How to Build a Tackle Website the Right Way

Less is more. Less is more. Let that sink in for a moment—I know, sometimes that can be difficult in an industry that can resemble a NASCAR track more than the Apple Store. 

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with NASCAR, but the fact remains—if they could find a way to wrap the bottom of a shoe and sponsor it, they would. (Bass guys, I’m looking at you.) But we’re not here to talk racing today; we are here to talk fishing websites.

Finally, a lure company has gotten the formula right.

This week, LIVETARGET unveiled an all-new website that other lure companies would be wise to take a look at. Go ahead, peep over the fence. What do you see?

If you’re used to viewing websites on a dusty desktop computer, this site is going to seem a little strange. That’s okay, because if you are still viewing websites on a dusty desktop computer, your viewing habits are going out of style faster than the Crocs under your tall socks. (Seriously, Julius Erving called and he wants his laundry back.)

Mobile web usage is up. It’s the wave of the future and LIVETARGET is now surfing that wave.

Surfing that wave is important for several reasons:

  • Search engine optimization. LIVETARGET’s new website is built from the ground-up to be responsive. That means it’s built with phones and tablets in mind, and that means the website plays by Google’s new mobile-friendly guidelines. Those are incredibly important for your search rankings.
  • Longevity. A responsive website has a longer life span going forward than even the most beautifully designed traditional website. If you’re an independent tackle retailer or a startup lure manufacturer, you run the risk of online irrelevance without a mobile-friendly website. For better or worse, LIVETARGET has taken themselves out of that fog.
  • Customer service. Most of the businesses in this industry are run by good people trying to make good things happen while catching a few fish and bringing in a few dollars. Most of those businesses take immense pride in their customer service. However, if your website looks like a bird’s-eye view of Beijing on a phone, that is poor customer service. Who do you think is going to your website? Customers or potential customers, that’s who. By designing a mobile-friendly website, you’re saving their eyes for viewing the important things in life—your products.

[divider]Do’s and Don’ts [/divider]

Less is more. But how do you do that in this industry? Tackle stores and lure companies are inherently complicated. Tackle stores typically carry massive, varied inventories that may or may not include live animals and gear that ranges from a cartoon Snoopy pole to the fishing equivalent of laser weaponry.

Lure manufacturers, understandably, often carry hundreds or thousands of products.

But—as far as I know— nobody in our industry is carrying billions of products. Still, there is one company who managed to inventory billions of SKUs while keeping the purchasing process simple: Apple.

Today, they are the world’s most valuable brand, but back in 2003, they were still climbing away from the brink of bankruptcy. That was just before the launch of the first Windows-friendly version of iTunes; that was right before the iTunes Store transformed the digital music industry from a bunch of neon-blue song pirates in mom’s basement into a multi-billion dollar, legal industry.

Apple achieved those sales figures largely on the back of a simple user interface that sorted billions of songs by genre, which is essentially what LIVETARGET’s new website has done with their lure catalog. LIVETARGET calls the feature “What’s Your Target?” It allows website visitors to sift through their 750-plus lure catalog by instantly displaying the fishing lure that matches a user-chosen forage species, target species or lure type.

That’s not a revolutionary concept, but it is an excellently executed example of the kind of thinking this industry needs across the board: we need to boil things down and make inventories simple and accessible. (It’s great that you have Austrian death metal in your tackle shop, but I am just looking for crappie jigs, you see.)

iTunes floundered when Apple lost track of simplicity. Twelve years after its groundbreaking inception, the iTunes Store is a $10-billion has been. But, the initial lessons of iTunes should not be lost on our industry.

Apple brought their product to the masses—Windows users—in the same way that LIVETARGET is bringing their products to mobile web users. Apple made billions when they used that accessibility to bring a simple, understandable product catalog to those users, which brings us back to the point:

Less is more. More money.