June 11, 2013, 1:38 PM

Under Armour targets 25% in e-commerce sales

Online sales account for 9% of sales now.

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E-commerce sales account for 9% of Under Armour's sales, a percentage the company hopes to increase.

With a plan formulated to increase traffic and conversion on the Under Armour Inc. e-commerce site, the consumer brand manufacturer hopes to grow its e-commerce sales from 9% today to possibly 25% one day.

Under Armour’s 2012 e-commerce sales were about $165 million, based on 9% of its $1.835 billion in overall sales last year. Under Armour is No. 143 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

 “We see no absolutely no reason that we can’t have e-commerce be a substantial higher percentage of sales in the future,” said Byron K. Adams, chief performance officer, during a recent Under Armour investor day. He did not provide a forecast for when Under Amour’s online sales would reach 25% of overall sales.

Under Armour’s e-commerce sales are expected to grow approximately 35% from 2012 to 2013, Adams said. That would put web sales above $220 million. A variety of factors are fueling this growth, he said, such as the overall growth in online sales, the proliferation of Internet-connected mobile devices and consumers growing use of social media.

The brand’s e-commerce model hinges on driving traffic to its web site, persuading consumers to purchase and convincing them to return, Adams said.

“You take those visitors, and with compelling copy, imagery and product, you convert visitors into buyers, and you then convert those buyers into buying more of what they want, not pushing the product but creating a place where they want to buy more product,” he said.

For example, this spring Under Armour created an online campaign on its site about Armour39, a performance-measuring device. “Our ability to translate Armour 39 into the benefit to the consumer is what drove compelling conversion and compelling traffic,” Adams said. In the first quarter the campaign, which also was touted in marketing e-mails, drove 1 million additional site visits than in the first quarter of 2012, he said.

Adams did not disclose conversion rates for the quarter, but said 95% of Under Armour’s most popular clothing is available in the most popular sizes. That availability helps improve conversion, he said.

Under Armour also is working on a loyalty program to debut in 2014 that will tap into the consumers behind the 40 million annual site visits, Adams said.

Overall, Under Armour wants its e-commerce site to evolve over the next couple of years into one that better engages consumers, Adams said. “It means taking a site that is a very good, strong shopping site and making UnderArmour.com an iconic brand experience.”

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