Sport Chek is the largest Canadian retailer of sports equipment and it is a true omnichannel innovator. This week we present the Sport Chek online store review (sportchek.ca) to see: how well the site performs, how easy it is to make a purchase and whether the price is right. You can read all about our eCommerce sites review framework and evaluation methods in this article:
Canadian Sports Market Overview
About Sport Chek
Sport Chek is the largest Canadian retailer of sporting clothing and sports equipment, with stores throughout Canada (excluding Yukon). Its parent company, Forzani Group, operates stores under the following corporate and franchise banners: Sport Chek, National Sports, Sports Experts, Intersport, Atmosphere (formerly Coast Mountain Sports), Service Shop, Econosports, Nevada Bob’s Golf, and Hockey Experts
In 1999, a Sport Supercenter flagship store was opened on the top level of the Londonderry Mall, replacing an existing Walmart store. The Londonderry Mall store relocated to Manning Town Centre, and will become a Simons.
In 2011, Canadian Tire bought Forzani for $771 million, and has since embarked on a large scale brand restructuring. (1)
Sportswear and equipment customers still need a physical presence for most of the items. You need to try the stuff to know if it is the right fit. The sporting goods retail is very predisposed to showrooming. Luckily, SportChek understands this problem and invests in improving and enhancing the digital in-store experience.
SportChek Product Review
SportChek.ca is a public site; therefore, we ask that you follow some basic rules. We moderate all reviews before posting them and reserve the right to deny any review at our absolute discretion.
Here are some examples of the things that can cause a review to be denied:
- Offensive, abusive or prejudicial language
- Reviews that are not relevant to the product being reviewed
- Reviews that attempt to solicit responses from others (creating a forum)
- Reviews that contain content about competitors
- Reviews that contain pricing references
If approved, your review will appear in its entirety. We will not edit any content, although we will mark through any references to the following:
- Website addresses
- Phone numbers
- Personal or business addresses
- Email addresses
- Full names (first name/last name)
To Write A Review on SportChek.ca:
- Navigate to the product you wish to review
- Scroll to the Write A Review section
- Fill in all required fields, as well as your product review and hit “Submit”
- Reviews will appear within 24-48 hours of submitting
According to the article published in In Canadian Business magazine (3)
“The sports gear and clothing chain is in the midst of transforming its presence across Canada with new mega-stores that make heavy use of gadgetry, telemetrics and sensors, all of which are designed to entice shoppers out of their homes and back into the malls.”
Building from the success of the brands ‘Retail Lab’ store in Toronto, the Edmonton, Alberta flagship store represents the second phase in Sport Chek’s journey in dominating the future of retail. The flagship store redefines the customer experience through industry-leading digital elements, expert advisors and a suite of in-store services that educate and inspire. The store elevates Sport Chek’s mission to ‘Inspire Canadians to Live Healthy, Active Lifestyles’ by creating a dynamic environment through unique brand partnerships that connect sport and lifestyle enthusiasts to the best sport brands in the world.
The store features a multi-channel strategy providing custom information in an informative, accessible manner by utilizing 400+ channels. Products, visuals, and interactive community walls personify the brand values of Sport Chek and its vendors. Key features include: NFC-enabled screens 470 individual screens 80 tablets 20 large-format touch screens 80 channel custom sound system Interactive putting green Virtual footwear wall Custom community app Activity-based kiosks Climbing Treadmill The West Edmonton Sport Chek flagship store has a 30% average transaction value, much greater than the banner average. The flagship store also offers 40% more square feet of retail space compared to the two FGL Sports properties previously opened at West Edmonton Mall.
Sport Chek Online Store Review
Our evaluation framework takes into consideration the following five factors:
- Functional features of the site
- Cognitive factor – perceived conscious efforts to complete a purchase
- Emotional appeal of the site
- Product selection
- Price competitiveness
All features will be rated from 1* to 5* scores, where 1 means poor and 5 is great
WOMEN’S SHOES, SNEAKERS, SANDALS & BOOTS AND MORE
Shoes, Boots & Cleats for Women
Sport Chek is every woman’s destination for shoes, boots and cleats. Whether you’re just setting foot in the gym for the first time or you’ve been crushing your limits since you learned to walk, everyone needs proper training or studio shoes. Brands like Nike, adidas and Under Armour design these shoes to give you the perfect amount of support without weighing you down.
