Pro-Form Sales Via a Coupon?

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
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Do you have a scenario where you need to limit your store’s offerings to only pre-approved customers, yet you do not know who these customers are ahead of time? This is a common scenario in the action-sports industry (and others) where companies will make pro-form sales available to people within in the industry (Ski Patrol, Ski Instructors, etc…). In this case, a ski brand may offer a pro-form discount to all of the ski patrol members at Vail, yet the brand does not know who the individual ski patrollers are.

In the “old” days, the common solution would be for companies to provide either a paper pro-form that was to be faxed, or have an online registration form on their website. Paper forms are no longer appropriate as they violate every tenant of PCI compliance, and online registration forms can encourage abuse. Even worse, “standard” customers can discover your online registration form. When found, it clearly shows them that you engage in customer segmentation and that they are on the “loosing” side.

A much better solution is to use an eCommerce system that allows you to use its coupon functionality to not only provide discounts, but to assign customers who redeem a coupon to a specific customer type that you designate. With this functionality, a ski instructor could gain instant access to your pro-form store that is inaccessible to the general public and see their specific pricing by simply entering a one-time coupon code. With this structure, customers have no access or visibility to your inside industry store, and fraud is eliminated since the ski instructor cannot share their coupon code with anyone else.

If you are a brand in the action-sports industry (or any industry that provides discounted products to influencers) be sure to select an eCommerce system that supports customer type assignment (or segmentation) via a coupon. I am happy to confirm that the Nexternal eCommerce Platform includes this functionality, and is trusted by some of the best brands in sports.


Craig is the VP of Sales at Nexternal and is known in the industry as an expert in eCommerce, systems integrations, and online marketing. Craig has been with Nexternal since 2000 and his passion and experience are apparent to all who work with him.