Interview with SportPursuit – sports flash sales
Cristian: Hi Bryn and welcome to www.entrepreneurship-interviews.com. Today we’re going to talk about SportPursuit and its unique flash sales model . To start, what exactly are flash sales?
Bryn: Flash sales are limited time only online sales events. We offer exclusive deals that you can’t get anywhere else, but unlike traditional online retailers, they’re only available for a limited period of time and to a limited group of people who are members of our club. They’re a fantastic way to give customers a limited opportunity to buy brands & products that they wouldn’t otherwise have bought.
Cristian: How does SportPursuit work behind the scenes?
Bryn: It’s pretty simple really; our aim is to drive a cultural revolution towards buying quality sports kit. To do that, we need to get the best kit, and put it in the best environment. So that’s what we spend our time doing, focus-ing on doing the basics well; great kit, a great looking site and great customer service. We’re a company run by sports people, so we love the kit as much as our customers do.
Cristian: Probably the first question that comes up when people see your offers: are those deals for real? How can you get special prices from the biggest sports brands? Are the products genuine?
Bryn: Yes, all the products are 100% genuine and we guarantee that. We’ve spent a long time developing relationships in the sports industry and it’s through those relationships that we’re able to run the sales that we run. The key is that it’s limited; limited time only, members only. We also have a more efficient model than traditional retailers in that we don’t have expensive stores, and we buy in bulk at the end of each sale so we don’t end up with excess stock that sits in expensive warehouses.
Cristian: How many brands do you have in store? Which brands are the most famous?
Bryn: We’ve featured over 500 brands so far. The most famous are probably Berghaus, Marmot, Haglofs, Canterbury and Under Armour. The key is that they’re all quality. We’re frustrated by how difficult it is to get quality kit these days, so our mission is to get people back to buying great quality brands.
Cristian: You know the saying: do what you love, and you will never “work” again. How did this work in your case? How was SportPursuit born?
Bryn: We were absolutely born out of that principle, as well as a personal frustration. We’re all sports enthusiasts and were frustrated that it was getting harder & harder to get hold off quality kit. There’s plenty of cheap “sportswear for fashion” in the market, but we wanted to get people wearing great kit again. It’s still hard work, but it’s a whole lot easier if you care about what you do.
Cristian: Where does SportPursuit currently deliver to?
Bryn: We currently deliver to 43 countries worldwide and are adding new countries all the time.
Cristian: What types of sports and products do you cover?
Bryn: We focus on outdoor, skiing, cycling and running. They’re sports that we love ourselves, but also sports where the customers broadly share a common ethos around escaping into the outdoors. They’re also sports where great kit can really be the difference between a great day & a pretty miserable one.
Cristian: Is there a new trend of people becoming more active than they did 10 years ago? What is the profile of your average customer?
Bryn: Most of our customers are between 25 and 55, with slightly more men than women. I think people have certainly been inspired by London 2012 and we’ve certainly seen the benefit of that. We’ve added 400,000 members since the Olympics which you can see in this infographic. http://www.sportpursuit.com/you-re-one-in-half-a-million
Cristian: Since we’ve been in contact, I’ve registered for the newsletter and received some quite interesting deals. Still, I’m currently looking for some cycling gear. Do I wait and hope that there will be some of that in sales soon or are there any other ways I can get certain products now?
Bryn: You’ll have to keep an eye on the sales I’m afraid Cristian. You’ve got to be in it to win it!
Cristian: What happens if I’m unsatisfied with a product? Can I return it?
Bryn: Absolutely. Returns are hassle free. If the size isn’t quite right or you realise that you regret choosing the mustard yellow, you can send it back anytime within 2 weeks and we’ll give you a full refund.
Cristian: You have 46,000 likes on Facebook. Many companies would love to be in that position. What’s your social media secret?
Bryn: Because we’re a members only site, we have a natural community so everything we do is to foster that community. To be honest, we’ve just really done what’s come naturally. We are all sports people ourselves, so we’ve posted the stuff that we find interesting & inspirational. One thing we have done is champion our community – they are who inspires us so we like to give them some love back.
Cristian: What is the most amazing thing that happened since you launched SportPursuit?
Bryn: Seeing how inspirational our members are, and how engaged with our company they are. In May we passed half a million members and asked our community to send us a photo of their favourite sporting moment. We got hundreds of inspiration photos back, which we ended up compiling into this video