Bass Pro-Shops is a retailer who specializes in camping, hunting, fishing, and other types of related outdoor gear and supplies. It was founded in 1971 by John L. Morris, and has its headquarters in Springfield, Missouri (the Story, 2014). Morris’ father owned a liquor store, and Morris decided to start a small fishing section in the back of it, where he sold things like worms and homemade bait (the Story, 2014). It did so well that it prompted him to open his own store, and Bass Pro-Shops was born. It quickly became wildly popular, and one of the most requested things was to have a catalog so people could place orders from other areas of the country. Many of them had come to the area on vacation, and when they went back home they still wanted to be able to get the items they liked and knew were quality. Because of the high demand, the first catalog came out in 1974 (the Story, 2014). It continued to grow in leaps and bounds, and was soon the largest sporting goods store in the world (the Story, 2014). Much of that was due to its catalog sales.
As technology advanced, Bass Pro-Shops took to the online world, as well. With the opportunity for ecommerce, the company was able to reach out to a much larger number of people. Paper, printed catalogs were becoming a thing of the past, but for people who did not live close to a Bass Pro-Shops retail store it was important to have a way in which they could continue to order the supplies they wanted. Having a web presence seemed the next logical step, and allowed people from nearly anywhere to order from the company and have items they wanted delivered right to their door. That level of convenience was important for the customers, but it was something that took time and effort on the company’s side. It was also costly to create and continue to operate, so it had to be beneficial.
In order to understand why Bass Pro-Shops continued to be so successful when it came to its online presence, it is important to understand the value of ecommerce and what it can bring to a company. Ecommerce is business that is conducted solely online (Laudon & Guercio Traver, 2014). It has become a staple of many companies today, and is also exceedingly important to a number of individuals who purchase all or part of the items they need online (Laudon & Guercio Traver, 2014). Google Shopping, PayPal, and numerous other payment plans and shopping cart companies are all very popular when it comes to ecommerce options (Laudon & Guercio Traver, 2014). Each one of them can be a good choice for any company, and which one is used all depends on the goals of the company and how much it wants to spend on the purchase and maintenance of the shopping cart it uses. Many companies work through third-party vendors in order to keep their shopping carts operational as much as possible (Laudon & Guercio Traver, 2014).
For Bass Pro-Shops, the importance of the right ecommerce solution is significant. So many people order from the company online that the shopping cart options have to work smoothly and be efficient. In addition, there needs to be a variety of payment options. Ecommerce choices often allow for PayPal, credit cards, checks, and other payment choices, so the largest number of people can purchase from the company (Laudon & Guercio Traver, 2014). That is good news for those who like to buy online, and for Bass Pro-Shops and other companies that know a large part of their business comes from internet purchases. Bass Pro-Shops cannot be everywhere, despite having a large number of stores throughout the United States, so being able to use ecommerce options and allow people to buy online has helped to grow their customer base by a significant amount in recent years. With the quality they offer and the options for purchase, their growth will likely continue well into the future.
Laudon, K.C., & Guercio Traver, C. (2014). E-commerce. business. technology. society. 10th edition. NY: Pearson.
The Story (2014). Bass Pro-Shops. Retrieved from http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&catalogId=10051&langId=-1&appID=659
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