Dick's uses in-store mobile to drive digital sales

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) has been busy trying to blur the lines between its in-store and digital experiences lately, and it appears those efforts have paid off in large part thanks to an initiative encouraging in-store mobile use.

Earlier this month, the retailer announced that digital sales accounted for 14.4 percent of sales in the last quarter, more than a 2 percent increase over the same quarter in 2013. Not only that, but the sporting goods retailer's store operations appear to be supporting that same growth in its e-commerce. Digital sales were 50 percent better near brick-and-mortar locations, and omnichannel shoppers ended up spending about three times more than those just shopping in-store.

A big part of the growth has been escalated by the in-store implementation of mobile for Dick's associates to improve store operations, customer assistance, product info availability and create an "endless aisle," according to Rafeh Masood, VP of technology.

"Endless aisle is the term used to describe our ability to order a product from our warehouse for a customer even if that product is not available on the floor of our stores," Masood said late last year, when the program was first being rolled out. That idea isn't new, even for Dick's, but the mobile spin on it does help free the experience from the fixed kiosks that previously limited the service and improve the experience overall.

The initiative started when the retailer began designing a framework for its mobile operations in late 2013. The company focused on aspects such as user experience guidelines, common objects, integration layers and tools to speed up the process of deploying its mobile solutions and devices. Stores use durable Android devices designed to function similarly to associates' personal devices.

The company has also updated its mobile app to generally improve the user interface, incorporate geofencing to allow local stores to display ads and offers, and allow better access to the Scorecard loyalty program, a smart move considering Dick's has some of the most loyal customers in retail, according to PYMNTS.com.  

Its mobile initiatives are just the most recent example of Dick's trying to build out its omnichannel strategy. Early last year the retailer added the ship-to-store capability to 100 of its stores and more than doubled the assortment of eligible items.

For more:
-See this PYMNTS.com story
-See this Dick's Sporting Goods press release
-See this Mobile Enterprise story

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