[private_member]MEMBERS – Please view in .pdf form – State of the Hunting Industry | December 2009 [/private_member]
Understand how the state of the economy is affecting the hunting industry
Edition 2 A Publication of Hunting Business Marketing December 2009
Opportunities for companies expanding focus on the Web
Image courtesy of woodleywonderworks
The holiday season is important for the US economy. Each holiday season brings families out to retail and online stores to spend the money they have saved on items for their family and friends.
When it comes to hunters, places like Gander Mountain, LL Bean, Orvis, and of course Cabela’s are favorites. Friends and families of hunters frequent these stores looking for the perfect gifts for their beloved hunters.
The holiday season usually falls right in the middle to end of the fall hunting season so hunters’ appetites are whet for the latest gear for their hunting adventures. This makes it easy to know exactly what equipment will be needed for next season’s hunt. Hunters are in the prime of their fall hunting season so they know what is making them struggle and they know what gear they’ll need to better their chances next season.
Hunting businesses depend on the holiday demand season for much of their sales each year. Businesses, large and small, depend on the year-round saving and holiday spending to provide the sales and cash that hold them over until the late summer and following holiday season.
With Holiday 2008 being an extremely frugal one for families, hunting businesses struggled and some had to cease operations as cash ran out.
As you can expect, the 2009 holiday season is extremely competitive for all hunting businesses as they struggle for the attention of hunters and their loved ones. The struggle to gain attention, trust, and eventually sales forces margins to come down in an effort to tilt hunting customers in favor of purchasing gear and services.
With the deflation of the US Credit and Debt Economy (2001-2008), there is now a more frugal aspect to deal with for hunting businesses. The businesses that have been able to survive to the 2009 holiday season will continue to have to fight for every sale and every hard-earned dollar that the American Hunting Consumer is willing to spend.
The new reality of the hunting economy is a frugal consumer that does more research on products, equipment, gear, outfitting services, etc. as they want to get the most return for their dollars.
Successful hunting businesses will want to focus on every detail of the purchasing cycle while working to establishing trust with consumers as an individual level.
The Web will play a crucial role in building trust with consumers as communication barriers are broken down and business leaders can interact and help consumers with their problems and questions on an individual level. Use the Web and its technologies throughout 2010 to begin building trust for the 2010 Holiday Season.
From Gallup (Nov. 2009):
When asked in an open-ended question to name the most important financial problem facing their families today, one in six Americans (17%) say low wages and a lack of money. Healthcare costs are next, at 14%. While the mentions of healthcare might be attributed to its prominence in the news, the issue of low wages may reflect another aspect of the job crisis in America today.
Read the entire article Lack of Money/Wages Top Family Financial Problems in U.S.
Impact on your business
With consumers having little confidence in their income, there is a realigning of priorities with any disposable income. Today, consumers are using the extra money they have to pay off debt from the Deb and Credit Economy days of 2001-2008 and to save for future rainy days.
The best thing for business owners to do is recognize the new frugal reality in the American Economy and foster to the needs of the mindset of consumers.
Starting a blog right now is a great way to begin building the trust with your consumers heading into 2010. Do a little research on keywords and interests in your particular niche in the hunting industry and begin building trust with your customers.
From Gallup (Nov. 2009):
Americans’ estimate of the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year has fallen precipitously over the past month, sending the figure back to last year’s record lows. Americans’ average Christmas spending prediction is now $638. This nearly matches the $616 recorded in November 2008, amid one of the worst holiday retail seasons in recent memory.
Read the entire article Christmas Spending Forecast Reverts to Record 2008 Lows
Impact on your business
The Gallup poll represents the changing US consumer economy as families are spending less this year and in coming years on gifts for loved ones over the holiday season.
Businesses can also expect that people will spend their money with more thought and consideration as they do their due diligence to make sure the gifts they are buying with their money provide the most joy and return for the gift recipients.
Address this extra due diligence by providing your customers with the knowledge they need in order to feel like they are making the best purchase this holiday season and into 2010. Blogs, videos, and guest articles discussing products and doing product reviews are great ways to build a trust and comfort with consumers that will allow them to feel like your business in the place where they can expect quality and good return.
Hunting Industry News
From Post Crescent (Nov. 2009):
With the number of families seeking help from food pantries in times of a poor economy and high unemployment, the 10th anniversary of the Hunt for the Hungry takes on even more significance, organizers said.
The increased need for the food pantries also comes at a time when the state Department of Natural Resources said the deer harvest from the opening weekend of the gun season was down 25 percent from last year.
Monica Clare, director of operations for St. Joseph Food Program in Menasha, said her pantry got about 900 pounds of ground venison from the program last year, enough to give nearly each of the 1,000 families a week served by the pantry a pound of meat.
That’s an important commodity because otherwise the pantry gives meat to clients only once a month, she said.
“We don’t get very much donated meat anymore,” although one donor does give the pantry turkeys to distribute at Thanksgiving, she said.
Read the entire article Hunt for the Hungry grapples with tough economy, declining deer harvest
Impact on your business
One of the difficult things about the new frugality in the US economy is that consumers and businesses need to cut back on their charitable giving to account for themselves. It’s not that businesses and individuals do not want to help others; it’s just that when things get tight some difficult expense cuts need to be made.
If it’s possible, continue donation your time and money to quality charities and conservation organizations. As mentioned above, in the new consumer economy people are looking to build trust with companies. A great way to establish this trust is to show that you and your business care about others by cutting back in other areas while still providing support for quality causes.
Giving back to charity and other causes may not have immediate return toward your bottom line, but the impact is seen in the long-run as trust is established with consumers who become long-term customers.
From the Marietta Times (Nov. 2009):
You can buy anything from camoflauged gloves to pink guns at the Southeastern Trading Post in Waterford.
“We have four daughters, so we sell some pink shotguns and rifles that are designed to help get girls interested in hunting,” explained trading post owner Ted Offenberger who opened the store three years ago.
“Business is up this year, and we’ve been busy since before bow season began in September,” he said. “We expanded our inventory and sold a lot more bows this year than last. But we’re also expanding our gun inventory a little.”
Read the entire article Hunting season a bonanza for many area businesses
Impact on your hunting business
An example of a way businesses have been able to adapt to the new consumer economy is to do research and expand product and service offerings.
Consumers will still spend their money on things they need and things they want, but they’ll want to spend it with companies they trust. If you can establish a trusting relationship with your customers you’ll be able to expand into new products and services and grow in the new economic environment.
Hunting Industry Trends
New Year and New Websites for Hunting Businesses
Something to look for heading into the New Year is for businesses to begin making changes to their storefront or to their Website as they look for ways to make the relationship with their customers more valuable. Even simple changes to design and functionality can make for added value to your customer as they become more trusting of your business.
Please see 50 Best Hunting Website Designs for examples of quality hunting Website design.
The state of the new hunting industry centers on trust as consumers are looking for companies that are truthful in their marketing and effective with their products and services. Businesses that focus on ways to build a long-term trusting relationship with customers on an individual level will not only find success, but will find opportunities to grow and expand.
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Hunting Business Marketing