Today, engaging in sports is not only useful but also very popular. This is because sports not only makes people healthy, more organized, and better disciplined but also keeps them fit. As a result, every year, more and more people are regularly becoming involved in sports and thus leading a healthy lifestyle. In addition, people worldwide experienced considerable increases in demand for sports goods to train at home or in the fresh air during the closure of fitness centers and sports stores due to the pandemic.
So, opening an online sporting goods store or improving an existing one now is an excellent business idea. However, considering the growing competition, it’s important to think over everything so as not to get lost among the numerous competitors. To simplify this task for businesses, we have mentioned must-have features for your sports e-store on Magento or Shopware. You’ll also find out how to transform your successful online sports store into a sports marketplace. Let’s start?
Global Electronic Commerce Sports Market Overview
Electronic commerce is one of the areas where companies direct considerable efforts and economic resources, and the presence of e-commerce in the sports-related niche is significant.
Sportswear, accessories, and inventory trade have been very topical in recent years. According to Boston Consulting Group and Sports United research, 2.7 billion people in the world play sports at least once a month. Consequently, the size of potential customers for online sports stores is quite impressive.
The demand for the sports business is due to several other factors:
- Not overcrowded market niche
- A variety of sports, the development of new directions
- Vast assortment of goods
Considering the low level of competition in this niche, aspiring entrepreneurs have a real chance of success. Large sports stores with an established customer base can be bypassed via a favorably different assortment, an affordable pricing policy, and a large selection in other product groups.
Nevertheless, as the field requires specific competencies, you should involve specialists who understand the business and e-commerce dynamics related to online sports store design and development.
Online sports stores are divided into three categories:
Branded: A high-status store that sells signature items of well-known brands.
Specialized: An online store with a catalog limited to products of several specific destinations—ideal for beginners on a budget.
Multi-purpose: A large trading platform characterized by a wide assortment of offers, covering a variety of sports areas. This is the area with the highest competition.
Regardless of the concept chosen, it’s necessary to draw up a business plan describing the details of the project, including but not limited to the outline of key goals, market demand dynamics, company management structure, development strategies, and cost estimates.
The Main E-commerce Sports Market Insights
The global sports market has demonstrated a large size ($1.1 trillion) and an explosive growth rate in recent years. The penetration of e-commerce brings digital innovations (such as wearables, for example). The pandemic has also had a considerable impact on the development of sports e-commerce. A survey of 19,000 worldwide sports market consumers from January to March 2021 revealed the following insights:
By 2025, the number of people who will play sports is expected to reach 3.5 billion, making sports the second most popular leisure activity among humanity after traveling.
The most significant transformation of our time is taking place currently: the transition from offline to online mode. Digitalization has also touched the sporting niche. More than 830 million people used fitness apps or wearables in 2020, and 56% of surveyed people involved in sports say they will use wearable devices to track the results of their achievements and participate in online training using sports apps.
Retail trade in sporting goods is a large part of the sports market, accounting for $475 billion in total spending. This figure is expected to reach $670 billion by 2025, increasing 7% annually, and this exceeds the worldwide GDP growth rate by almost 1.5 times.
In addition to directly promoting your brand in sports e-commerce, two additional successful strategies will allow you to win over your competitors. The first is by becoming a major retailer and the second is by specializing in the vertical market (to focus on a specific sports niche). Specialized sporting goods stores are 2–3 times more likely to be a preferred place of purchase for sporting goods or equipment, as some consumers are more likely to search for products in a specific niche, such as tennis, golf, or cricket.
How E-Commerce Solves the Challenges that Sporting Goods Manufacturers Face?
Since the demand in the sporting goods industry has dramatically accelerated in recent years, how does e-commerce address the challenges encountered by sporting goods manufacturers?
Offline stores often face increased competition, lower price demand, and
seasonal demand. Let's see how developing an online sports store can solve these problems.
Range of client interests
From time to time, clients' interests may change depending on various factors such as seasonality. Traders in offline stores often face problems of outdated stocks and the unavailability of new supplies. In an online sporting goods store, you can provide your customers with any model or product they want, thereby satisfying all their needs, achieve higher profit margins, and boost your sales.