Are you ready to set your new personal best marathon time? Before hitting the pavement or track for your next run, lace up running shoes designed to enhance your gait, reduce pain from repetitive movements and boost your stride. Maybe you have flat feet and need something like a minimalist or lightweight runner from ASICS. Or perhaps your running stride is better suited to a cushioned or neutral shoe from New Balance. Need a running shoe that’s a little more technical? Get a stability or motion control shoe that helps keep your foot and ankle in place for every push off and landing.
No Canadian winter would be complete without a challenging slosh through the snow, ice and slush. Be bold this winter with boots made from durable, water-repellant or waterproof materials from brands like The North Face, Helly Hansen and Sorel. It’s also important to find winter boots with soles that provide sufficient grip on ice like the boots designed by Merrell and Keen.
When you’re not hustling to work or class, maybe you spend your time playing baseball or softball. In that case, check out Sport Chek’s wide range of cleats made for turf and shale. Is soccer more your pace? We also have soccer cleats from brands like Nike and adidas. Is the golf course where you spend your free time? We carry the top golf shoe brands like Footjoy and Ecco, too.
Sorel Women’s Winter Carnival Winter Boots, Waterproof, Insulated
This boot features the archetypal Sorel™ look in a versatile waterproof boot. Winter Carnival™ is up for anything, be it a cold nights’ romp with the dog, a stroll through the shops, or a drink after a vigorous day on the slopes.
ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, Comfortable, Mesh
The GEL-NIMBUS® 23 running shoe continues to offer excellent comfort and long-run impact absorption. Its improved stability provides a more balanced stride that’s followed by smoother transitions. Constructed with comfort and breathability in mind, the upper features a softer engineered mesh design for long runs. Engineered eyelet shaping helps the upper move more naturally with the foot, while a stretchy midfoot panel appropriately hugs the foot to generate better flexibility. Additionally, the shoe’s upper is made with recycled materials to reduce waste and carbon emissions. Providing the runner with excellent shock absorption and softness, the GEL-NIMBUS® 23 delivers more compression in the heel thanks to its softer GEL® technology cushioning unit and contoured design lines.
Also, a gender-specific TRUSSTIC™ device provides an articulated amount of support in the right direction for men and women to help generate a smooth transition. Under the toe, the inclusion of gender-specific pillars help cushion the body and help runners experience a softer feel. Simultaneously, the ORTHOLITE™ X-55 sockliner equips runners with a forgiving, yet responsive stride. The components of the GEL-NIMBUS® 23 shoe help increase the softness without forgoing the integrity of the shoe’s ride. ASICS’s 23rd version of the GEL-NIMBUS® continues to make advancements within the lineage by offering improved support and comfort for distance runners.
WOMEN’S SPORTS BRAS, SOCKS & UNDERWEAR
Ladies, don’t forget about socks and underwear! Having the rigth sports bra, underwear and socks are all important when it comes to active living. Sport Chek carries top-rated women’s sports bras, underwear and socks from adidas, McKinley, Under Armour and more top ladies’ brands The difference between bargain brand underwear and breathable, soft premium women’s underwear is all in the details.
Many Sport Chek brands feature a soft fabric from natural fibres derived and a moisture wicking and breathable soft blend. Feel and function help create a perfect blend of comfortable and durable underwear perfect for every movement. Premium socks offer durable, breathable comfort perfect for every sport. We understand that everyone’s needs are different in sport and life – that’s why we supply the perfect socks for whatever moves you. Sport Chek carries casual socks, athletic socks, winter and thermal socks and much more. Shop SportChek.ca for the top women’s sports bras, underwear and socks in Canada!
Under Armour Women’s Infinity Covered Medium Padded Sports Bra
The Under Armour threw out traditional construction rules and injected the padding in a figure-of-8 pattern for a more aerodynamic fit and a much lighter feel.
Under Armour Women’s Training Infinity Heather Padded High Sports Bra
While the Under Armour Women’s Training Infinity Heather High Padded Bra supports you through running, court sports, field sports, aerobics and other high-energy activities, its mesh panels and sweat-wicking HeatGear fabric allow you to stay cooler, drier and more focused.
Calvin Klein Women’s Unlined Bralette
CK Reimagined Heritage Maternity Unlined Bralette features discrete layers for supportive ease of nursing.
Under Armour Women’s Pure Stretch Thong – 3 Pack
Through every activity, the underwear in the Under Armour Women’s Pure Stretch Thong – 3 Pack ensures your comfort and flatters your form with super-soft stretch fabric and smooth, laser-cut edges.
