When it comes to Israel there’s a thriving snowboard scene over there. Jon K from Ski-Pass lays it out what it’s like to work in a shop in a country that isn’t known for its snowboard culture. Check it out.
What difficulties are you experiencing with keeping your customers coming back to your store and not hunting around online?
Our main point of strength in keeping customers coming back is the service we are able to provide. Anything from answering first-timer questions, through warranty issues, to actually becoming friends with the customers. They know they can trust us, and that we will take care of them. The shop is a fun place to be at.
Whenever a customer mentions he would possibly buy online, we usually find a way to keep him in the shop and satisfied.
How relevant is social media like Facebook, blogging, and twitter for engaging your customers?
Should we organize some sort of event or sale, we’ll post it on facebook, but not much beyond that.
Winter-sport related blogging hasn’t really taken off here in Israel.
If there was one brand you could bring in to your shop what would that be and why? Why haven’t you brought it in? How hard is it for a new brand to get itself into your shop?
The snowboard industry in the land of milk and honey is very different from Europe or the States. Here, we don’t really have brand distributors. What happens is, a shop, or let’s take my shop for instance, is the Burton importer and distributor. We sell Burton products to only one or two other shops. Different shops import other brands and only sell them in their own shop. Importing snowboard gear to Israel is expensive, because it’s always in rather small quantities.
The brand I would like most to see in my shop is Dakine.
Sadly, there already is a Dakine distributor in Israel, but he only imports bike related products.
Should we want to get Dakine gloves and bags, we would have to get it through him, and it just wouldn’t be financially worth it.
Sad, but true.
Trends come and go, right now which one has the hardest sell? Which one would you say is the easiest?
The trend toughest to sell here is the retro 80’s-neon-colorblock. People are more into dark colors – black, gray, brown etc.
The easiest was the cap-strap. I know it’s pretty old news, and you would have expected me to say reverse camber or Burton’s EST, but no, our customers seem to be quite apprehensive when it comes to significant change.
How relevant is “being core” whether its you, your shop, or a brand in the grand scheme of snowboarding? Is it just an over used marketing ploy?
Most of our customers are adults, who couldn’t care less about anything or anyone being core. They do appreciate it though that we, the employees, really like to shred the gnar.
Is reverse camber/ rocker the real deal or the greatest marketing ploy in the snowboard world?
From my own experience with riding a rockered board, I do think it’s the real deal. I really liked it myself.
It would be safe to say though that the reason most brands are now making reverse-cambered boards is because it sells, and not necessarily because they believe in it.
How much different is the scene in Israel compared to the rest of the world?
As different as Sylvester Stallone in drag and Megan Fox.
What’s do you feel is the biggest aspect with getting and keeping people in snowboarding?
It has to be made more accessible and down to earth.
With global warming, 1260’s being the shizz, and it being a rather expensive sport, it’s tough keeping the average rider interested.
Which companies do you feel are really trying to get new riders to try snowboarding and keep them involved with their message/marketing?
Burton has to be mentioned here. Maybe for the wrong reasons, but they definitely try to reach out to new potential customers every season.
Never Summer is a personal favorite of mine. Their message is “We like to snowboard, you probably do to, so here’s a high quality board for ya, have fun!”
Another company I’ll mention is Isenseven. Their movies are just mind-blowing and came out of nowhere. Their movies are really all about having crazy fun and being original through riding and filming.