Ski, snowboarding and outdoor apparel company sees sales soar
For more than 50 years, Ski Haus | Patio Place has been in season year round.
The business prepares communities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts for ski and snowboarding adventures during the winter. During the spring and summer, though, Ski Haus switches gears and becomes a hub for outdoor furniture as Patio Place.
The Pilla family opened its doors for the first time in the 1960s in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Shortly after, the business relocated to Salem, New Hampshire. In just the last 12 years, Ski Haus expanded to two more locations, the cities of Burlington and Framingham in Massachusetts, and remains family owned. Ski Haus’s inventory has grown to include about 75 brands of ski and snowboard equipment and apparel, and nearly a dozen, and growing, patio furniture brands in the last year.
Ski Haus owes its six decades of success to its personable team, including its owners, who regularly interact with customers on the sales floor, said Kayla Melville, the business’s website manager.
“A lot of people have worked here for over 10 years, so they have seen families grow up.”
“A lot of people have worked here for over 10 years, so they have seen families grow up,” she said. “They fit people for skis when they’re three years old, then over the years, all of a sudden these kids are turning 13, and a lot of these salespeople have been here that whole time and have sold them every single pair of skis they've ever worn. That's definitely something that makes us different.”
Over the last year, Ski Haus has sold more than 5,000 products online, its biggest year ever. COVID-19 contributed to that success, Melville said.
“People don't want to shop in person as much,” she said. “There have been days where the website is busier than the stores.”
Ski Haus’s commitment to its customers extends to protecting the world they live in. The company prioritizes that by selling organic clothing and patio furniture made almost entirely from recycled milk jugs, and by sustainably moving those products.
”We installed it and saw nothing but success instantly. People started using it right away.”
“One of our big things is reduce, reuse, and recycle,” Melville said. “Even with all of our web sales, we use recycled shipping and packaging equipment. We reuse boxes as they come in. We reuse bubble wrap, we use all recycled paper, and recycled plastic.”
Another key to building trust with customers is a hassle-free checkout experience. In late 2020, a representative from Fast, a one-click checkout service, reached out to Ski Haus about installing the Fast Checkout button onto its website. Fast Checkout processes all orders in a matter of seconds. Customers simply have to add their payment and shipping information once, Fast then securely saves that data, and all future purchases on a website can be completed in one click, increasing sales.
Melville said she personally was intrigued by the idea of Fast Checkout.
“The less information I have to enter, the better for me,” she said. “If I don't have to create an account and fumble around to get my card, I'm way more likely to buy something.”
Fast Checkout did not disappoint. With the new checkout option, Ski Haus saw a 174% conversion increase.
”We installed it and saw nothing but success instantly,” she said. “People started using it right away.”
Looking forward, Ski Haus wants to expand from the East Coast to the West Coast and into Canada. Having Fast Checkout will play a crucial role, Melville said.
“People just instinctively think to shop online rather than going into the store, so we want to be able to compete with those big-box stores and with manufacturers,” she said. “So the more we branch out and the more customers we get, the better.”
It’s been exciting to watch the wide range of businesses installing Fast Checkout over the last couple months –– everything from solopreneurs to larger enterprises with $100M+ in annual sales. Stay tuned for more case studies at fast.co/stories.