Calvin Klein Women’s Modern Cotton Hipster Underwear
CK Women’s Modern Cotton Hipster is crafted with super soft cotton modal stretch for an all-day underwear essential.
Under Armour Women’s Base Legging 2.0 – Black
UA Base is a system of baselayers, numbered from 2.0 to 4.0, that takes you from cold to absolutely freezing temps. It’s constructed using a special negative grid pattern with each individual cell designed to trap heat without adding bulk. Think long underwear, reengineered for athletes performing at their peak. UA Base 2.0 is built for cold weather and higher activity levels.
Shop New Sunglasses Online At SportChek.ca
The new styles are in! We’ve got all the top sunglasses from Spy Optics, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Smith, Under Armour, Dragon and more. Looking for polarized lenses? We’ve got you covered! Your future is bright, so make sure you’ve got some shades to match! Looking for sunglasses for the golf course? We’ve got you covered! How about a pair for the lake? No problem! Looking for a stylish pair of sunglasses to impress your date? We can help you look and feel good with the latest shades. Shop SportChek.ca and get your new frames and lenses just in time for the summer heat! We want you to look and feel spec-tacular! What are you waiting for? Shop Sunglasses at Sport Chek today!
Sportchek.ca Home Page
1 . eCommerce Platform Fit – SCORE: 4.0
Sport Chek combines the custom developed innovative storefront with the best-of-breed products from multiple vendors to deliver online shopping experience and enable digital marketing. The site uses modern front-end technologies to support mobile devices with Responsive Web Design. The user interface design utilises the touch screen friendly navigation elements.
The site speed performance – SCORE: 3
The site speed performance is about average for the eCommerce or the self-service business websites. The store pages have links to many third party hosted services for content, advertising and analytics that contribute to page load and rendering time. You may see below the Dynatrace (dynatrace.com) performance testing report card.
Mobile Friendly – SCORE: 5
The site is mobile friendly. It features all the latest best practices for mobile design.
Sportchek uses innovative approaches for mobile ads. Yoy may see below a screenshot from Waze a mobile application that helps drivers navigate and avoid traffic. The ad appeared when I was driving in close proximity to the store. Advertising with Waze is an example of truly innovative omnichannel marketing.
Mobile Product Page
Search – SCORE: 4.5
The site search comes with the interactive search filters which are easy to navigate and are very intuitive. The only downside is that it takes a big portion of the screen. The smart auto suggestions feature when typing is very useful.
Real-Time Inventory – SCORE: 3
Inventory information is a basic feature with simple in stock and out of stock messaging. You are able to check the nearest store but the site does not guarantee availability.
MEN’S SHOES, RUNNING SHOES, CLEATS, BOOTS & FOOTWEAR
Shoes, Boots & Cleats for Men
Sport Chek is every guy’s destination for footwear whether you’re hitting the gym to train, the track to run, or heading anywhere in the great outdoors to get hiking. Before you plan your next workout, check out our selection of Nike, Under Armour and adidas training shoes engineered to offer support and stability so you can push through your limits. Even if your muscles are fatigued, designs like the training shoes make every round in the gym worth it.
Running at your peak has never been easier thanks to new running shoe technology. When you start your training for a half-marathon or marathon, take a look at our running shoes from New Balance, ASICS and Nike. These shoes are crafted to reduce repetitive strains and pump up your stride. Shoes like the adidas Ultra Boost and adidas Alpha Bounce have taken the running world by storm thanks to their revolutionary cushioning system that’s as helpful on the street as it is on the track.
Nike Men’s Air Max 270 Shoes, Sneakers, Running, Cushioned
Boasting the first-ever Max Air unit created specifically for Nike Sportswear, Nike Air Max 270 Men’s Shoe delivers visible air under every step. Updated for modern comfort, it nods to the original, 1991 Air Max 180 with its exaggerated tongue top and heritage tongue logo.
Nike Men’s Air Max 97 Shoes, Sneakers, Running, Low Top, Knit, Cushioned
Men’s Nike Air Max 97 Shoe Inspired by a high-speed bullet train, Men’s Nike Air Max 97 Shoe brings back a running icon with a plush, lightweight upgrade. It modernizes its retro design with a knit upper, welded overlays and a Max Air unit for all-day comfort.
Champion Men’s Powerblend Graphic Hoodie, Pullover, Fleece, Loose Fit, Drawstring
Men’s Champion Powerblend fleece hoodie is soft and comfortable for all day wear.
