It’s the end of our first winter season and our team can now look back and comment on the results. Overall, the newborn Skipodium has rocked the season!
While we have been developing our management software for the past 2 years, we only launched our e-commerce in October 2016. Unlike many might think, that was a smart choice.
Skipodium is a management software and reservation system for snow sports activities, and its ultimate clients are companies providing snow sports lessons. After 1 year working on the MVP, we gave our BETA software to few snowsports schools and spent another full year on feedbacks and corrections. After the official launch, we created a good provider base much faster than we thought.
We found 4 main reasons for that:
- At the moment of the official launch, our software was actually ready and tested by schools with real day-to-day needs. That avoided us lots of troubles and discontent after launching.
- Because of an end-to-end testing, we had a good idea of our strengths and weaknesses as well as the competitive arena we are playing into.
- We spent a considerable amount of time with schools and instructors before opening the registration to all snow school and resorts. This helped us gain their trust and move faster with integrations.
- Besides facilitating online sales, Skipodium is a tool to help snowsports schools with their business operations. Therefore we gave our software to several snowsports schools not (just) interested in selling online – giving us a larger audience.
What we need to improve
If we have done a good job with the software, we can’t say the same about Skipodium’s e-commerce. A 3 steps snow-commerce is not as straight-forward as it could seem, because of the following:
- During our first season, we found pretty damn hard to get the complexity VS clarity ratio just right. It takes lots of effort and attention to build a site that really answers the questions that skiers are after. Assuming you have all data you need, it will surely take extra time to reasonably display it to the users.
- Because winter sports fans demand customization and flexibility in the offline world, a website selling ski lessons has to offer the same possibilities. While we start with a fully regulated technical approach, moving forward, we loosened up the ends of our system and left more space to human-to-human interactions.
- Building a community around our product has been and is crazy time consuming. No exact science here – just constant experiments (social, content marketing, PPC, etc).
- Towards the end of the season we launched our website in German and Italian, and only then we experienced some success that localization can bring.