TaylorMade Golf takes a big 'turn' to boost customer experience

| by Judy Mottl
TaylorMade Golf takes a big 'turn' to boost customer experience

Photo courtesy of TaylorMade Golf.

A tailor-made, and possibly first of its kind, golf club subscription program is reaping substantial rewards for both shoppers and a golf equipment maker ranging from an enhanced customer experience to bigger sales.

Called "The Turn – Upgrade by TaylorMade," the subscription program is a quasi-financing and product upgrade strategy developed by TaylorMade Golf in collaboration with Klarna, a payments provider.

TaylorMade Golf shoppers can finance purchases via the TaylorMade Golf website and either keep or exchange clubs for newer models before the finance pay period ends.

As golfing enthusiasts likely know, TaylorMade makes high performance golf equipment and golf balls and is a major force on the PGA tour.

And while it may seem to be a less-than-sexy customer interaction strategy, the subscription program proves customer experience innovation doesn't have to be sexy to prove rewarding.

In fact, the subscription program is surpassing TaylorMade Golf's expectations.

"In the first five months since its inception, the program has experienced significant success, with a 30 percent overall lift in conversions and a five percent increase in average order value," John Gonsalves, vice president, direct to consumer and digital, TaylorMade, told Retail Customer Experience in an email interview.

How it all began

The subscription strategy was borne from a deep dive into data regarding customer purchase cycles and consumers who buy new equipment every year versus golfer segments that tend to buy new clubs and accessories every three to five years.

"We've been analyzing data and soliciting consumer feedback looking for ways to make it easier for this latter group to upgrade on a more regular basis," explained Gonsalves.

TaylorMade Golf then connected with Klarna, which was founded in 2005 and recently named as one of the top disruptor companies in the world by CNBC. Klarna works with 70,000 merchants to offer payment solutions to more than 60 million users in Europe and North America.

The partners began working to better identify the challenges inherent in the customer equipment upgrade environment with the goal of developing a model that would eliminate the financial burden of trading in golf clubs more frequently for the latest, most technologically advanced clubs.

TaylorMade Golf also had some other goals in mind as well, noted Gonsalves, when it launched the program at the start of this year's golf season.

Making upgrading an easier experience

"This program was designed to improve client retention, customer satisfaction and increase sales," he said, adding "early indications are that it is accomplishing all of those goals."

Gonsalves said Klarna provided a capability that no other vendor could match and a solution that can be expanded globally at any point in time.

The subscription program, which is named for when golfers finish the ninth hole of a round of golf and then "turn" for home, now accounts for mid-single digits percent of total sales on taylormadegolf.com and more than 10 percent on the products that are offered through this program.

"Since the program is only five months old, it's too early to know what percentage of customers will keep their clubs or choose the upgrade option, but we've seen a 15 percent overall lift in sales throughout our site, which provides some indication of the buzz it's creating and the impact on sales," Gonsalves said.

Topics: Assisted Selling, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Marketing, Merchandising, Omnichannel / Multichannel, Online Retailing, Payments, Specialty Stores

Judy Mottl

Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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