Picture this: Fresh snow, radiant sunshine, crystal blue sky, 8.00 am at the valley station. You open your personal ski depot and find pre-warmed boots, a helmet and gloves as well as the perfect ski or snowboard to enjoy a day in the deep snow. Overnight your all-round skis were exchanged for the current season’s freestyle model, freshly waxed and sanded, of course. Sounds too good to be true? Not if you booked your ski equipment online through Bründl Sports and reserved one of the popular ski depots early.
Bründl Sports had been working with the INTERSPORT Group for almost 50 years until the family business no longer felt at home there. Christoph Bründl, visionary and Magic Moment Manager at Bründl Sports, wanted to convey the joy of mountaineering in a different way, communicate his own passion and the positive experience of a day in the Alps exactly the way he and his employees enjoyed it. So the company parted with the umbrella brand and faced the challenge of not only creating their own corporate image for Bründl Sports within a very short time, but also developing visions for an excellent sports equipment rental business.
Rentals with advantages
The ski depots at the mountain railroads were only part of the extraordinary touches that Bründl Sports wanted to offer its customers. “We wanted to create the most relaxing and unique winter sports experience for our customers,” says Wolfgang Huber, Head of IT at Bründl Sports. “Every enthusiastic mountaineer is familiar with the situation of wanting to change the equipment from day to day. Now all you have to do is express these desires at a Bründl rental store at the end of the day – Here our winter sports-enthusiastic staff will be happy to advise you – or simply select a different model in your online customer account and your dream of a different ski will come true the following morning. No hauling or additional costs”.
Even better, the equipment cannot only be exchanged overnight, but also during a quick “pit stop” at some mountain stations. Just like in a classic drive-in, the boards are exchanged or readjusted at top speed, and happy skiers glide another model down the slope.
Close to the customer both online and offline
It goes without saying, these services place enormous demands on the backend system. In cooperation with the digital agency Pixelart, Bründl was looking for a platform architecture that could be expanded modularly, scale indefinitely, and easily track bookings, availability, and prices in their stores. The company chose commercetools because of its flexible microservices, scalability and headless architecture as the basis for its new Bründl Sports Web and Rent platform.
Those who can opt for reliable technology are optimistic about the future. Within 12 months, Pixelart implemented a modern commerce platform together with Bründl Sports and set a new standard in customer focus and rental experience. “We are fully satisfied with the performance”, says Huber. “The features our platform has to fulfill are truly multifaceted. Let’s start with our Skifinder, which uses several criteria to suggest potential models to our customers when they rent skis online. Then there is the option for our customers to buy their rental skis because they no longer want to do without them – a perfect match! The fee is partly offset against the purchase price, which is also fully automated, but of course also includes personal consultation in our stores.
The system also handles cancellations, of which we had to deal with several thousand in our first season in the course of the Corona-related lockdown in March, in the shortest possible time and automatically, including reverse transactions. These features are simply priceless in everyday working life and clearly show our customers that Bründl actively supports them even in extraordinary situations with cancellations and enables smooth returns”.
What is the next step? At Bründl, the new platform is obviously a jumping-off point to additional exciting touchpoint ideas, a bridge between the online and offline strategy. With such a resounding range of services already in place, we are curious to see what Bründl is up to next season!
Curious to learn more? You can find our case study on Bründl Sports to learn all about the implementation of this exciting project. Download.