Unlike their traditional counterparts, e-commerce stores can easily offer both cross-selling and up-selling features (increasing profits from one order in different ways). In addition, it enables an online store to attract a large customer base when combined with advertising and marketing opportunities. In this way, you create a multichannel sales platform to offer users a flawless customer experience and convert them into buyers.
In the sporting goods industry, exponential growth has been accompanied by fierce competition. Each party involved will appear as a competitor to you, be it a specialty store, a fitness center, a professional store, or an e-commerce site; but if you own an online store, you can manage to equalize or even better the competition, provided you allow your customers to come to you through different channels that will bring you good profits.
Offline merchants often face the challenge of managing their inventory based on customer interests and seasonality. In the case of traditional stores, entrepreneurs need to forecast and update their list to avoid losing sales due to unavailable or outdated products. Most online sporting goods stores can be integrated with centralized inventory to speed up management efficiency, thus avoiding under sales of goods.
Reduced margins is one of the most pressing issues when it comes to owning physical sporting goods stores. Increase in labor costs, operating costs, price of goods, and high rent of warehouse space add to the prevalent stock issues. As a result, offline store entrepreneurs are obliged to adopt the online approach to solve this problem, which is only possible through an e-sports commerce platform.
How to Build an Online Sports Store on Magento or Shopware?
Today, there are many e-commerce CMS that make choosing the right one a difficult task. Based on our extensive experience in e-commerce development, we can recommend to you the creation of an online store on Magento or Shopware. Both these CMS have much in common. They are both open-source, giving you endless customization and scalability as your business grows and both have huge communities of developers and store owners.
Magento is one of the world's leading platforms with a significant number of well-known clients. It can be considered the industry standard e-commerce CMS. Magento 2 development possibilities and configurations seem almost endless. If the US and the UK are your markets, then this platform is a great choice.
Shopware is more focused on the German-speaking market. It's easy to learn, understand, and use; that’s why it’s so popular. Which one is the better choice for an online sporting goods store? Read on.
Read also: Magento vs Shopware. Which Is Better to Choose?
Basic Magento and Shopware functionality for online stores
We present an essential Magento/Shopware functionality list of what your online sporting goods store should contain:
Home page: The home page is the launching pad for everything that the user will do on the site. This page leads users to the information/products that the website offers. But it’s essential to understand that the home page is just the first step on the user’s path, and the user should be transferred from the home page to other necessary pages as quickly as possible to enhance the chance of a conversion.
Product catalog: A product catalog is a marketing collateral that lists all essential product details to help buyers make a purchase decision. These details include product features, descriptions, dimensions, price, weight, availability, images, etc.
Product detail page: The product detail page should include product specification, shipping information, price, reviews, and other important information that customers will want to know before purchasing. It’s best to place this information with an actual product photo and an “add to cart” button.
Cart and checkout: The checkout process is the series of steps a customer follows to purchase the items in their shopping cart on an e-commerce store. The main thing in the design process is a smooth and convenient user interface. This step requires integration with payment and delivery service providers based on the customer's personal preferences.
Login/registration and personal profile: Authorization and registration on your site and a personal profile for communication with your customers are necessary to collect the essential information about buyers and encourage them to return to your site.
So, we have decided on the main functions on the site, but what about the other side of the coin? Your online sporting goods store should have the following functionalities for admin:
Order management: Here, you can see a list of all the client’s orders and manage them as required, such as sending them relevant information, changing the order status, creating invoices, preparing for shipment, and cancelling the order.
Product management: Product management allows you to manage all products on the site. For example, you can add new products, update the existing ones, and remove the unnecessary products; you can also create the necessary category structures and organize them by category. An import and export function is also available for adding/updating products in the system.
Content management: This allows you to manage the website content easily. You can add new pages to the site and edit the existing ones. Moreover, if necessary, pages can also be deleted. It’s also possible to independently control all the content on the site and update it without the help of a developer.