Friday FWD Men’s Stretch Commute Pants
These commuter pants for men were designed in a tapered pant cut and made utilizing moisture wicking and anti-microbial technology for an elevated look and feel with all the function.
Zoom Feature – SCORE: 4
You can zoom in on the product and view all the details up-close.
Product Comparisons – SCORE: 4
The product comparison feature is very easy to use and very effective. You can select up to 5 products and views their key features side by side in order to make a decision. You can even view product ratings
Live Chat – SCORE: 0
There is no such functionality on the site.
Product Demos- SCORE: 0
There is no such functionality on the site.
Product Description – SCORE: 3
The pretty basic information about the product. The layout, however, makes the information easy to follow.
Cross-sell popular and related products – SCORE: 4
The site recommends products similar to the product I am viewing based on some internal logic.
BOYS’ SHOES & CLOTHING
Discover the largest variety of name-brand styles for boys online on SportChek.ca. Find that perfect outfit for him while shopping through our collection of casual and sportswear. Designs include casual, activewear, shoes, and outerwear options. Enjoy our new styles of boys clothing featuring essentials such as jeans, pants, t-shirts & tops, hoodies, swimwear, shorts, jackets, and accessories.
Choose from our wide selection of durable boys clothing made to last. Our boys’ clothing collection offers looks for back-to-school like jeans and long sleeve shirts to trendy weekend wear like jogger pants, Adidas Tees and of course the latest in denim. And don’t forget the extras like backpacks, sneakers and more. For the winter months we carry a wide variety of hoodies, fleece tops, fleece pants and fleece jackets. We also carry winter accessories such as base-layer, toques, mittens and socks.
Columbia Kids’ Redmond Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Featuring scratch rubber toe and heel reinforcement, and a combination of suede leather, mesh and webbing upper, the Redmond™ provides a comfortable fit and a protected footfall with every step. And thanks to Waterproof construction, this trail shoe offers added protection that makes it great for outdoor adventures of all shapes and sizes.
Nike Boys’ Basketball Shorts, Kids’, Athletic, Elastic Waistband
Step your game up in the Nike Shorts repping a huge Swoosh across your legs. Dri-FIT technology helps you stay dry and comfortable on and off the court.
Levis Boys’ Comfort Jeans
Our Slim Fit Jeans are designed to give great design and style all day long. We’ve constructed comfort jeans with elastic at the waistband, so they’ll feel more like sweatpants while looking handsome all day long.
Under Armour Boys’ Project Rock Camo T Shirt
Under Armour Boys’ Project Rock Camo T Shirt is made with a super-soft, cotton-blend fabric that provides all-day comfort. Complete with ribbed collar and a loose, full cut for total comfort.
Powerbilt TPX Junior Tour Complete Golf Set, Ages 13+, Bag Included
The Powerbilt TPX Junior Tour Junior Golf Set for ages 13+ is the perfect set for an enthusiastic junior who doesn’t fit into adults clubs yet. This set includes a driver for tee shots, hybrid for longer shots from the fairway or rough, a long and short iron, putter, golf bag, and headcovers.
Check Out Process
Payment Options – SCORE: 4
The site offers multiple payment options to please the different types of buyers.
Express Checkout – SCORE: 4
The site offers the guests checkout option without signing or to use the customer’s Facebook account to sign. These features increase conversion
Security – SCORE: 4
It appears on the checkout page as a final reminder to the user that the site is secure.
Order Tracking – SCORE: 4
You may sign in at SportChek.ca for your Order History at any time. Information about your open orders, tracking, and past orders is available.
Past Order Display – SCORE: 4
Easy to view and purchase past products.
Favorite products – SCORE: 0
There is no such functionality on the site.
Communication preferences – SCORE: 3
There is no ability to manage the frequency or type of communication to be received.
Wish List/Registry – SCORE: 5
It is easy to use, even allows you to use your Facebook account without having to create another account.
A retail website must be easy to navigate and help visitors find relevant information quickly. Knowing your audience is the key to creating an effective site by combining the right elements that appeal to your shoppers.
Site Structure and Information Architecture
Search – SCORE: 5
Is found in a prominent location, easy to see and use.
Site Navigation – SCORE: 5
The site utilizes the ultra-modern mobile navigation pattern even on the desktop site.
Alternate Views – SCORE: 3
This functionality is inconsistent through the site, with some products having this functionality and others do not.
