Business interview : Jeff Snyder, E-commerce is boosting sales in all channels

December 18, 2013
The multi-channel sales strategy of Amer Sports has been very successful. “We continue to grow brands simultaneously in both the direct to consumer and wholesale channels”, says Jeff Snyder, The Vice President of global e-commerce at Amer Sports, who is in charge of building a global e-commerce strategy for the company.

Big steps in 2013
Jeff Snyder has truly had a busy year.
“In 2013, we launched the Wilson and DeMarini websites in the US Market and Arc'teryx in EMEA. We also finished our country expansion in EMEA for Salomon and Suunto. We have worked extensively with our team in China and will be making some enhancements to their platform in 2014”, Snyder tells.

Snyder’s role is to work with the brands in order to develop a global e-commerce strategy, localize that strategy, and then provide the platform needed to support it. 

“Our intent has been to establish a direct relationship with our consumers along with ensuring that they have access to the complete offering of products from our brands. I look for synergies among brands, where we can utilize commonalities in the platform or processes along with aligning third party providers”, Snyder explains.

Exceeding expectations

The sales through our own e-commerce channels are steadily growing. “Consumer traffic to our websites has been very strong and all subsequent metrics have met or exceeded our expectations.”
Some products have been selling extremely well.

“The S Lab products for Salomon continue to do very well. For Suunto, the launch of the Ambit 2 series went extremely well and the consumer demand remains strong. The new down jackets from Arcteryx have done great, and for Wilson the baseball category has exceeded expectations.”

All channels benefit from heightened consumer awareness
Thanks to e-commerce, consumers know the brands and products better than ever before. This has also boosted sales in the traditional channels.

“The brand website is the very first stop a consumer will make. This is an amazing opportunity to tell the consumer our brand story and start a relationship with them. It is irrelevant if they purchase from us or a wholesale partner; just as long as they have access to what they are searching for and are satisfied with their visit to our website.”

Some retailers feared that direct selling to consumers would cause trouble for their business. This did not happen.

“One of the biggest surprises for me was how little disruption to the marketplace selling direct has caused. Initially there is some apprehension and uneasiness in taking this step, but once we were live and selling direct, all channels have benefited from the heightened consumer awareness of the brands. We continue to grow brands simultaneously in both the direct to consumer and wholesale channels”, Snyder promises.

Sharing a common platform

Nearly all Amer Sports’ websites are using the same technical platform.
“Sharing a common platform and model has allowed us to meet our expansion goals while keeping development costs at a minimum. We do, however, localize the global model to fit the specifics of the regional consumer shopping experience. It is essential to work backwards from a consumer expectation to create the model that is needed to provide the best experience possible.”

Next step: going mobile

The next big change is at the doorstep. E-commerce of sporting goods is going mobile.
“The percentage of our consumers using mobile devices for sporting goods is at or above regional averages for online shopping. This also continues to be the fastest growing segment of consumer engagement”, Snyder says.

Source Amer sports

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