How Central Sports scaled profits with WebSell
Fully independent and family-run, Central Sports was founded over 20 years ago and has been at the heart of sports retail in the west of Ireland since. The business has built a loyal customer base and has seen phenomenal online growth in recent months. We compared their site performance metrics YoY for 2021 over 2020:
increase in site visits
increase in orders
increase in revenue
At the heart of the action
Ireland is a proud sporting nation that embraces every sport that hits its shores. From homegrown sports like Gaelic football and hurling, to international games like basketball. It’s great for fans but presents a challenge for smaller retailers. They need to stock products for every sport or risk upsetting some customers.
Luckily, you can find independent sports apparel and accessory retailers in almost every town in Ireland. Central Sports is one such business that has been serving fans and players of all sports for over 20 years.
Throughout their history, the team at Central Sports have worked tirelessly to make their store a step above the competition. Working with e-commerce partner WebSell and Positive System Solutions (PSS) as their Point-of-Sale partner, they embraced the future of commerce and scaled effectively.
Ireland is a sports-mad country, so retailers in the industry must become experts at many different sports. Their passion is great for sports apparel businesses, but is not without it’s headaches. It means more products spread across more categories and closer inventory management.
While their brick-and-mortar store thrived due to their tireless efforts, their e-commerce platform was beginning to let them down. In-store operations were disconnected from their online store meaning staff had to manually keep their webstore updated with every new product. They needed a solution that connected the dots between their Point-of-Sale system and website instantly.
This is when Central Sports decided to upgrade their entire retail infrastructure, upgrading their e-commerce platform to WebSell, and switching their Point-of-Sale system to Retail Management Hero (RMH) with Positive System Solutions.
“We outgrew our previous e-commerce partner. It wasn’t helping our day-to-day business and was adding unnecessary time and work to maintain. We wanted something reliable that worked for us rather than against us. We also wanted to have a bit more say in the look and function of the website,” said Central Sports owner Tom Whelan.
The Central Sports team were looking for a fully integrated e-commerce solution that gave them a website they had better ownership of, and which worked for them. They also needed a platform that could integrate smoothly with their new RMH system.
We outgrew our previous e-commerce partner. It wasn’t helping our day-to-day business and was adding unnecessary time and work to maintain.Tom Whelan,
Owner, Central Sports
When they switched to WebSell, Central Sports found a flexible e-commerce platform that started saving them time and money. Central Sports considered other e-commerce solutions, but WebSell was the only partner that met all their requirements. They took the recommendation of their Point-of-Sale partner PSS and proceeded to test WebSell.
Positive System Solutions are a trusted partner of WebSell and work with retailers to install their brick-and-mortar Point of Sale or ERP system. They are the distributor of RMH in Ireland and were best placed to inform Central Sports about the smoothest e-commerce integration available for the system.
“We needed to upgrade our POS system as we had outgrown our existing one. We chose Retail Management Hero because of seamless website integration with WebSell, this was essential to scaling the business. We liked WebSell’s interface and the order processing/management system particularly,” said Tom.
Central Sports also benefited hugely from working with WebSell’s success services team. They worked closely with WebSell on PPC ad campaigns and Email Marketing services to help them exposure and online sales. “We’ve found good success working with Tomasz and Cillian from WebSell on our marketing efforts. We’re a small store so we don’t have huge resources for marketing. Having a solution for that built onto our e-com store was brilliant,” Tom said.
Central Sports created and launched their new e-commerce site with WebSell and have never looked back. They added a few custom features onto their site including the option for shoppers to customize their purchase by adding initials to their club’s gear. “We sell a lot of gear from local GAA teams and personalization was a big feature we needed. WebSell installed this on the relevant product pages, and it works well for our customers,” said Tom.
We’re a small store so we don’t have huge resources for marketing. Having a solution for that built onto our e-com store was brilliant.Tom Whelan,
Owner, Central Sports
Since launching on WebSell, Central Sports have noticed a nice increase to their metrics showing strong growth. Here’s a snapshot of some of their numbers comparing YoY 2021 over 2020 performance metrics:
- 44% increase in site visits
- 73% increase in orders
- 67% increase in revenue
WebSell and Positive System Solutions have enabled Central Sports to experience omnichannel retail. Working with both companies has allowed their brick-and-mortar store to communicate effectively and reliably with their e-commerce site.
Central Sports is now looking ahead to the release of their upcoming Next Gen site design. They’re looking to capitalize on recent growth and reward customers with an even faster on-site experience. Central Sports is also excited to continue developing their marketing strategy by working closely with WebSell’s success team.
E-commerce is now essential to the business. I don’t question whether my e-com is working anymore, I know it just does. Utilizing the integration of Retail Management Hero and WebSell has streamlined our operations, creating powerful growth. I can’t wait to see how they develop their platform and I’m very excited to see our new site design come to life.Tom Whelan,
Owner, Central Sports
Published: March 2022
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