Spyder Active Sports, Inc. has implemented a custom product-finding feature on www.spyder.com to help viewers locate a particular garment in a specific size at a retail store.
The process is simple: The user visits the catalog section of Spyder's site and determines the style he or she is interested in. After the individual product is displayed on the screen in the chosen color, the user clicks on the "Find This Product" icon. Drop-down options ask the user which size is desired and which region in the United States or Canada the site should search to find a retailer. The site then interfaces with Spyder's database to find retailers who purchased the selected garment in the desired size and color. The appropriate retailer names and phone numbers are displayed on the screen by state or province.
A European product locator on the site is planned for spring 2003.
SNEWS View: We heard about Spyder's new venture long before the press release came out from a company executive who's also a SNEWS subscriber. He told us he had been shopping for a Spyder ski suit and grew tired of going from store to store trying to find who carried what. He stumbled onto the site feature which pointed him to a retailer a few miles away, who had exactly what he was looking for -- sold! He's now mandating the same kind of feature be looked into for his own company's web site. Spyder says the idea came about because of customers who had a difficult time finding either small or very large sizes at retail. And while Spyder's feature is not so connected that a consumer will know if the retailer still has the product in stock or not, it's the strongest play we've seen from anyone in the outdoor or ski industry to offer value-added services on their sites that support their retailers and make it easier for consumers to find the item they are looking for -- short of buying direct from the manufacturer, of course.