Re: Mountain Equipment Co-op - mec.ca
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is a Vancouver based business founded in 1971. MEC first started selling at the back of a van and grown to 16 stores across Canada. It currently has a website and does a lot of sale online .Like many company websites, mec.ca serves purposes such as advertising, lead-generation and relationship-building, etc., however the key purpose of mec.ca is to distribute products. “Shop” is the first link on the top navigation bar behind the “Home” link, which typically means that it is the most commonly used link. The unique selling proposition that Mountain Equipment Co-op is conveying to their customers is that they are a member owned company offering high quality outdoor products that are innovative, functional, and durable. Their online value proposition is that they guarantee the quality of their products and offer free shipping for orders over $50. By allowing customers to publicly review and rate their products, they offer an added convenience to customers that the products they want to purchase will suit their needs which enhance customer satisfaction. They also highlight their “Rock Solid Guarantee” which allows no-hassle returns of products if customers are not satisfied with their purchases.
The MEC website and mobile app provides a number of tangible and intangible benefits for the company:
1. Increased Sales: MEC only has 16 stores across Canada, compare to their competitors, such as Atmosphere (39 Stores) and Sport Cheek (around 140 stores). A large number of their customers are physically too far to travel to the stores regularly. Selling products via the website and mobile app allow customers to shop with MEC regularly without having to travel.
2. Lowered costs: Having fewer retail stores means less operating cost. Relying more on online sales means more products can be shipped from a central location, making stock management easier.
3. New customers: The MEC website helps communicate the MEC’s benefits and values to new customers.
4. Retain customers: The MEC website builds a learning community for their existing customers, allowing them to share reviews on the website, and be educated on a variety of their products.
My thoughts on MEC before I visited the website were similar to the message conveyed by the website, which reflects the value of the company well. It shares their accountability report, ethical sourcing processes etc. Their website is also keen to educate, with “Learn” being one of their key links on the main nav bar, which is something their staff are happy to do in store as well. The focus of the MEC brand is that they are a member owned business and premier retailer of quality outdoor gear. With the use of green color schemes on their website, they reinforce their brand as a serious outdoor equipment company. They also maintain a high degree of member focus by offering customer reviews of products and dedicating an entire section of their website to “Community” which allows site visitors to connect with one another.
The key task the MEC website must perform to build brand equity is to continue to communicate to its customers the ethics, values, services, and guarantees that MEC provides to its customers. This will enforce MEC as a quality source of high