Ah, the great outdoors. Mother nature is filled with wonderment, mystery, and adventure seekers who love their gear. And the best place to find the newest gear is at the mecca of the outdoor industry, Outdoor Retailer. The OR Show is the biggest convention for outdoor gear companies in the world so the Video Review Labs team flew out to this year’s summer market. Co-founders Eric and Charlie got a chance to checkout the latest products and meet some of our favorite brands.
The show was held in Salt Lake City and featured the biggest names in outdoor gear all the way to the newest players in the industry. Manufacturing brands boasted new hydration packs, running apparel, sunglasses, beef jerky, stand up paddle boards, ice climbing tools, goggles, knives, yoga mats, and so much more. Our favorite part was hanging out in the pavilions with some of the smaller to mid-size brands. Many of the booths were manned by their company owners or CEOs so it was excellent to talk to the people behind the gear we know so well. We love to hear the stories and passion behind the products from people who have built their brands from the ground up.
It was also a chance to represent Texas along with some of our favorite brands born right here in Austin. We met up with Yeti Coolers, Trigger Point, RoguePak, SUP ATX, Diablo Paddlesports, and the Howler Brothers to check out their new gear and amazing booths.
The show also hosts breakout sessions where industry leaders can discuss hot topics in outdoors ranging from eCommerce marketing to outsourcing manufacturing to outdoor adventure programs. Our favorite panel was “The Future of Adventure Brands Online” hosted by Jeff Snow (Digital Marketing Manager at Smart Wool), Stephen Landau (Creative Director at Substance), and Nick Lawrence (Marketing Manager at Nau). The biggest point was creating great content online to enhance the customer experience. The panel really pushed for building better content in the shopping cart especially.
Outdoor gear can be fairly expensive. So online retailers don’t always compete on lowest price when they are selling items manufactured by the same brand. They are competing on providing the most value to their customers through great experiences online. From shipping and handling time to web page copywriting.
So, for example, an eCommerce store selling Smart Wool running socks has to keep an edge on their competition selling the same socks through another site. They can build up great content in their shopping cart to tackle two things: brand building and sales conversions. A great way to do this is through eCommerce video. That online retailer can provide beautiful lifestyle content to connect better with customers and even produce video guides about which socks to purchase for a customer’s particular sport or style. Thus providing a superior online customer experience. eCommerce experiences are brand experiences. Whether you’re the manufacturer or the retail channel partner, you want to provide great experiences for your customers online so they want to connect with your brand and keep coming back for more.
Outdoor Retailer was an amazing experience that no one in the outdoor industry should pass up. Next on the docket is the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January. Hope to see you there!