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First Annual Retail Dive Summit Event Highlights

by Dive Shop 360 | Mar 4, 2024

Dive Shop 360 is excited to announce the success of our very first Retail Dive Summit. The first event in this annual series was hosted by Dive Shop 360 on February 20. During the digital event, experts from Dive Shop 360 and PADI provided valuable insights and strategies for dive shop owners to help them maximize their business growth, as well as information about the expanding capabilities of the platform.

Multiple sessions were held to provide information on a variety of topics, including transitioning to a cloud-based POS, utilizing the platform’s new PADI integration, and getting the most out of point-of-sale software. New features were also introduced and demonstrated to attendees. Session topics included:

  • Dive Shop 360 and EVE Come Together
  • Best Practices for Selling More PADI Certifications
  • Live Demonstration and Q&A
  • New Features and the Future

Dive Shop 360 plus Eve logos

Dive Shop 360 and Eve Come Together

During this session, Ken Colbert and Ian Sykes provided an overview of the history of Dive Shop 360 and EVE. Dive Shop 360, along with its parent company, Rain, acquired EVE in early 2023. While the two entities are working to integrate their features, Colbert emphasized that there is no pressure for EVE users to transition to Dive Shop 360, and that EVE is not going away. The goal is for Dive Shop 360 to integrate EVE’s features and become a platform that houses the best of both worlds, but EVE will continue to be supported. For those that do choose to transition to Dive Shop 360, the data migration process is simple and customers will be provided with all the support they need.

Carolyn Becker, a customer who has transitioned from EVE to Dive Shop 360 with her business, spoke about her experience. She found it to be a very smooth transition and felt the support team was very responsive when she had questions. The process of migrating the data for all of her inventory took about two weeks for her business. At the conclusion of the session, Colbert assured each customer that they are valued and appreciated regardless of whether they use Dive Shop 360 or EVE.

Best Practices for Selling More PADI CertificationsPADI Certification Integration

During the second session, Lucy Dunbar from PADI discussed how to leverage PADI certifications in a dive business, joined by Summer Halstead from the Dive Shop 360 team. A key feature of the PADI integration within the Dive Shop 360 system is the ability to lookup what certifications a customer does or doesn’t have within your POS interface. This information can be useful for offering additional services to customers based on what dive trips they are interested in and what certifications they need for these excursions. The system can also take care of automated emails – customers can be sent congratulatory emails when they achieve a certification, as well as emails about gear, travel, or special offers. Business owners can also send emails requesting Google reviews. The information accumulated by the platform can help business owners fill the courses they offer. Customers who are qualified for a certain course can be sent an email inviting them to enroll. A course can also be bundled with others, including prerequisites, for example.

The platform includes built-in blog functionality. Lucy recommended posting content to the blog that will interest customers and build loyalty to a business owner’s brand, and emphasized that including calls to action in blog posts will motivate customers to interact with a brand.

Live Demonstration and Q&A

During the third session, Riley Memmott demonstrated the functionality of Dive Shop 360 and fielded questions about the platform’s features along with Summer Halstead. The following information was shared during the session:

From the platform, the catalogs of top diving brands can be explored and added to a shop’s inventory. Updated product MSRP pricing can be synchronized automatically rather than for each product by hand, and product descriptions can also be transferred from vendor catalogs. The platform allows business owners to schedule classes, dive trips, and travel charters. In addition to PADI, the system also works with SSI and SDI.

The platform includes security and access level features. The system can also be synchronized with existing barcode scanners, Dymo label printers, and receipt printers. External data can be imported, from Excel, for example. Promotional offers with specific criteria can be created and followed. The platform is integrated with QuickBooks desktop and integration with QuickBooks online is in beta. Later this year, a more complete integration with PADI is planned – business owners will be able to track student course progress and process certifications from the platform. Another feature in beta will eliminate the need to have PADI codes available at the time a course is created and will allow you to check for availability at the time of sale.

Online orders are seamlessly processed by the platform without a need to create a second invoice or manually adjust inventory, and payment is directly integrated. Business owners can choose whether to offer shipping or offer only in-store pickup. They can also choose whether to receive a new website design from Dive Shop 360 or maintain an existing website. For those who choose the latter, the booking and cart features from the platform can be seamlessly integrated into an existing website. While the platform has automated email marketing capability,  a separate email marketing service can be used with the platform if desired.

New Features and the Future

The Dive Shop 360 team receives frequent requests from users regarding new features, and strives to develop and add these features. In this session, Ken and Summer discussed recently added and soon-to-be added features, many of which are the result of customer requests.

The recent integration with PADI supplements the platform’s integration with SSI and SDI, all of which are receiving continued development and improvement. SDI has a new packaging feature that will soon be integrated with the platform.

Air Cards have been a highly requested feature, and have recently been added to the platform.

Air Cards are similar to traditional punch cards and are for refilling air tanks. The customer won’t need the card or a number on their person because the system will account for it automatically, and the program can be modified with customizable promotions to reward customer loyalty. The platform has also been updated with more options for sales commissions. Now, different employees can receive varying commission rates, and commissions can be split or modified depending on the situation.

Travel forms have been improved on the platform, divided into international, domestic, and charter. These forms collect travel information like airline, TSA precheck, frequent flyer number, dietary restrictions, and more, and can be customized to fit your needs. These forms can be sent to the customer to fill out and return. The data is securely managed and saved to the customers account, to make it easier for them to book another trip in the future. Travel payments can also be made by the customer through the website.

The platform is also making it easier to maintain customer records, by allowing business owners to merge duplicates of the same customer profile with full control of what data is saved and what data is deleted. Work orders can now contain multiple forms to accommodate better servicing of equipment, an EVE feature now included in Dive Shop 360. The dive reservation system on the platform has been improved, with capabilities to assign and modify individuals or entire groups at once, saving time and allowing for more flexibility. The use of smart waivers is also easier than ever.

The rental system for equipment has been streamlined, with easier packaging, faster checkout, and the ability to assign rentals to trips and courses. The selection process is simpler and the system automatically accounts for these items. ShipStation will soon be added to the platform, allowing business owners to integrate shipping, calculate cost, and track items. Other new features that will soon be added include QuickBooks online, Avilera for larger operations managing e-commerce, and customer invoices payable online. Attendees were encouraged to contact the Dive Shop 360 team to request a feature or to check on the status of a feature they have requested.

Missed Us or Want to Revisit the Show?

Each session of Retail Dive Summit was recorded and can be viewed at your convenience.

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During the Retail Dive Summit event, hundreds of dive shop owners learned how the Dive Shop 360 platform can serve them by streamlining their processes and allowing them to customize their interface to their business’ needs. With new features added regularly, there has never been a better time to take advantage of this cutting-edge platform. Request a demo today!

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