The Search for More Online Sales

MEMPHIS, Tenn.— It was only a cooler. It could have come from anywhere, but when I entered a Google search for the product, it showed up not on Amazon, but in a South Carolina tackle store. Click. Boom. Ordered.

For many online shoppers, it simply doesn’t matter where their order comes from. If the source seems reputable—be it Amazon or Apple or Haddrell’s Point Tackle and Supply in Mt. Pleasant, S.C.—they’ll order. I know I did.

“It stays pretty busy,” says Haddrell’s Point Manager Capt. Mike Able. “We try to find things that people need that they either can’t find online very easily or its not even online, period.” Such was the case for my much-needed cooler, a K2 model that can be challenging to find online. In addition to popping up second in the search results, Haddrell’s Point presented a clean, modern website that let me know they’re serious about eCommerce. Able says the design is about two months old.

That’s a big deal.

Tackle store websites have made leaps and bounds in the two-plus years that I started writing for Fishing Tackle Retailer, but most of them still have a long way to go. Haddrell’s Point is one place that has the formula right. “We’ve tried several different routes throughout the years,” says Able. “Anything online is ever-changing. You have to change the face of the website, almost like a new storefront.”

A new storefront. How many of you have dreamed about that for months, years, decades? And while you might not be able to spring for a new brick-and-mortar facade, you can absolutely foot the bill for a new website. Maybe, if you’ve got the chops, you can even pull in orders ahead of Amazon. In this industry, it’s absolutely possible.

“We don’t have everything that we keep in the store online. It’s all about price and availability,” Able adds. “When we first started, we were selling bear spray of all things. We had to order it because we don’t keep it in stock. Now, we might not sell the most expensive items—they could be a $3 item—but we’ll order 500 or 1,000 of them.”

To keep orders coming in, Haddrell’s Point relies on a constantly updated website helmed by their web director Carlos Rivera. Able says they couldn’t do it without him.

“We send out a newsletter/blog, but going forward we want to add more videos and educational things, because people will watch it. If someone comes in and catches a 10-pound trout, we want to showcase that, hopefully in a way that’s more than a photo.”

Fresh content like that is good for search engine results. Search sites like Google and Bing regularly crawl the internet scouring for fresh content, and a website that’s updated regularly with pertinent content is going to beat the brakes off of one that’s been sitting for a few weeks or months. And you can bet that—especially in the fishing industry—a modern, responsive design is going to outrank your five-year-old web design.

Go ahead, give it a try. When you relaunch, I’ll have a cold beer waiting for you … thanks to the good folks at Google, K2 and Haddrell’s Point.