Customer management: Through this functionality, you will have access to all the information about your registered users on the site. It’ll allow you to see the detailed information about each user and their actions on the site. This aggregated data will help you understand your customers better and update the website in the future based on the insights on customer requirements gleaned from these data.
Settings and configuration: You won’t need a developer to change most of the basic settings because there are a variety of settings and configurations coming from the box.
Cart price rules and catalog price rules: These functions allow you to create the necessary sales price condition for your website. For example, it can be for all products in the catalog and all users or the administrators can set specific situations and customer groups to buy products at a sale price. You can also choose the duration of each sale condition if you do not wish to control this parameter manually.
If you are interested in learning more about Magento development, you can look up our detailed blog on How to Build a Magento 2 Website.
Popular e-commerce extensions for your online sports store on Magento
Magento's real strength is in the vast library of add-ons that gives it endless new functions and abilities. Here are some of the best extensions for an online sports store:
Automatic related products
Magento 2 Auto Related Products extension is a tool that showcases related products on a website to help customers find what they want and proceed with order placement. This way, you can enhance your store revenue by making smart recommendations and increasing the average order value by displaying related products to your customers.
Instagram Integration with Magento 2 provides an easy connection of Magento stores to the Instagram platform. In addition, it helps attract more customers, thanks to this fast-growing social network. You are given the ability to create several Instagram widgets and place them anywhere on the site. By providing more appealing visual materials of your products combined with CTA elements, customers are more likely to make purchases in your store.
Recently viewed products
A customer shopping experience is a significant factor in the success of an online store. Therefore, you need to make browsing on your online sports goods store as easy as possible and not distracting. The Recently Viewed Products extension for Magento will allow your registered (logged in) users to follow the products they have recently viewed and save them for later viewing. In addition, this module will enable users to display the maximum number of products they wish.
Based on the products your customers choose, you, as a seller, probably know what they will buy with the selected item or what they might like, and it’s thanks to the Magento Product Accessories extension. You can directly link these accessories to the main product on the same page by adding a simple one-click add-to-cart checklist. This module will increase sales growth by providing customers with add-on products or complementary accessories on the very same page. This significantly reduces the buyer's search time and enhances your profit from the additional items bought by the customer along with the main order.
Popular e-commerce extensions for your online sports store on Shopware
The following is a selection of the best Shopware extensions for your online sporting goods store to optimize your performance.
This extension allows customers to leave an email address for a related item and be notified when it’s in stock. Thanks to this, you can generate more sales through such notifications. Often, customers leave a site in which a product they are looking for is no longer in stock and they are most likely no longer going to think about looking for it. So, to avoid losing such customers, you will be able to use email notifications and boost your sales.
Social media integration
Social Media Integration allows you to post on your Facebook page and Instagram directly from your store. It lets you connect with your customers through your known environment and strengthen the external image of your business. With this app, you can round off your social shopping and share the latest product photos and promotional materials with the world.
Recently viewed products
With this plugin, you offer your customers the opportunity to see the products they saw last at a glance. The plugin dynamically adds a cross-selling tab in the lower area of the product detail page and lists the previous products there.
Accessories in the article directly into the shopping cart (cross-selling)
You can sell matching accessories directly with the user by making them available instantly as a selection and putting everything together in the shopping cart. The customer can thus set the desired accessories with the desired quantity in the shopping cart with just one click.
Read also: How to Quickly Make an E-commerce Website with Shopware?
Custom feature development for your online sports store
Below, we present the custom functions that are suitable for your online sporting goods store and how best to arrange them:
View of the exercise equipment screen
This can be implemented as a demo where users can manually select different menus and experience the functions of the exercise equipment at the simulator by themselves. Also, it can be presented as a video of the exercise equipment screen that demonstrates its functionality.
Pick up today
If the company has a network of offline stores, it’s possible to allow users to reserve goods in the selected store and pick it up on their own, saving on delivery. The user must view which stores have the desired product of the required size and quantity. In addition to displaying the stores as a list, you can also display a map with the marked geolocations of these stores.
