week throughout the ice hockey season.
Product demonstration will also be started. The management will start demonstration initiatives by looking out for pro skaters to demonstrate the use and application of some of the products like skates and goalie sticks. In addition, the management will find opportunities to demonstrate the effectiveness of some coaching equipments in order to encourage not only the players and fans, but also the coaches.
While the communications plan is effective enough to increase the number of customers, it will be important to maintain proper records for the sake of customers’ trust. In addition, the inventory will ensure that the management knows of the available products and those that need to be added. This will prevent customers from making orders that are out of stock.
One of the most effective ways of managing the inventory is by use of bar codes and radio frequency Identification (McCraven, 2011). These types of technologies count the products as they are purchased and sold to customers. It therefore makes it easier for the marketers to know the products that are on the shelf, how many they are, and the ones already sold.
The radio frequency identifiers may be incorporated into the database of available products to evaluate the rate of purchases and hence estimate the demand and supply. These tools will help in reducing chances of mismanagement and missing records since they can affect a lot the credibility of the shops.
Since the shops will contemplate on diversifying the supplier chain in order to avoid monopolistic dependence that would affect the pricing strategy, keeping record of the purchases would be a must. The inventories will thus help in restructuring the marketing strategies hitherto applied by the pro shops.
Masterman, G., & Wood, E. H. (2006). Innovative marketing communications: strategies for the events industry. Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Mathur, P. (2006). Sales And Marketing Management. New Delhi: Ishar Books.
McCraven, S. (2011). Inventory Control Comes of Age. Retrieved from https://precast.org/2011/04/inventory-control-comes-of-age/
Meyerson, M. (2005). Success secrets of the online marketing superstars. Chicago, IL: Kaplan Publishing.
Meyerson, M. E., & Scarborough, E. (2007). Mastering Online Marketing. Upper Saddle, NJ: Entrepreneur Press.
Mondschein, K. (2009). Advertising, Sales, and Marketing. New York: Infobase Publishing.
Smith, T. J., & Smith, T. (2011). Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
TalkOn. (2008). An Introduction to Ice Hockey. Web.