Surfcare brochures on display at Rip Curl San Clemente. Shop employees share Surfcare with every perspective customer buying a new board.
Surfcare’s Surfboard Protection Plans Can Help Your Board Shop Increase Sales & Customer Loyalty
Customers want to feel secure when they make a big purchase. This is true in pretty much every market and the surfboard industry is no different. Buying a new surfboard can feel like a major life decision. And whether they’re a beginner or veteran, board purchasers want to feel like they aren’t going to regret it the second they get their first ding.
It’s not uncommon to see surf shops providing an exchange window or limited-warranty with board purchases. Still, their customers generally know the drill. Those narrow offerings barely scratch the surface when it comes to true product protection.
Sure, the customer can always bring their board back in for repair. They’ll just have to pay for it entirely out of pocket. This additional expense later down the road can potentially worsen their relationship with your business. It also ultimately leads to less board purchases from customers who might be too risk-averse to pull the trigger. The more they have to worry about hidden maintenance and repair costs, the less likely they are to buy your boards.
Product Protection Plans Add Value to Most Industries
Offering a type of insurance or product protection plan for the higher-cost items in your store is one of the easiest ways to add value to your inventory and improve customer relations. This is true of most industries that sell products that can be easily damaged, yet are relatively difficult or expensive to fix on your own. Customers are often willing to pay a little extra to ensure that they won’t have to deal with any costly headaches further down the road.
Apple makes a fortune on their Applecare protection plans because customers don’t want to be stuck with a broken and expensive computer that they have no idea how to repair. Aftermarket car warranties provide a similarly enticing value proposition for automobile purchasers. And while a car is maybe not comparable to a surfboard in value, both items have a high-propensity to be damaged with a need for professional repair and/or maintenance.
Product protection plans are a boon for most industries because they add an additional revenue stream that actually helps the customers feel more supported and secure rather than ripped-off and abandoned. Customers are more likely to make a purchase that’s “protected” by a plan and will inevitably return to your business when they’re in need of a repair and then eventually an upgrade. This is why adding surfboard protection plans to your board shop is a no-brainer.
How Can Surfcare Help My Business?
Put simply, providing Surfcare at your business will make you more money in both the short and long terms. This easy addition to your lineup can boost your competitive edge, generate more high-value sales from otherwise wary customers, prevent the headaches involved with board discounts or returns, create additional recurring revenue with each sale, and establish long term brand loyalty. All of these factors work together to exponentially improve your revenue cycle with zero risk incurred by your business and an incredibly easy onboarding experience.
Surfcare Helps Increase Your Revenue With Zero Overhead
Surfcare surfboard protection plans are 100% additive and 100% margin for your business. There’s no need to add them into your POS systems, no need to hire in-house board repair staff, and extremely easy integration into your existing sales strategy. Your business keeps 15% to 25% of the sales from all Surfcare plans offered in your shop without incurring any overhead expenses. And, since Surfcare protection plans are based on a recurring subscription model, your business will continue to make a profit on every plan sold (with monthly recurring payouts).
So how much can you really make offering Surfcare at your board shop? Well, let’s say your shop sells 100 boards per month and is able to add Surface protection plans at a 20% attachment rate. With an average annual plan costing $100 and a 25% commission, you can expect to see about $500 extra each month. That amounts to roughly $6000 per year in annual recurring payouts. $6000 a year might not make or break your business, but it certainly won’t hurt it. Plus, this net profit is actually only one part of the added value that Surfcare can provide.
Surfcare Helps You Close Sales & Retain Customers
As you probably know, lots of board shoppers have a hard time pulling the trigger. Offering product protection to your customers while they’re debating whether or not to make a purchase can be the exact thing needed to get them past that tipping point. Adding Surfcare to their investment will enable them to feel smarter and more confident when they walk out your doors with their new board in hand.
That feeling of confidence and security that you provide your customers at checkout will inevitably grow into loyalty towards your business. Each time a Surfcare customer needs to repair or replace one of their boards, they’ll return to your shop where they’ll likely make additional accessory and/or clothing purchases or buy their new replacement board directly from you. This fosters stronger customer relationships and enables you to gain more insight into purchasing habits and trends.
Surfcare Helps You Stand Out In the Sea of Shops
The global surfing industry brings in nearly $8 billion annually and surfing equipment is expected to have a 5% CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) through 2022. When you couple those statistics with an increased affinity for outdoor activities due to COVID-19 and an ironic uptick in discretionary spending from stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, you get a perfect storm of new surfers eager to buy boards.
This being said, brick & mortar surf shops have had as difficult a time as any struggling to adapt to the new socially-distanced economy and periodic government-enforced closures. Surfboards can be a tough thing to sell online and it’s tricky for businesses to remain competitive in a digital landscape. Larger companies like CCS and Boardcave have started to create a sort of “Amazon” effect in the online board world where margins are thin, competition is fierce, and smaller businesses need to do every they can to stand out.
A classic local brick & mortar board shop offers its customers much more than just a convenient place to get gear. These shops become community staples, bringing surfers, beach rats, and more into the familial fold with loyalty-driven sales & unique charm. Unfortunately, these factors are difficult to communicate in an online realm. That’s why customers migrate to the bigger companies with lower prices.
Surfcare can help your business stand apart from these larger online retailers. It gives your customers the added protection that they need while providing an additional revenue stream and a uniquely robust customer relationship further down the road. By derisking the purchase of boards with price tags reaching closer to $1000 on average these days, you can generate more confident and content customers that will stick with you for years to come. Even if these customers remain online and largely anonymous, they will at least be able to experience a type of “proxy” community by feeling safe and secure with their latest board purchase.
Surfcare Isn’t Just for Surfboards… The Growing SUP Wave
All of this increased attention to outdoor activity has led to a surge in watersport gear purchases outside of the traditional surfboard market as well. This includes items like wakesurf boards, kite boards, and the phenomenally popular stand-up paddles (SUP). According to Statistic Brain, one of the fastest growing segments of the surfing industry is for SUPs, accounting for $18.5 million in sales during 2018 with a continued increase since 2005.
These non-surfboard items are generally sold at a higher margin and with a much higher price tag. That makes them a more challenging sale to close, but a perfect opportunity to provide product protection plans to the otherwise wary customer. Fortunately, Surfcare offers plans that cover pretty much anything that is made with epoxy, traditional fiberglass, or similar materials. That means your business can capitalize on the SUP trend while creating better customer relationships and adding an annual recurring revenue model to each sale.
Surfcare Helps Surf Shops Grow
The surf industry is growing and evolving in fast and exciting ways whether or not your surf shop decides to stick with it. Surfcare’s surfboard protection plans can help your business land more sales, improve customer loyalty, add recurring revenue streams, and stand out as an innovative force in your competitive landscape all without creating any additional overhead. To learn more about how Surfcare protection plans work, visit our plans page here.
BRA note: We are very pleased to announce that Surfcare has recently joined Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. Be sure to mention BRA when connecting with the solid people behind this outstanding resource. – Doug Works, BRA Executive Director
You can reach Nick of Surfcare directly at 808-222-2061 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form