LeftLane Sports Surpasses Six Million Members

In building a members-only business, retailers can generate a strong sense of community among their customers, leading to reoccurring sales and long-term brand loyalty.

LeftLane Sports, a members-only e-Commerce site that sells sporting goods, has surpassed six million members and exceeded its growth plan for the first three quarters of 2014. The retailer is anticipating Q4 2014 to be the most profitable quarter in company history.

Offering a selection of products for endurance, outdoor and action sports, LeftLane has established a business model that combines curated flash sales and traditional e-Commerce.


“We’re able to provide top brands such as Under Armour, Burton and Asics at an incredible value to our membership base, offering anywhere from 50% to 70% off retail price,” said Erik Fialho, Chief Strategy Officer at LeftLane Sports. “Rather than focusing strictly on daily sales, we also have year round shops that our customers can come and shop at. If you’re looking for a pair of running shoes and we don’t have it in today’s flash sale, we’ll still have the shoes available for you every single day of the year.”

The company’s launch in 2009 coincided with the increase in flash sale-focused retailers, particularly in the fashion and apparel segments. Yet at the time, it didn’t appear that any sporting goods retailers had taken the steps to enter that specific niche.

“We felt that the sporting goods industry needed a retailer to come in and really provide something different to the consumer,” Fialho said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We figured that through flash sales, we could provide great value to our customers and brand partners. We knew that the sporting goods consumers definitely are deal hunters that like to look at sales every single day, but they also want to be able to shop for that evergreen product.”

The marriage of flash sales and e-Commerce allows customers to make their purchases depending on the timeliness of the products listed.

“If you’re a runner and your shoes blow out, you can’t wait two to four weeks for another pair of running shoes and you can’t wait until the next flash sale comes.” Fialho stated. “That’s why we’re able to offer that more traditional shopping experience on top of the daily sales that we have.”

The “members-only” business model is designed to create a customer-centric environment that encourages a sense of community between the retailer and its consumers. By requiring people to sign up and create free accounts, the retailer can offer more exclusive pricing and deals, and better understand individual consumer preferences.

“We can start to understand how that member shops, what that member likes to see, and what that member is interested in, and be able to provide offerings to that member that are personalized to them,” Fialho said. “In personalizing that service, we are able to offer a customer experience that you couldn’t get at a traditional e-Commerce site that really doesn’t know much about you and really doesn’t have a connection with you.”

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