Aqua Magazine - April 2001
Aqua 100 Web Site Spotlight
Daniel Harrison is president and CEO of Long Island Hot Tubs in Yaphank, N.Y., and also the man behind what some refer to as the world’s largest on-line pool and spa store and information clearinghouse – Poolandspa.com.
Back in 1995, before most people even had Internet access, Harrison and his company began to explore the idea of making a Web site for the pool and spa industry to take pressure off its phone order business. It took more than six months to plan, develop, program and create the initial site, which it dubbed, “The Virtual Pool & Spa Store.” This first forray into E-tailing contained 150 pages and greatly increased sales of the company’s aftermarket spa products, according to Harrison. For the next several years, Internet sales grew steadily, the mailing list blossomed from a few hundred to tens of thousands, and the company changed the name of its site to the now-familiar Poolandspa.com. Today, the site contains more than 2,000 pages of photographs, articles, how-to information and products.
“We believe that shopping at home is the thing of the future,” says Harrison. “If all goes well, we will position Poolandspa.com in the marketplace as the place for pool and spa owners to shop for all their aftermarket needs – the Amazon.com of the pool and spa industry.”
What makes the site special besides its enormity? Well, to understand its depth, it’s perhaps best to examine a small part of the site in some detail. By clicking on the “Pool Information” link, the user is given a bunch of choices including pool photos, the pros and cons of different pool types, a dealer locator, the basics of water chemistry, maintenance tips, information about backwashing filters, winterization tips and even a list of books about pools from Amazon.com. And the information isn’t just for regular pool owners. The maintenance tip section has technical articles that only and advanced pool technician could stomach.
There are many other sites with splashier graphics and more beautiful, high-end installation pictures, but there are none that we’re aware of to match the scope and depth of Poolandspa.com.