As online the online market place continues to capture more and more of the retail market share, having the confidence to stock our store with a wide range of inventory becomes more of a challenge. We’ve tried several eCommerce platforms ranging from our own web-store managed in house like Smart Etailing or Woo Commerce to 3P marketplaces like ebay and Amazon. Each of them came with a their own set of challenges. Most were just way too expensive leaving us with inventory management nightmares and working way too hard for little to no profit. Not to mention, receiving cease and desist letters and phone calls from companies who sell their product on Amazon and don’t want you (THEIR CUSTOMER) competing with them in that market.
We discovered XION a couple of years ago in it’s early stages. At that time I had several conversations with Dan Fairbanks, XION’s founder and CEO. As a former owner and operator of multiple small running stores in the Seattle area, Dan understands the challenges we brick-and-mortar shops face as a result of the public’s growing dependence on internet marketplaces. Along with Co-Founder Robert Ivie, Dan started developing XION with the goal of revolutionizing the way consumers shop locally. Dan and his team considered my recommendations and concerns and applied solutions to address them. They were and continue to be very sensitive to what small businesses like mine can afford and put together a very nice package where our success fuels theirs.
The XION marketplace is a growing collection of locally owned and operated outdoor stores, across the country, including bike shops, camping and outdoor stores and even water and snow sports. Each store has it’s own store page that synchronizes with our point of sale systems to keep our inventory both on the web and in our store fairly accurate. You can browse much of our inventory from our web-store and place orders to have items shipped or you can pick it up in store during regular hours of operation. Since, relaunching our XION page with some of the new improved functionality and XION’s marketing campaigns, we are already seeing more success and are hopeful that it continues.
We understand that when browsing XION’s marketplace, our local customer may end up purchasing something on the site from other stores. We also have come to terms with the fact that many of our locals are already buying online and we’d rather they purchase from other locally owned and operated brick-and-mortar stores than corporate chains whose primary focus is on the dollars rather than the passion of the activity. These local shop owners are typically the people who paved the way for the chain stores who often wait until we have built the market in the area before they even consider coming into the community. So please, shop local at Skinny Wheels in our physical shop or our online store. But if you must shop online for cycling related or other outdoor products, pleas shop XION.
We love and appreciate the support of all our local and online customers!
Read more about “Why You Need to Support Small Businesses.”