(BRAIN) — An outdoor industry trade group is urging speciality retailers to reconsider relationships with vendors who use the ExpertVoice pro deal platform. The group, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, says ExpertVoice erodes brand equity by turning consumers into deep-discount buyers.
GOA says ExpertVoice offers industry deals to more than just industry insiders. Consumers who join groups such as the International Mountain Bicycling Association can be eligible, it notes. And once-eligible industry insiders remain on ExpertVoice’s books “permanently,” GOA said. ExpertVoice disputes both those claims.
“After extensive review and discussion, it is the opinion of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance that vendors cannot coexist on ExpertVoice and in Specialty Retail as our business models are incompatible,” read a GOA position paper.
“For the long-term success of our businesses and our industry, Specialty Retailers must build partnerships with vendors who are equally committed to a level playing field in an omni-channel marketplace,” it continued.
ExpertVoice countered the group’s facts and its argument, noting that participating brands choose which of its member “experts” are offered discounts. It also said it purges its list of experts by 40,000 names each month.
“No brand targets all 1 million experts because that isn’t how our platform works,” ExpertVoice CEO Tom Stockham said in a statement.
“Our largest 100 brand partners each engaged an average of 25,000 experts over the last 12 months. Our next 100 brand partners each engaged approximately 7,000 experts. Additionally, a given brand can target different groups of experts for different campaigns. For example, a large group to drive awareness, or a small group of elite experts to help shape their product line.”
Dozens of bike-related brands are on ExpertVoice, including Assos, Pearl Izumi, Limar helmets, Marin, Diamondback, Haibike, Tern, WTB and e*thirteen, to name a few. Besides IMBA, members of USA Cycling are eligible for some ExpertVoice deals.