The Running Industry Association (RIA) is promoting the use of digital B2B technology to create a virtual merchandising network for its brand and retailer members in response to the cancellation of the organization’s in-person trade show, RIA KICK Show. As part of their pivot to a digital show, deemed RIA KICK On-Demand, they are partnering with Elastic Suite as its preferred B2B ecommerce platform to create an immersive, online sales experience.
RIA brand members will receive streamlined and discounted use of Elastic’s industry-leading digital merchandising solution to serve retailers virtually as an effective alternative to any face-to-face sales meeting or event. Coupled with virtual line presentations the technology will help retailers easily build and place orders. A customized Elastic dashboard will provide RIA members with user-friendly access to custom digital catalog creation, assortment building and whiteboarding features resulting in a truly seamless, cost-effective and more sustainable approach to wholesale purchasing.
“We are working hard to navigate a new way to do business for the channel and Elastic is helping us help our members. With efficiency and cost savings being paramount, the move to digital catalogs is a relatively easy decision,” said Terry Schalow, RIA Executive Director. “When also considering the positive environmental impact from eliminating printed catalogs, the decision becomes all the more important for our industry.”
Estimates indicate that RIA members collectively spend more than $750,000 annually to print and ship nearly 180,000 product catalogs, representing a considerable cost savings after transitioning to digital sales materials. The positive environmental impact from eliminating printed B2B sales catalogs is also significant. Methodology provided by the Environmental Paper Network shows that printing these 180,000 catalogs requires 416 tons of wood made from 2,500 trees; uses 3.04 billion BTUs of energy, equal to running 3,620 residential refrigerators for a year; produces 2.45 million pounds of CO2, equal to 213 cars per year; uses 2.88 million gallons of water; and produces 147,000 pounds of solid waste.
“Helping RIA create this virtual merchandising network, while assisting their brand and retail members to successfully conduct business in this challenging environment, is a welcome opportunity for Elastic and demonstrates the true capability of our platform,” said Josh Reddin, Founder & EVP, Elastic Sutie. “Not only will RIA members be equipped to participate in RIA KICK On-Demand and other virtual sales events but will also enjoy the cost savings and sustainability benefits from transitioning to digital B2B merchandising on the Elastic platform.”
With the near-term absence of physical trade shows and other face-to-face B2B sales events, the ability to conduct business within a completely virtual environment has become a top priority for brands and retailers. RIA’s exclusive partnership to provide access for their brand members to the Elastic solution will bring to retailers a simpler, more flexible and efficient wholesale purchasing experience.
Under the partnership, RIA members will receive exclusive pricing when signing on with Elastic as part of Elastic Suite’s commitment to supporting the health and growth of the running industry. RIA brand members interested in learning more about Elastic’s platform are encouraged to contact Terry Schalow, Executive Director of RIA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.