Golf recently experienced a resurgence during the pandemic creating a demand for golf clubs. This resurgence comes from beginners and renewed interest from golfers who have not played in years.
Cadi Kiosk is an innovative new marketplace that will change the way people shop for their golf clubs. Cadi’s concept revolves around creating a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. By presenting an autonomous retail solution for golfers, Cadi allows them to demo clubs and instantly purchase these from self-service kiosks at golf courses, entertainment venues, and driving ranges or online from its e-commerce platform.
“Cadi presents a new omnichannel platform that will change how golf clubs are sold and distributed,” says Cadi Kiosk founder and CEO Tyler Gottstein. “We are grateful to our partners, advisors, and all of our investors for their ongoing support of Cadi.”
Simple Purchases and Instant Gratification
Figures indicate that the golf equipment market has reached $8.7 billion in annual sales since 2020. According to the National Golfers Foundation, golfer numbers increased by 6.2 million in 2020, the most significant increase in 17 years. However, the problem for most players comes when looking for new clubs. The issues they encounter vary but include not getting the best club for their skill sets or sometimes receiving counterfeit clubs when purchasing online.
The options for finding the perfect golf club remain limited at local golf courses because they typically do not carry inventory. Most offer custom order services for their members, demonstrations and fitting events by brands, but golfers are often limited to one particular brand.
Whether big box or local, brick-and-mortar retailers usually do not keep an extensive inventory of golf clubs. In most cases, these businesses only carry golf apparel and accessories such as golf balls and tees.
Some specialty retailers keep several drivers, hybrids, irons, and putters; however, golfers have to evaluate the available clubs using in-store simulators where the demo involves hitting the ball into a net on artificial turf. Golf simulator technology has improved, but the best place to try a club is on a golf course.
Through various strategies, retailers have tried to improve the golf club buying experience. One is the generous return policies offered by big-box retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors. Retailers like Worldwide Golf Shops and the PGA TOUR Superstores provide one-on-one consultations and the use of simulators.
“93% of golfers prefer actual on-course demonstrations,” says Cadi co-founder and COO Matt Ahrens. “With current purchasing options, 64% of golfers are unhappy with their club purchases within 14 days of buying a club.” Ahrens continues: “Golfers need to feel and demo products they wish to buy online. Unfortunately, the majority of golf courses do not effectively sell golf products. The current retail experience only offers unrealistic indoor trials or infrequent demo days.”
Cadi Kiosk merges the benefits of the above options while introducing better convenience and the ability for golfers to try clubs on the golf course of their choice. Cadi will allow golfers to test their clubs on the course before making their final purchase. Companies like Amazon and Hoka use similar models, but Cadi’s autonomous retail platform will offer golfers a ‘try-before-you-buy’ solution incorporating data, incentivization of end-users, and the power of community to compare clubs and value.
Cadi plans a unique eCommerce shopping experience by collecting usage data from all users. It then filters the data by similar golfers and delivers it back to the user in several quantifiable ways. Cadi uses proprietary intelligent algorithms to create fit probabilities based on each user, ranks the product by popularity, and tracks trends among products. That data offers recommendations based on the golf club type and player. The kiosks will work on a similar principle. Golfers choose a club and try it out on the course – if it is the right fit, they purchase it; otherwise, they return it after the game.
Based in Carlsbad, California, Cadi brings innovation to golf by integrating physical and virtual shopping through both the management and distribution of golf clubs. This includes micro warehouses equipped with proprietary technology to track and manage the distribution of all clubs within the Cadi system, including demoed clubs. The efficient distribution of clubs to kiosks and customers is vital to operational success. In comparison, traditional retailers typically suffer product loss, labor issues, and overhead, leading to higher costs and poor inventory accuracy.
As Cadi prepares to launch, the company has raised close to $2 million through regulation crowdfunding and is closing in on the ultimate goal of a $5 million raise. Recently, Cadi celebrated the inaugural ‘Cadi Week’ at the Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale. Cadi also recently announced the endorsement of their brand by PGA pro golfer Paul Casey, a golfer who has not endorsed a major club manufacturer to date, preferring a mix of brands. Cadi aims to complete the crowdfunding campaign by May of 2022, and also plans to launch the eCommerce platform in 2022.