We can agree that there are not so many headlines around the Japan-based Honma Golf. Have you heard about that last year the Japanese prime minister gave a Honma Beres S-05 with 9.5 degrees of loft with a 5S Armrq Infinity stiff shaft (source Golf Digest) to Trump on his visit to the U.S.? This is why I was interested to see, what can bring the news Honma Golf Gallery Store in Santa Ana, California.
The Honma Golf Gallery Store is now open to the public and the golfers. At this 500-square-foot store, we can discover the brand’s TOUR WORLD, BERES and Be ZEAL products, including sets that sell for up to $50,000. It features the luxury brand’s clubs, bags, apparel, accessories and more.
Adam Sheldon, general manager of Honma Golf USA is told us with great enthusiasm that “It merges a club fitting and retail experience in a totally different way.”
I believe that in the luxury product category in 2017 customers have more advanced and sophisticated expectations than what the Honma Golf Gallery Store can offer. I cannot neglect the option that this store idea is an experiment with the showroom concept (see Tesla auto galleries).
Can we get meaningful experience at the new Honma Golf Gallery Store?
The first thought that came to my mind is whether a brand shop with a club fitting service can excite today’s premium or luxury customers. Yes, it is a nice and practical idea, but can it help these customers in their quest for self-actualization? What I see around the globe is that these people are looking for rare and shareable experiences (e.g. New York’s Crunch Gym; Seabourn Luxury Cruise; Samsung & de GRISOGONO).
The very same people are looking for solutions how could they achieve self-improvement and well-being. This is why it is important to show in such a brand store as the Honma Golf Gallery Store what aspect of the person can be improved by a specific product or service.
A unique store experience can motivate also people to visit your store rather than shopping online. Although online privacy and security is a major concern for many of us, at the same time we are expecting personalized offers, products, and services. Accenture Interactive’s Personalization Pulse Check study found that
- 56% of consumers are more likely to shop at a retailer in-store or online that recognizes them by name;
- 58% are more likely to make a purchase when a retailer recommends options for them based on their past purchases or preferences.
- Remembering purchase histories will win over 65% of shoppers.
- 75% of shoppers will more likely to buy from retailers that provide any of these three services.
For the same reason, I told many times in the past to golf club managers start to utilize technologies that enable personalization to avoid offering mass offers.
Such meaningful customer experience can contribute a lot to competitive differentiation. I must add that such customer experience is not only about in-store experience, but also online.
We should not stop here, but also add:
- lifestyle elements,
- enable mobile payment,
- turn the store into a smart store by utilizing beacon technology and wearable technology to be able to provide personalized offers,
- augmented reality (AR) is a practical solution to show customers in their new apparel, with a new golf bag and accessories.
Recently, I discovered that even in the luxury category we can find on-demand services. Such services will gain momentum as we are relying more and more on our smartphones.
Here are a few examples:
- Medluxe – yachts, villas etc. on-demand
- Bentley on Demand
- Jetsmarter – private jets
- TOSHI – luxury in-store service
- HUGO BOSS – Boss On Demand: This is part of a multichannel shopping experience concept. The service uses Uber to provides complimentary door to door transportation for customers to make shopping with BOSS more convenient.
As we can see retailing is getting digitalized and golf equipment manufacturers cannot avoid this phenomenon/trend. This means that it is NOT enough to have a mobile-friendly website in 2017.
You have to come up with added-value digital services and solutions and embrace a multichannel approach. Boston Consulting Group‘s analysis (see picture below) gives a better understanding what should luxury brands provide to succeed in 2017 and in the near future.
Over to You!
Share with us your best golf retailing experience and explain us, why did you like it! I would be also happy to learn more about outstanding golf retailing best practices of golf equipment and apparel manufacturers and retailers. 🙂