Will the Price of Gas be a Boon For Online Retailers?

I was reading an article in my local paper, the Sun Sentinel, that was highlighting the fact that high gas prices are hurting destination retailers like Bass Pro Shops. I was shocked to find out that the average Bass Pro shop customer drives 100 miles to go shopping at the outdoor super centers. With gas hovering right around 4 dollars it’s understandable that customers are backing off on the frequency of their shopping trips. Well it seems like Bass Pro shops is trying to avoid the pinch and is launching a series of events like scavenger hunts and s’more making seminars that will hopefully lure shoppers back in.

Will it work? Only time will tell, but one strategy I would certainly be working on is making sure their website is up to snuff. I know shopping online for sporting goods isn’t even a tiny fraction of the entertainment that one would get by actually going to Bass Pro Shops, but to save a few bucks it might be worth while. Let’s do the math, if you drive 100 miles your probably burning close to 6 gallons of gas and at 4 bucks a gallon that 24 bucks and you should also figure if the wife and kids hear you are going there they are going to want to come, tack on another 50 bucks for lunch. At this point have haven’t bought a darn fishing lure yet! Are you starting to get the picture? If you went online to Bass Pro Shops you could have tried 2 additional lures to make sure you catch more fish than your buddy who been talking trash all week.

When you look at like that, it seem like the price of gas really could be a boon for many online retailers. If we were a pure play internet retailer we might have considered incorporating the save gas message in our ads. Unfortunately if you are a multi channel retailer like us, a message like that is a catch 22. Statistically we know we actually sell more when clients visit our fine jewelry stores. So we certainly don’t want to discourage anyone from driving to our stores. But if the momentum does swing towards online we will be ready. We are working hard over the summer on our navigation, blogs and SEO efforts to cut the downside as much as possible. Believe it our not the Holiday Season is right around the corner!

We’d love to hear what you think……….

Do you think more people will start shopping online for their gift needs to save gas?

Do you think a “Save Gas, Shop Online” message would resonate or is it just plain cheesy?

Let us know,

Sean

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  1 comment for “Will the Price of Gas be a Boon For Online Retailers?

  1. HG
    August 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Well, there are more people than ever who do their shopping online today (better deals, convenience, etc.), but the gas pump pinch is certainly helping to accelerate the recruits IMO. When my grandma starts buying stuff from Amazon which she’s recently done, you know something is definitely happening. 🙂

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