A crowdfunded California golf startup is looking to disrupt the industry’s big-box retailers with its on-course autonomous kiosks that allow golfers to try out new clubs and equipment before they buy them. According to Cadi Co-founder and CEO Tyler Gottstein, these unmanned eCommerce pods transform declining or nonexistent retail locations into thriving revenue producers — and once scaled, could be a game-changer for the industry.
“Most golf products are sold in a big-box retailer where you demo into a net or online, or where you don’t know what you are buying until it arrives,” Gottstein told PYMNTS in a recent interview, noting that 90 percent of golfers prefer to demo products on a golf course or driving range before buying, and that within 14 days, two-thirds of customers are unhappy with their purchases.
“In 2016, we recognized that there was a significant shift happening to eCommerce. But not all products can be sold online effectively,” Gottstein said. “As a passionate golfer, it was clear that the golf purchase experience was broken.”
From Idea to Investment
“As we looked deeper, we recognized that almost no public golf courses sell golf equipment,” Gottstein said, noting that traditional golf pro shops had been killed by the emergence of big-box retailers in the early 2000s, and then more so by the continued growth of eCommerce.
By his calculations, the ideal way to address this problem, while serving an…