Not too long ago, the only way to purchase a pool was to work with a sales professional, who would come to your door, ask you some questions, and then help you decide on the right pool for your needs. The world is changing, which includes a move toward buying pools online. It’s already happening throughout the swimming pool industry! People considering purchasing an in-ground pool or perhaps the supplies they need simply are not necessarily interested in going to the local store. They want more convenience than ever.
The sale of pool supplies, replacement parts, and accessories online is already happening throughout the industry. Consider a few examples of what’s occurring and the role of online sales in the pool industry.
Popular Pool Products to Buy Online
Consumers are purchasing many of their pool needs online today. A quick browse online allows you to see the purchases, including simple accessories, such as pool toys and add-on features. Yet, it also includes bigger items like pool ladders and most pool chemicals. Online shopping allows pool owners to get what they need, whether it’s a patch for their pool liner or chemicals to get rid of the green water in the spring months.
You can also purchase pools online. With the age of technology, companies can create virtual designs and work with clients digitally to create their ideal pool, often also within their budget.
Online Offers Convenience
Perhaps the pool store is a few miles or a phone call away. Why do consumers agree to make a purchase online, often recognizing that it is likely to take longer to get what they need if they must wait for shipping? It’s the convenience.
It’s far easier to recognize the need for pool chemicals, use a smartphone to find them online, and place an order, perhaps while sitting poolside with a cold drink at the same time. Consumers can get just about anything they need without going to the store to pick it out, compare products, and then lug those items home, including big tubs of chemicals.
Convenience is the biggest reason consumers purchase pool products online, even over price. That’s an essential factor to keep in mind when selling pool supplies.
The Shift to Online Buying Is Partially Generational
So, who is buying pool supplies online? Younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to purchase products online than older generations, but that gap is closing. Many younger consumers like the ability to find what they need online, compare prices and product options, learn about the products, and then have them shipped to their homes. Older generations, including those who know what they want and need, are less likely to buy online — but there’s only a marginal difference.
What Can Retailers Do to Get More Sales?
The key here is not to work around online pool supply sales but to be a part of it. There are still numerous ways companies can earn customer loyalty even when selling online and losing some of that more personalized sales process. Here are some things to consider:
Ensure a website is in place that allows consumers to find what they need easily. Break down complicated topics and make it easy for consumers to find solutions to their problems with the products you are selling. A big part of the process is providing the right information to help consumers make a buying decision.
Make it easy for consumers to buy and take things home. Have curbside delivery in place if you are a local retailer. Let customers order on the website, set up a pick-up time, and then show up to get it. Even put those items in the trunk for the customer to make it easier to get the product home.
Be sure your site is mobile-friendly. Many customers are using their smartphones to make their purchases. Your site needs to make it super-easy for them to do so.
Work to create a modern customer experience, which often means setting up virtual appointments for sales or talking to clients about sales items through videos. Be sure to include some aspects of marketing through videos and social media that can help educate customers about product options.
In addition, companies must work to ensure they are building their brand. As online sales continue to grow, this will be one of the most critical components of the process of excelling in a competitive market.