Early in the 2017 model year Fuji Bikes will continue its 117-year evolution when it partners with its retailers to more seamlessly sell bicycles to consumers.
Pat Cunnane, CEO of Advanced Sports International (ASI), announced the Omnichannel model approach last week at the Philadelphia-based company’s 2017 model year sales meeting. Cunnane emphasized that the goal is to offer Omnichannel sales touch points to drive consumers to stores where the retailer controls the transaction and collects the payment from the consumer.
“Today, in the world of Uber, Amazon and AirBnB, we know that consumers are changing the way they buy things – including bikes. We need to change. We need to continue to adapt,” Cunnane said. “We are going to be driving Fuji sales via our website and mobile platform to our retailers’ stores. And we will be allowing our retailers to sell the complete Fuji product line online.”
Cunnane told more than 60 U.S. retailers that ASI is investing in new resources and tools to support its move to online sales. ASI, which owns six bicycle brands, is partnering with SmartEtailing to utilize the company’s POS data-integration services. ASI has also hired Oris Intel to monitor its MAP policy. Most importantly, Cunnane said, is the creation of ASI’s new Retail Services Department headed by Joe Wentzell, who for 16 years owned Breakaway Bike Shop, a successful specialty bicycle retailer in Philadelphia.
“Fuji has a great network of retailers who are working creatively to remain competitive in their local retail market,” said Joe Wentzell, Director of Retail Services. “ASI recognizes that we’re the wholesaler and we want to support our retailers by utilizing the best technology available to drive consumers to their businesses.”
SmartEtailing’s Supplier Sync technology provides qualifying retailers access to real-time product sourcing. Supplier Sync offers a single point of integration that ensures ASI’s brands’ products are displayed on retailer websites even if those products are not available in the retailers’ own inventories but are available from ASI warehouses.
“We’re thrilled that ASI is launching Supplier Sync with all their brands,” said Dorothy Nichols, Sr. Director of Supply Chain and Content at SmartEtailing. “Instead of consumers buying their products through online-only ecommerce sites, our services channel sales of Fuji’s products through local brick-and-mortar retailers, which is a win for the entire industry.”
ASI will also be working with ORIS Intel to monitor its brands’ MAP policy. ORIS Intel’s PROWL, a SaaS that alerts businesses of MAP violations and identifies anonymous sellers, will help Fuji maintain price integrity in the market.
Additionally, ASI, which owns Fuji, Breezer, Kestrel, SE, Phat and Oval Concepts, is building new, consumer-facing websites and mobile platforms for its brands designed to engage consumers and ultimately send them into qualified retailers’ stores who stock ASI’s products.
ASI’s full transition to the online sales model isn’t entirely new. The company currently allows its brands Kestrel, SE and Breezer as well as some Fuji models to be sold online through its retailers.
Looking forward, Cunnane said adopting this Omnichannel sales plan will ensure ASI remains a growing and profitable company that will allow for better bikes at a better value to customers.