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Skate America - Essay Example

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Skate America sells skateboards and skating related accessories online. Relative to competing online skateboarding stores, Skate America presents the most professional, attractive, clean(uncluttered) and easy to navigate storefront. This is strictly an online store…
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America Skates with Skate America Skate America sells skateboards and skating related accessories online. Relative to competing online skateboarding stores, Skate America presents the most professional,
attractive, clean(uncluttered) and easy to navigate storefront. This is strictly an online
store. The skateboarding store uses Person Marketing as their main strategy of
nontraditional marketing on the web. Enhancing its person marketing and combining
with a touch of Event Marketing will give the seller a competitive edge in a niche market
of hobbyist and gift products for skateboarders and skaters.
Two of the most prevalent online competitors are A1 Skateboards and Element
Skateboards. A1 Skateboards uses person marketing, taking it a bit farther with
customization options. Skateboards and accessories are also offered by product line or
brand, just as with Skate America. Element Skateboards takes a different approach, using
event marketing. Information about X-Games dates and locations takes up most of the
home page with its severe black and red color scheme. Though this online retailer is
listed as a skateboard supplier, the product list and links are difficult to see.
Skate America does an excellent job in design, theme and presentation of its web site.
Attractive, yet not too busy, the site provides links to brand or professional line products,
as well as others. Graphics are pleasant and eye-catching, without distracting viewers.
Its red, white and blue scheme works well with the design and fits its short and easily
recongnized name. Strengths for this online seller are design and appropriate selection of
products. Weaknesses are lack of personalization such as the customizable skateboards
that A1 Skateboards offers and failure to promote skateboarding and skating, by
providing topics or information of interest. Skate America attempts to direct its efforts
toward all skateboarders and skaters. While the product and brand offerings are more
than adequate, its difficult to determine who the intended audience with its generic feel.
America Skates with Skate America 2
Segments of the population who visit the sites are hobby skaters, competition skaters
and those who are searching the online store for gifts. Skate America has an opportunity
to provide more personalized service, while educating hobbyists and gift shoppers alike.
One strategy I suggest is to offer customization as A1 Skateboards does. This will help
to position the company as a more knowledgeable and reputable seller. Along with
customization is information. Those who are new to skating and skateboarding can
benefit from educational videos or topic pages with visual aids. Many need to know
about safety issues and safety ratings for equipment and accessories. Those who shop
for gifts need information to select the right products.
Skate America already offers many brand name products and accessories, including
the professional skateboarder lines. Brands should remain as they are, an offering for
those who desire, though not a major part of the marketing strategy. “Brands fail because
of the company’s incorrect market segmentation, deficient price-feature relationship and
poor execution of advertising” (Marva, 2007). While brands or professional lines are
more appealing to professional and competitive skaters, this segment should not be the
main focus of Skate America.
The skateboard and skate seller faces threats from competitor stores online, as
well as from traditional sporting good stores. Today it is difficult to find a salesperson
in the brick and mortar store who is knowledgeable about each sport and its gear.
Customization increases product prices slightly, though consumers generally appreciate
stores that take the time to educate and personalize the experience online. Online stores
like Element Skateboards are obviously geared toward the competitors and professionals.
By eliminating or reducing this market segment, Skate America can greatly reduce
threat from competition from such stores.
America Skates with Skate America 3
It can be argued that Skate America will lose business from professional and
competitive skate boarders. As Skate America sells skateboards and skates, professional
skateboarding does not fit its image. Therefore, marketing efforts for this segment will
not be taken seriously. Skate America needs to more strongly identify its niche, which
should be products and accessories for hobbyists and gift buyers. “Your company should
find a niche and stake it out” (Marva, 2007). Strengthening of its person marketing
strategies, mixed with a small amount of event marketing for promotional purposes will
help this seller focus on its strengths and increase revenue.
America Skates with Skate America 4
References
A1 Skateboards. Retrieved July 30, 2007 from http://www.a1skateboards.com/
Element Skateboards. Retrieved July 30, 2007 from http://www.elementskateboards.com/
Skate America. Retrieved July 29, 2007 from http://www.elementskateboards.com/
Varna, R. (2007). Digital media offers challenges, opportunities, say Kellogg marketing experts. Retrieved July 29, 2007 from http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/ news/marketing2005.htm. Read More
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