Ken Jones

Winter Sports Retailer Gets an eCommerce Makeover

When they came to Vital, Ken Jones Ski Mart needed some serious tech support. The winter sports gear retailer and service provider was using an eCommerce platform reminiscent of the Ice Age. At once outdated and high maintenance, it required a developer’s help to make even the smallest update, which was a nightmare when staff tried to reconcile online and in-store inventory. This was primarily because their website hosting platform would not communicate with their point-of-sale (POS) system, Vend, causing discrepancies and headaches left and right. Ken Jones needed a new eCommerce-enabled website, and fast.

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In order to sync in-store products with online offerings, Ken Jones’ former site had to connect to several different platforms at once (in-store POS, inventory, eCommerce payment processing, etc.). Due to this arduous, multi-step dance, maintaining organized product categories was not of highest priority — which posed a challenge when it came time to migrate content over to the new site.

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Together with the client, the Vital team spent dozens of hours relabeling, organizing, restructuring, and generally cleaning up the product categories. This monumental task served two purposes: First, the cleaner product pages and updated meganav would provide a better user experience on the front end; and second, better organization in the back end meant that the product pages would have a higher chance of ranking in search engine results for relevant keywords.

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Carving Out a New Online Presence

We ultimately chose WooCommerce as the ideal user-friendly eCommerce solution for a busy retailer like Ken Jones. We successfully connected their online store to their new POS system, enabling staff to manage inventory from a single information hub.

Now, if a customer makes a purchase online, the system automatically updates to reflect the in-store inventory and vice versa. The new site enables the client to make his own updates, meaning no more SOS calls to a developer; no more hasty, manual inventory updates; and no more missed sales. By the end of the project, the client had received a strong, digital foundation that they can continue to build upon for years to come.

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