Forza SportsKnocking out the competition on marketplaces

Company Overview

Forza Sports is a sports equipment and apparel retailer. Jason Glime started Forza Sports (formerly Forza Boxing) in 2008 when Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became increasingly popular in the sports world. Glime started selling boxing and MMA equipment online from his family’s home. After seeing success over the years, the company has added sports equipment and apparel beyond boxing and MMA to its catalog. Forza Sports now has over 20 employees operating out of a 115,000-square-foot facility in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania.

The Situation

Glime originally launched Forza Sports’ website (www.forzasports.com) with the goal of using drop-shipping to quickly move inventory. He used a website vendor to launch the site but continuously ran into issues that prevented the company from getting the site up and running. As Glime continued to deal with website challenges, he found a niche market on eBay to sell boxing and MMA equipment.

“When I started the company, the goal was to sell products on the website,” said Glime. “I was waiting for the design company to finish the job. However, after waiting four to six months for what was supposed to take four to six weeks, I decided to test the waters on eBay.”

Once Forza Sports listed its products on eBay, the company quickly built momentum. “Our eBay business took off, and our sales grew 20 percent month to month in the first year,” said Glime.

But success on eBay quickly led to product quantity issues. “We got to a point where we were quickly running out of inventory — every three to four days or so,” said Glime. “We couldn’t effectively unlist and relist inventory in a timely manner, and we were overselling.”

To address its inventory problems, Forza Sports started setting a high quantity for each SKU. “Our goal was to overstock our products so we wouldn’t run out,” said Glime. “But since we didn’t have actual quantity counts listed or updated we were constantly counting products by hand. I’d make new orders based on the number of products I previously ordered. When restocking orders would come in, it would sometimes take a week or so to relist those items.”

Forza Sports decided to explore a solution provider to monitor its inventory. “We started using a multiple order management software provider, but it was a nightmare,” said Glime. “We tried to get their software set up for two years, but it never happened.”

The Solution

Forza Sports began looking elsewhere for a solution to manage its product quantity and found ChannelAdvisor. After hearing what ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces had to offer, Forza Sports knew it had found a perfect match. “When ChannelAdvisor educated me on its product and the ability to automate product listings, I knew I had to give it a shot,” said Glime. “It was a big decision that I had to make during a difficult time for my company. But it ended up being the best decision I ever made for my business.”

Using ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces, Forza Sports immediately diversified its inventory and automated its product listings on eBay. “ChannelAdvisor is very knowledgeable about eBay,” said Glime. “I find that on occasion I will go to ChannelAdvisor for eBay questions before I ask eBay. It’s reassuring to have a business partner that knows so much about selling on various marketplaces.”

After simplifying its business on eBay, Forza Sports expanded its catalog and started selling items for team sports, running, yoga, fitness and more. With a new collection of products to offer, Forza Sports was able to launch on several emerging marketplaces. “Once we got everything organized on eBay, we started selling on Newegg, Rakuten.com Shopping and Sears,” said Glime. “ChannelAdvisor maintained inventory across multiple channels, and that was a huge benefit to our company.”

The Results

Since employing ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces, Forza Sports has nearly tripled its sales across all marketplaces. ChannelAdvisor allows Forza Sports to easily modify product data on marketplaces and helps prevent the company from overselling. “Managing inventory, listing products and taking down listings on marketplaces was our biggest headache,” said Glime. “ChannelAdvisor eliminated the need for us to continuously monitor and adjust our listings. They took our biggest pain point and crossed it off our list completely.”

As a result, Forza Sports has increased its number of product listings on all marketplaces, particularly eBay. “ChannelAdvisor maximized our visibility across multiple channels,” said Glime. “We previously had about 5,600 listings on eBay. Now, we have over 12,000 listings, and we’ve surpassed our 500,000th transaction on eBay.”

Forza Sports has also benefited from ChannelAdvisor’s reporting capabilities by evaluating sales performance and data on a regular basis. “The sales overview reports are very helpful,” said Glime. “I look at the data every day to see how we’re doing on all marketplaces.”

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