Golf Datatech’s Serious Golfer Shopping & Purchasing Habits Study, published roughly every two years, is one of the industry’s most significant indicators of what’s going on at the heart of golf retail.
“Like most consumer shopping preferences in the United States, serious golfers’ choices about shopping for golf equipment or apparel have changed significantly over the past few years,” says John Krzynowek, a Partner in Golf Datatech LLC.
“The retail environment is rapidly evolving across all consumer products in the USA, and the purchasing of golf products is no exception. In fact, shopping for, and buying golf products is frequently a multi-step process. Gone are the days when golfers would buy without shopping for product features, as well as comparing prices. Today’s golfer is savvier about product life cycles and price/value relationships.”
Golf Datatech tapped over 2,500 golfers from its database, surveying multiple demographics, including: golf handicap, gender, facility played, geographic region, alpha consumers (those that buy products most frequently) and price points, along with a special investigation of online shopping habits.
The survey found online shopping for golf equipment is up more than 50 percent year-over-year. Just last year, a GPAU study found participants were most likely to make their next equipment purchase online just 13 percent of the time.
Interestingly, buying more equipment online hasn’t made consumers more impulsive: The average respondent said it takes him/her three months to pull the trigger on a new piece of equipment.
Also worth remembering in evaluating the increase in online sales: More than 100 brick and mortar golf shops have closed in the U.S. in the past year.
Krzynowek also says, “Purchase cycles in clubs have shortened slightly over the past few years, but still remain elongated from an historical point of view.”
Another tidbit: Here’s what Golf Datatech found with respect to average equipment purchase cycles.
- Drivers: 4 years
- Irons: 5 years
- Wedges: 4 years
- Putters: 6 years