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  1. #1
    Ski Shop Owner & Equipment Specialist - Voted Best Boot fitter in Australia (SIA Australia Awards 2013) Paul Oberin's Avatar
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    Wodonga, Victoria, Australia
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    Default This guy says it very well.

    Question:
    In this new era of retailing, what are your thoughts about how to roll with the changes we’re seeing in online sales and big box retailing? Do you think it’s best to keep sticking with the basics of excellent service and knowledgeable staff to retain loyal customers, or are you trying new things with online sales and social media to pull customers in?

    Answer from retailer:
    These are strange and challenging times.
    Dot.com e-tailers compete only on price, certainly not on service. I have yet to deal with a customer who has had a truly successful boot-fitting experience via the internet. One customer showed up with 3 sets of boots that were shipped in from a dot.com to pay us to assess what would be best for them. The answer was none of them, as they all were the incorrect size (too big). Ultimately the customer sent them all back and purchased their boots from us. As Dave Hinz, one of our staff members, has always said: "You can get a lot of really good deals on all the wrong products.”
    Big-box retailing is "Smart bomb retailing.” The building is standing but all of the personnel and personality have been wiped out, and customer service has been degraded to the point of "Can I ring that up for you?” Skiing is a life sport and a lifestyle that is driven by passion. Excellent customer service provided by caring individuals will win over far more customers than "Can I ring that up for you?"
    A knowledgeable staff equals retained customers and a wonderful referral base. Since 1936, the goal of our staff has been "To provide our customers the finest in equipment, clothing & service through our own active participation in and passion for the sports that we sell.” Everyone on staff is actively involved in the sports that we are selling, allowing us to say that "We have been there and done that and been there and skied that.” This enables us to best relate and respond to the customer’s needs.

    http://blog.snowsports.org/snowsourc...orts-retailing

  2. #2
    Extreme Snowatcher
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    May 2006
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    the thunderbox, Sideneeee
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    Default Re: This guy says it very well.

    I think there are a couple of segments to snow retail gear.

    There's the "I'm taking the kids to snow" type of big box buyers (rebel/aldi/costco/decathlon etc) buying low cost stuff to start out or just try snowsports out.

    Then there's the stores mentioned in the article (and yours paul) for those of us who have moved into the "life sport" category that need/want better gear and good fit. My late partner was never convinced on the benefits of a set of her own boots and a custom fitting - she eventually relented and with input from the boot fitter - voila! she couldn't stop raving about what a difference properly fitted boots with footbeds made. snug and comfortable. You cant get that on the 'net.
    Winter is here!

  3. #3
    Extreme Snowatcher TC's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Location
    sydney
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    4,906

    Default Re: This guy says it very well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Oberin View Post
    Question:
    In this new era of retailing, what are your thoughts about how to roll with the changes we’re seeing in online sales and big box retailing? Do you think it’s best to keep sticking with the basics of excellent service and knowledgeable staff to retain loyal customers, or are you trying new things with online sales and social media to pull customers in?

    Answer from retailer:
    These are strange and challenging times.
    Dot.com e-tailers compete only on price, certainly not on service. I have yet to deal with a customer who has had a truly successful boot-fitting experience via the internet. One customer showed up with 3 sets of boots that were shipped in from a dot.com to pay us to assess what would be best for them. The answer was none of them, as they all were the incorrect size (too big). Ultimately the customer sent them all back and purchased their boots from us. As Dave Hinz, one of our staff members, has always said: "You can get a lot of really good deals on all the wrong products.”
    Big-box retailing is "Smart bomb retailing.” The building is standing but all of the personnel and personality have been wiped out, and customer service has been degraded to the point of "Can I ring that up for you?” Skiing is a life sport and a lifestyle that is driven by passion. Excellent customer service provided by caring individuals will win over far more customers than "Can I ring that up for you?"
    A knowledgeable staff equals retained customers and a wonderful referral base. Since 1936, the goal of our staff has been "To provide our customers the finest in equipment, clothing & service through our own active participation in and passion for the sports that we sell.” Everyone on staff is actively involved in the sports that we are selling, allowing us to say that "We have been there and done that and been there and skied that.” This enables us to best relate and respond to the customer’s needs.

    http://blog.snowsports.org/snowsourc...orts-retailing
    It seems odd that you retailers are worried about online sales
    As a former marketing person i would have turned your shop into a shopping EXPERIENCE
    Great range and polite skilled service is only part of it
    There could be demos
    Food tastings and BBQ
    Wine tasting (subject to licences)
    Weekend activites
    Create the wodonga snow fair

    Online are for nerds Shops create the experience
    Im a vegetarian...I only eat grass fed Beef and Lamb

  4. #4
    Extreme Snowatcher
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    Apr 2006
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    Brisbane
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    Default Re: This guy says it very well.

    People would come for the free food and nothing else.

    I would never buy boots online. All the tweaking that is required it is worth the dollars to have someone who knows what they are doing do it. Plus once you start skiing in my experience the boot fitter has been more than happy to do adjustments and not charge for it - apart from say custom footbeds/linings etc.
    Do it the snow way!

  5. #5
    Advanced Snowatcher
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    Jindabyne/Brisbane
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    Default Re: This guy says it very well.

    I think from a customer point of view that most snow product buyers probably do a little of both . Some items that they know the product well they may buy online because it is cheaper or is something they want that is not available from their local Snow store . Items that Customers need some sort of advice for or they can see as great value in their local Snow shop I think will still buy local if they have the budget to do so and the sales staff do their job and sell it ! That is a retail fatal mistake , sales person gives all of the information to customer and then either A: Does not ask if the customer would like to buy the product B: Customer asks a question and the staff member shows no further interest in the sale C: Customer asks if they can get a deal on the purchase and the staff member says a flat NO rather than let me go and find out if we can do anything for you . Even if you don't get a discount at least it feels like they tried to help ! Otherwise it is easy for people armed with the shop info to then search online for the same thing you had them in the shop for and you had them on the hook only hours before. I think to a degree Aldi shows this as they do cheap priced snow gear for the one week a year, fast growing children, etc crowd out of the local store and it sells quickly from a shop not on line . Just my humble opinion on all of this but I still enjoy going to the Snowboard shop to do a deal .
    I just want to snowboard.

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