Visual Cues- SCORE: 3
There is not enough visual contrast to bring the shopper’s attention to various important messages through the site.
Website’s Emotional connection with the target market
Show Products on Human Models – SCORE: 0
This functionality is not present on the site.
Quality of Image- SCORE: 4
The images are very sharp and professionally done. All images follow the same consistent pattern regardless of manufacturer.
Share Buttons – SCORE: 0
This functionality is not present on the site.
Email a Friend’ Button- SCORE: 0
This functionality is not present on the site.
Consumer Reviews- SCORE: 4
The reviews features are consistent with best in the class. They have cons, pros, the final recommendation as well excellent visual cues. The only downside that there are not many products that have a review. There should be an incentive for the shoppers to provide a review.
Make it easy to call you – SCORE: 4
The phone number is visible in the footer at all times.
Variety of Products
It is critical to have a variety of products that you specialize in, whether it is a specific category or type of product.
Color options – SCORE: 5
The color product selection is well done. The color swatches are big enough to be visible; the product is displayed as one with simple color selection instead of each color being a different product.
Size options – SCORE: 4.5
The sizes that are in stock have a different color in the drop down menu than the out of stock items.
Is it Amazon Competitive?
Random sample of 4 products:
Stamina Recumbent Bike With Upper Body
Online Exclusive – A Total Body Cycle The name says it all. With the Stamina Recumbent Exercise Bike with Upper Body Exerciser, you’ll get the best of both worlds: an upper and lower body workout. Plus, you’ll boost your cardiovascular endurance, improve your mobility and increase your circulation.
And with eight levels of quiet resistance for the lower body and adjustable tension for the upper body, you’ll be able to fully customize your workout intensity. Comfortable Exercise in the Comfort of Home The Recumbent Exercise Bike with Upper Body Exerciser pays for itself – especially after you cancel the gym membership.
Stamina 876 Air Resistance Bike
Online Exclusive – Air resistance bikes are widely known in the fitness world as an excellent way to tone major muscle groups, burn fat and boost cardiovascular health. The Stamina Air Resistance Bike 876 combines the versatility of air resistance with a powerful way to work the upper body. Air Resistance for All Levels Air resistance is effective and easy to use.
Simply pedal faster for greater resistance or slow down for less. For more of a challenge, turn the dial to your desired level of intensity and begin pedaling. You’ll find the air resistance offers a smooth, stable exercise, no matter what your intensity level is. The Air Resistance Bike 876 engages the upper body as well. Place your hands on the dual-action arms while pedaling to stretch and strengthen the shoulders, back, chest, core and arms. You’ll burn even more calories and raise your heart rate for a powerful, total-body workout.
Echelon Connect EX-5 Spin Bike
Online Exclusive – The most advanced of the Echelon range, this sleek red and black cardio-driven design of the Echelon EX5 Connect upright spin bike with precision control motor gives you a personal spin class experience without ever leaving home. Increase your intensity using the magnetic flywheel with 32 resistance levels and stay motivated by pairing up your smartphone or tablet (not supplied) to the Echelon Fit app and participate in live and on-demand classes such as barre, boxing, cardio, core, meditation, Pilates, strength, stretching, toning, yoga, and Zumba. Never ride alone!
ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
Enjoy excellent comfort and advanced support with the GEL-KAYANO® 27 running shoe. The redesigned mesh upper helps keep feet cool, while the sole is more flexible to help promote a more natural roll through the gait cycle. This starts in the heel with added flex grooves that assist in isolating initial impact to force a softer and smoother feeling at footstrike. At midstance, the foot should stop pronating and re-supinate for an efficient toe-off. To help this natural motion, we incorporate DYNAMIC DUOMAX® technology to help support the foot and increase stability for runners whose feet roll inward too much (overpronate).
Nike Men’s AIR ZOOM STRUCTURE 19 Running Shoes
The sports clothes selection at Amazon is still not very impressive, but prices of the matching sample items are lower at Amazon. Sport Chek wins with product selection.
Sport Chek has a very impressive modern online storefront, especially for a Canadian Retailer. At first glance, the digital store looks perfect, but when you look deeper, the true colors are starting to come through. The issues are not related to the quality of the site. The fundamental deficiencies are the poor inventory management, slow shipping and lack of emotional connection with shoppers.
I am yet to experience the innovation at the physical location as those stores are still not available at my location. It is the one to watch in the near future; I want to see if they will be able to use their current technological capability and connect with shoppers on an emotional level which so important in any shopping experience.