How Dick's Sporting Goods' CTO is revamping athletic e-commerce
- Dick's Sporting Goods CTO Paul Gaffney is breaking down the silos of software development between the retailer's headquarters and its individual stores, according to an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
- Gaffney joined the retailer in November 2017 and since then has worked with his team to build inventory software. The team expects to complete the shift to in-house software for Dick's e-commerce platforms this year, according to the report. The inventory software was deployed in stores in September for associates to have real-time product and inventory data, and alternative solutions for customers.
- The lift includes revamping its website with changes in how products are displayed, search and checkout, and shipping estimates, according to the report. Among other initiatives, the technology revamp has allowed Dick's to have products online within 30 minutes of a sporting event as opposed to the three to five days it traditionally took.
Dick's is a dominant name in the sporting goods retail sector and with the initiatives, Gaffney is shepherding his team through creating a modern omnichannel experience.
Later this year, the retailer plans to "re-platform" its mobile and tablet sites, affording Dick's the ability to control "our own mobile destiny" for delivering goods, said Lauren Hobart, president and director, during the company's Q4 2018 earnings call.
About $15 million in investments will go to revamping Dick's e-commerce fulfillment capabilities and $10 million in technology, said Lee Belitsky, EVP and CFO, during the call. The investments are focused primarily on enabling in-store associates to better serve customers.
The company's net sales are on a decline while e-commerce sales rise. However, the decline in sales can be partially related to the retailer's decision to change its firearm sales policy, which cost the company an estimated $150 million in lost sales, reports Bloomberg.
Other brick-and-mortar retailers, like Nike and Adidas, have yielded to the digital demands of customers, Nike going so far as to work with Amazon. And while Dick's has gained momentum in its e-commerce push, a chief obstacle for the retailer is drawing customers to its physical location.
- Wall Street Journal Dick’s Tech Chief Goes All Out on In-House Software
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