Amazon disruptive force in golf apparel, study says

Amazon is a major disruptive force in the golf apparel market, according to a new study by Golf Datatech.

The independent research firm released the Golf Apparel Edition of The Amazon Impact Report; a breakthrough study that highlights the effect the United States’ largest online retailer is having on today’s golf apparel market. T

“As we concluded in Golf Equipment, Amazon is unmatched as a disruptive force on America's macro retail environment,” said John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech. “And, their impact on the sales of golf apparel parallels some of the equipment products, however in other segments the results are substantively different. Our objective with this study was not to determine if Amazon is good or bad, but rather how it’s being used by golfers, what they like, what they dislike, and how likely are they to continue to use it in the future.”

Krzynowek said Amazon is a complex selling mechanism designed to make the buying process simple and seamless to the consumer. The end-product is easy to use as a consumer, but as a manufacturer or seller of goods it requires a different skill set to manage the Amazon eco-system. 

“Brick and mortar retailers will need to enhance the in person buying experience and provide more than just a standard product at a competitive price if they are to compete with Amazon,” he said

The study analyzes attitudes and opinions of 1,200 serious golfers about their overall shopping experience, as well as their perceptions of Amazon as a retailer of golf apparel.

Among the findings of the report:

  • Golf Apparel is the second most purchased golf product thru Amazon behind only golf balls.
  • Looking forward, more respondents think they will buy golf shirts online than any other golf product.
  • Amazon can sell branded non-logo products, but cannot sell those with club logos, and that is where the Green Grass golf accounts have a significant advantage selling apparel.
  • Amazon Prime is a crucial part of the Amazon story, and even more important in golf apparel than in regular consumer products.

“Recent data suggests Amazon captured 89 percent of all online sales this past Christmas season, while estimates show Amazon commands well over one-third of all online retail sales,” Krzynowek said. 


Why does the headline say, "Disruptive?" Golf course pro shops sell mostly logo shirts and apparel, which are likely 90% impulse sales. Amazon is no more a competitor to pro shops than J C Penny. Meanwhile, are the apparel makers complaining? The pro shop has the potential customer who can see and feel the fabrics already in the store. Who's been disrupted? Mike Kahn,

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