For Business

Merchant spotlight: RaceWax

Buy with Prime helps RaceWax streamline business operations and get products to customers faster.

Image of man skiing

It all started in 1999, after Marc Desrosiers’ son joined the ski team. Another parent told Marc, “This ski wax is so expensive. You’re a chemist. Can’t you make it?” Little did he know, that casual question would be the genesis of RaceWax, Marc’s online store that sells performance waxes and kits for ski and snowboard enthusiasts in more than 80 countries.

As cofounder of the company with his wife Emelda Valadez, Marc wanted to share advice he didn’t have when he was first learning how to wax skis at home. “Back then it was hard to get good information. When we built this [website], we wanted to make that information available to anyone and everyone,” he says. “We want to help people. Most of our customers are either families of racers or families that do a lot of skiing. Waxing and tuning yourself helps with the cost and the time.”

The challenge of meeting shopper expectations

In the beginning, RaceWax sold other people’s tuning kits alongside Marc’s own performance waxes. He quickly learned that these kits had a lot of unnecessary products that weren’t useful to his customers. They also left out important items that customers would need to buy separately. It didn’t take long for Marc to make a decision. “I can’t sell something to somebody that I didn’t believe in, and then tell them they need to make another purchase just to use it,” he admits, “so we’ll just make our own kits.” This move allowed him to offer the quality RaceWax customers have come to love and expect, without upsells.

October through March is RaceWax’s busiest season. Because they offer products that people rely on heavily for timely events, customers need to know when their orders are expected to arrive. Unfortunately, RaceWax struggled to meet shoppers’ shipping expectations, especially as an East Coast business with customers across the country. “Monday and Tuesday, everybody’s ordering because they need this stuff by Thursday and Friday for their next trip,” he explains. “Our site couldn’t predict shipping in a reliable fashion.”

This problem was impacting customers and straining the customer service team. “A lot of time was spent on customer service—answering questions about when we think their orders would arrive, because they needed it for their upcoming trip,” Marc says. “Before Buy with Prime came along, I was wondering how I was going to solve that problem. So when Buy with Prime became available, I was like, ‘Sign me up!’”

Getting products to shoppers faster using Buy with Prime

Buy with Prime allows participating businesses to offer Prime shopping benefits directly on their own ecommerce sites. This year, Marc added Buy with Prime to his website to better support RaceWax’s customers. Since adding Buy with Prime, Prime members who shop at RaceWax online get the fast, free shipping they love from Amazon.com on select products, with shipping estimates and timely delivery notifications.

Buy with Prime isn’t just helping RaceWax meet its customers’ expectations. It’s also allowing the business to leverage Amazon fulfillment services to help store, pack, and deliver products, so RaceWax can focus on other areas. “It’s a new world for me, transitioning from in-house fulfillment to leveraging Amazon fulfillment services,” says Marc. “We’re already starting to see the effects of it. It is less demanding on our time in-house, and has helped us increase our production.”

As a small business, having that extra time back to focus on other business needs can make all the difference. “We used to struggle to keep production on pace with sales because we assemble all the kits in-house, but now, we have more time to spend on production,” he explains. “We’ve never had this level of products in stock before, and it’s all because we have more time to devote to it.” Marc is excited to see how Buy with Prime will support RaceWax’s busy season, especially as the team continues to ramp up its inventory.

To hear what other merchants are saying about their experience with Buy with Prime, check out our other merchant spotlights on the blog and testimonials. And if you’re ready to discover how Buy with Prime can support your online store, join the interest list.

Megan Kizer