If the site sells goods whose value and functionality can be assessed only during the direct use (for example, exercise equipment) and it's impossible to do so during the inspection, then, for such goods, you can offer your users a paid test drive for a specified period.
Each user has their own goals and reasons why they need sporting goods, which is why a business needs to offer relevant products to boost sales and get customers to come back again and again. The user can specify their goal (for example, losing weight, building muscle, working on flexibility, etc.), and the site will display the relevant offers.
Spare parts offer
Sellers of exercise equipment and sports equipment know how long it will take to replace a specific part. You can suggest this to the buyer and remind them about it with the help of an individual mailing list that will offer the needed spare parts.
Magento and Shopware themes for online sporting goods store
One of the decisions you need to make is whether you are satisfied with the ready-made theme with some modifications or need a theme wholly developed from scratch specifically for your needs. As experts in e-commerce development, we can say that each option has its pros and cons. A custom theme will be only yours and unique with its own set of functions, while the ready-made function will cost you much less. In any case, it's up to you. Here are some mass-produced sporting goods store templates you can use:
Athlete 2 is a perfect theme for Magento store owners. It fits any type of sports store and includes many great features such as a revolution slider, one-step checkout, and quick browsing. Furthermore, it has a robust mega menu and flexible extensions. In addition, due to its rich and varied color scheme, it cannot be overlooked and will surely appeal to customers.
Maxsima is what you need to create an online store of sports goods or equipment. The theme has everything you need to create a complete product: advanced architecture, outstanding functionality, and a powerful admin panel.
Theme Ware Modern
ThemeWare Modern is a Shopware theme that is highly scalable, SEO optimized, with fast page loading. Updates and fixes are still guaranteed for Shopware 6. As with Shopware 5, ThemeWare 5 still ships with updates and bug fixes. Using this theme, you get detailed instructions and video tutorials, a professional experience world with all graphics, and online courses with special knowledge.
Configurator has about 691 customization options in the backend and numerous integrated applications. This theme offers unlimited customization options for your online sporting goods store. It's more of a store-wide configurator than just a standard theme. All settings are clearly grouped into tabs for fast work. In addition, for targeted conversion optimization, many functions and applications have been implemented.
How much does it cost to develop an online sports store on Magento or Shopware?
The development cost of an online sports store is variable, depending on the functionalities desired. The table below indicates the approximate minimum price for basic functionality. It will increase if you need additional ready-made or custom features to develop a full-fledged functional product.
SRS for the project
Server setup and tuning
Service (Cloud Flare, SSL) setup
Setting up automation deployment
Support for going live
Solution 1: Ready-made sports store theme
Solution 2: Custom sports store theme
Solution 3: Custom responsive theme
Sports store database architecture design
Support for going live
Setting up Magento/Shopware environment
Setting up configuration from box
Installation and configuration of additional extensions
Ready-made theme style and layout customization
Sports store content page creation
Proper project testing
How to Transform an Online Sporting Goods Store into a Marketplace on Magento or Shopware?
In recent years, the marketplace has beaten all other e-commerce formats: this model accounts for more than half of all sales of goods and services. For small businesses, the marketplace has become an easy entry point where they can compete with big brands.
Dinarys' vast experience in Magento store development allows us to deduce several main principles underlying marketplace creation and scaling.
Basic Magento/Shopware functionality for online marketplaces
The site's functionality is all of its options and tools that help users solve specific problems. Different components of the site's functionality ultimately lead users to the target action: buying a product or service ordering. Your online sports marketplace should have such basic functionality.
Each user can
- Become a seller on the platform.
- Be a seller and a buyer at the same time.
- Give product ratings and reviews.
- View all the details provided by the seller about a product.
- Place an order for a product offered by a different seller by using the same cart.
- Checkout at once having multiple sellers’ products in the shopping cart.
- See the seller’s page with all the added details.
- Add reviews for the seller.
Dashboard: The dashboard is comprehensive with all the needed information and statistics for the sellers to analyze and enhance their sales on their online shops.
