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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

Why Your Sports Registration Is Killing Your Business

Posted by Upper Hand | Oct 20, 2015 9:23:32 AM

Upper Hand's Sports Registration

At Upper Hand software, we offer the best online sports registration process on the market, with an increasing e-commerce conversion rate, up from .6% in 2013 to 6.62% Q1 of 2015. One of the most common problems that we see with sports training businesses, is they fail to provide an organized, high quality online registration experience for their customers.  So we want to help you understand why your sports registration process is killing your business, and how you can improve it moving forward. 

What are conversion rates?

Conversion rates, while they sound complicated, are very simple to understand.  An e-commerce conversion rate is the percentage of web visitors who purchase product from your website.  For example, a sports training website is visited by 1,000 people during the month of April. During that month, 20 people purchased some sort of training from the site. Thus, the website's conversion rate is 20/1,000 = 2% (Nielson Norman Group, 2013). It’s critical to your business to ensure that your customers are able to easily locate your sports training offerings, and most importantly, they are able to quickly and easily purchase that training. E-commerce conversion rates help you understand how effective you are at converting those customer leads in to paying customers. 

And remember, even if 100% of your business comes from existing clients, by having a poor registration process it only takes 1 of your clients to "drop out" of that process due to frustration, taking too long, or any other reason for you to be on the losing end.

Why Registration is Killing your Business?

It takes experience to get the right registration process in place.

The Global Average e-commerce conversion rate was 2.32% in Q1 of 2015 (Monetate, 2015). During the same period, Upper Hand software customers boasted a 6.62% e-commerce conversion rate, nearly 3x the global average! To put this into perspective, a parent signing up for one of our customer’s training events is THREE TIMES more likely to buy training than the average online registration product on the market. Let’s break down a simple example of how this impacts your bottom line as a sports training business. Download the Upper Hand white paper Why We Love Sports Marketing Emails (& You Should Too!)

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At an average order value of $158.91 (2015 YTD values on Upper Hand platform), this translates to a sports business with an average of 1,000 site visitors per month losing approximately $82,000 per year.

Technology costs time, effort and money.

The above is before any website maintenance costs, including the cost for someone to continue to make changes to your website. It’s estimated that an outsourced web designer/manager costs approximately $200.00 per month to maintain your site, which equates to another $2,400 in annual expenses (Do Better Do More, 2014). When a parent lands on your site, chances are that they heard about you from somewhere and are intend to purchase sports training from you. You’ve already spent time, effort and most likely money, to get them to your site. They’re essentially a “new customer” that may never end up purchasing from you due to a poor online registration process.

According to The Chartered Institute of Marketing, the cost to acquire a new customer compared to 
keeping an existing customer can be anywhere from 3 – 30 times more expensive (The Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2015). If you pay money to get this parent or athlete to your website, the importance of a clean, sleek and intuitive online registration process is critical to the success of your sports training business. What we have found, is that even the above average sports training business lacks the necessary resources to figure out what a good online registration process looks like. Furthermore, it’s even more expensive to continue to make the technological improvements necessary in order to keep up with rapidly evolving technology. This results is an outdated and choppy registration experience for parents and athletes attempting to work with a sports training business.

After it’s all said and done, the money you’ve lost by investing in trying to continuously improve your process and the consistent bleeding of customers due to a poor experience, kills your business.  We see it happen all too often. But, it doesn’t have to be that way!

Simple Ways to Save Your Business Today 

The benefits of using a 
sports training automation software like Upper Hand are sometimes hard to quantify. However, when you consider the numbers mentioned above, it makes sense. Why spend your time trying to manage a website when you really should be focused on delivering an incredible coaching experience to your athletes?  Even if you don’t go with a software like Upper Hand, here are three ways to improve your online sports registration system:

  1. Less is Better
    The less required information, the higher your conversion rates will ultimately be. 

    If you don’t use/need a specific registration field, get rid of it.  On Upper Hand software, while we allow our customers to customize the fields that they collect during the sports registration process, we provide direct advice on what we recommend to achieve the highest possible conversion rates.

  2. Buy Now, Schedule Later
    In the sports training business, scheduling can be a serious pain. And scheduling is just one part of "logistics." We have found that by placing scheduling during the purchasing process, you decrease conversion rates significantly. Why have a client think you aren't available only because you forgot to update your schedule of availability? 
    Always allow your customers to buy now, but schedule the training later.

  3. Simple Pricing
    Giving a parent or athlete more purchasing options can seem like a good idea, however that is not necessarily the case. This not only affects the decision making on the front end by your client but also on the back end as you have to manage everything. Think of it like inventory, every price point is a different product. Is it more cost efficient to manage a warehouse with a 1,000 products or 5? Again, less is better.  
    Keep your pricing very simple and do not overcomplicate it.

Following the steps above will surely help your online sports registration process, but does not eliminate the costs of you continuously trying to keep up with rapidly evolving technology. 

Why We Love Sports Marketing Emails →

Sources:
Nelson Norman Group, Jakob Nielson. (2013, November). Re: Conversion Rates. Retrieved From: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/conversion-rates/
Monetate. (2015, October). Re: Research. Retrieved From: http://www.monetate.com/resources/research/
Do Better Do More, Andrew Osborne. (2014). Re: How much does it cost to maintain a website. Retrieved From: http://www.bebetterdomore.com/blog/how-much-does-it-cost-to-maintain-a-website
The Chartered Institute of Marketing. (2015). Re: Cost of customer acquisition vs. customer retention.

Topics: Registration & Events, Sports Tech

Written by Upper Hand

Upper Hand simplifies front and back-end office tasks for sports businesses, provides cutting-edge marketing tools and offers business intelligence that enables unsurpassed performance for its customers. Customized software and pricing are fit to each individual’s sports business needs with the objective of helping every customer grow their business.