Amer Sports and Outdoor Americas have announced a new e-commerce platform that will combine global shopping options with local service.
The platform, called Ski Link, will be tested with the Atomic and Salomon ski brands. The web-based Ski Link will not only help customers find specialty stores where they can buy products locally, but allow online purchases to be completed at the retailer of the customer’s choice. The retailer will then be responsible to complete the order and set up the equipment.
No word on when this platform will be available for snowboarding products, but keep an eye out in the near future.
From Amer Sports:
In a revolutionary move that redefines the consumer experience within the snowsports industry, Amer Sports Winter and Outdoor Americas announces a new winter sports equipment ecommerce platform. Ski Link will be launched in the United States in the fall of 2012. The online purchasing program is unprecedented in the industry and is designed to offer consumers global shopping options with local service benefits.
Developed in cooperation with American retail partners, the principle behind the web-based Ski Link is to create a unique and progressive cooperation with specialty retailers that will increase consumer traffic and sales through specialty retail doors.
The individual US brand websites for Salomon and Atomic will each host Ski Link. The websites will:
* Provide excellent product experiences and brand information on the Salomon and Atomic products.
* Refer consumers to authorized retailers via the brand dealer locator and encourage consumers to buy locally.
* Extend an opportunity for the consumer to order the products immediately online which will be fulfilled and transacted through the authorized retailer of the consumers' choice. The retailer will complete the sale as well as prepare and ready the equipment for use.
"As we have developed our Winter Sports Equipment ecommerce strategy, our first priority has been to enhance the overall experience for the consumer with the Salomon and Atomic brands without moving business away from our retail partners' balance sheets. In fact our platform will drive new traffic directly to our retailers," says Jeff Snyder, Amer Sports Global Director of Ecommerce.
"With the Ski Link model, specialty retailers are positioned squarely at the center of the equipment transaction," says Mike Adams, Winter Sports Equipment VP and Commercial Director for Amer Sports Winter and Outdoor Americas. "This represents the first and only internet strategy in the winter sports equipment space that enables online product exposure for our brands without compromising the specialty retailers' role or opportunity in managing consumer relationships."
In order to provide complete information on Ski Link, there will be live webcast presentations of the program beginning in December 2011. The programs, along with dealer FAQs, 2012 dealer forms and participation guidelines will be posted on the dedicated informational website ski-referral.com starting Decmber 2011. In addition, ski-referral.com will provide program updates as well as other relevant information to retail partners.
This retailer-centric strategy gives consumers what they desire most – to see and find the broadest selection of products and purchase from a local, specialty retailer.