AmpleFind Innovates to Thrive in Sporting Goods Market
The sporting goods retail market in the U.S. is huge, totaling almost $65 billion in sales last year. Of that, almost $10 billion comes online. As e-commerce continues to grow, one company aims to create a simpler way to shop for sporting goods online.
AmpleFind, the largest shopping platform for sporting goods on the planet, curates products from “the best” retailers to help users find whatever they're looking for more easily.
“It all happened after my friend asked me about a good place to buy soccer cleats,” explains Nick Zamanov, CEO of AmpleFind. “But we couldn't find any single dedicated marketplace for sporting goods. We ended up spending two hours driving to stores trying to find something for him.”
AmpleFind has over 4 million items — like cleats, fishing rods, skateboards and bikes, to name a few — from 15 of the largest sporting goods brands, including Nike, Reebok, DeMarini, Rawlings and Speedo, together on one website. The platform's users aren’t bogged down signing up for multiple accounts with all the different brands and adding their credit card information over and over again; AmpleFind has a unified shopping cart that lets sports lovers find all their necessities in one place.
“One of our requirements was to partner only with outstanding stores,” says Zamanov. “We work with Zappos, REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Mr. Porter, Net-a-Porter, Amazon.com, Modell's and many others. 'Outstanding' to AmpleFind means the stores have great customer support, a flexible return policy and speedy delivery." All this is important, Zamanov says, because AmpleFind doesn’t stock any products or do deliveries.
“We started AmpleFind after seeing two of the biggest [sporting goods] retailers filing bankruptcy," Zamanov says, in reference to Sports Authority and Vestis Retail Group, parent of Sport Chalet and Eastern Mountain Sports. "We've built our startup in a completely different way. If you want to succeed, you have to be really innovative and do your best to delight customers.”
Sports Authority skidded into bankruptcy in March, and Vestis Retail Group followed in April. Zamanov says this is a trend that will continue if traditional brick-and-mortar retailers don’t adapt to the growing digital market. However, selling product online doesn’t come without its problems.
“The biggest issue with selling products online is [consumers] not being able to touch products before purchasing them,” explains Zamanov. “That's why we need to make sure that [shoppers] can find detailed info about products online.”
Zamanov believes his platform meets consumers’ expectations by offering the best possible shopping experience, no matter what product someone is searching for.
“We're trying to predict what customers will want in a near future and give it to them even before they think about it.”
While AmpleFind is just online right now, Zamanov does look to successful e-commerce startups and their transitions offline as a potential model for future growth.
“Warby Parker and Bonobos have done a very good job starting as online retailers and then opening offline stores," Zamanov notes. "I believe there are still a lot of new things to do in order to create even better shopping experiences.”