Settings for seller profile: Sellers will be able to set and edit their profile settings as needed to provide all the relevant details of their shop.
Product management: Each seller can easily add, update, and delete the products in their stores.
Order management: Sellers can see all the orders placed in their store with detailed information on each order.
The admin can
- Set the option to auto-approve the seller.
- Set the option to auto-approve the seller’s products.
- Approve or disapprove a seller or seller’s products manually.
- Mass assign products to a seller.
- Check the seller's product information (can update page settings).
- Set the commission percentage.
- Track the seller’s income, total order, total buyers, and the latest order.
- Create template-based emails for the marketplace, which can be used by admin as per their selection.
- View the list of all the sellers in the marketplace at one place.
Popular e-commerce extensions for your sports marketplace on Magento
The most significant benefit of Magento extensions for marketplaces is speeding up the processes to save time. To get the most out of your work and make it more efficient, we've compiled a list of the most useful utilities for your sports marketplace:
The Split Order extension allows the seller to split one order into several part orders. The administrator can establish individual invoices and shipments for each order ID. This way, the customer will receive different order IDs in their shopping cart, easily view all order IDs in their history, and track each item in their multiple-item order separately. This makes order management much more easy and simple.
The Mass Upload extension enables sellers to add products using XLSC/CSV/XML files to their store. Such files add-on supports configurable, virtual, and downloadable types of products. You only need to specify in the file details: name, price, description, and promotions, add the associated product images.
The Vendor Subdomain add-on module allows individual sellers to have their own subdomain within the marketplace. The extension generates URLs for each seller in the marketplace, which allows customers to access seller.marketplacedomain.com directly to browse and buy merchandise with ease instead of having to log into marketplacedomain.com/seller.
Sell as brand
A store administrator can create multiple brands through this extension and even permit vendors to have the Sell as a Brand feature. The sellers can create brands in the seller panel and request the admin to approve the created brands.
Popular e-commerce extensions for your sports marketplace on Shopware
Many great extensions will make it possible to build trust, improve the shopping experience, and generally increase the conversion rate of your online sports store on Shopware. Here are just a few of them:
One of the most innovative and feature-rich extensions allows your customers to have membership packages and discounts on various products. This will enable you to create a membership interface for your online merchandise discount store. Your customers can join a customer group and enjoy all the features such as product discounts, sale items, special discounts, etc. Such a module will allow you to expand customer engagement by offering them exclusive access to special discounts.
This extension helps sellers add grouped products on their website. The vendor can now increase the spectrum of the business by the addition of a new type of product. With this extension, the vendors, just like the admin, can take advantage of selling grouped products. In addition, it gives the customer a variety of product purchase options, which enhances their engagement.
How much does it cost to develop a sports marketplace on Magento or Shopware?
Considering every business has different requirements in terms of their goals, objectives, size, and so many other variables, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to determine the universal cost of a multi-vendor marketplace.
For example, the price for a box marketplace solution on Magento or Shopware starts at around $20,000. However, this will go up depending on the additional features your business needs. As the development process has many levels, many factors affect the cost of the final product. Thus, several things need to be considered in building a successful e-commerce marketplace.
To give you an idea of the work involved, we’re giving below a list of the things that we’ll do:
- System requirement specification
- User interface and user experience design (the look & feel and behavior of the marketplace)
- Responsive HTML and CSS (so that your marketplace works properly on any device)
- Front-end programming (user interactions in the browser)
- Back-end programming (server-side business logic and database architecture)
- Acceptance tests (manual testing)
- Server and hosting set up
Online store or sporting goods store marketplace is a comprehensive software product. A logical structure, a simple transition to the necessary sections and pages, visual cards of goods, simple sales, and a payment algorithm are essential features required by internet users in choosing a store.
Take advantage of Magento or Shopware platforms and implement a high-quality and functionally advanced project. The Dinarys team will help you with this. We are well-versed in best practices and market trends to bring you e-commerce solutions that not only perform well but stay ahead of your competition.
Contact us and order a free consultation for your desired project. Be the first to innovate and build awareness in the sporting goods market.