This field-based case follows Chris Purkey, the senior vice president of sales and customer service at Backcountry.com, in his journey to use data analytics to improve customer engagement in the outdoor products retailer. Sales staff at Backcountry.com are affectionately known as Gearheads, a nod to their knowledge about the outdoor gear the company sold. For Purkey, the customer relationship is everything. Connecting with its passionate outdoor fans is critical for Backcountry.com. But how? This case unfolds Purkey’s pioneering use of data analytics to keep track of granular customer data in order to help the Gearheads connect even better with their customers. By detailing the history of data science and its use in retail, the case helps students understand the connection between data analytics and the ability of a retailer to build loyalty and increase revenue. Purkey is considering extending the brand with a brick-and-mortar strategy. The company added a physical location for the first time in 2021, and now it was considering adding more. How could the weekly scorecard with key performance indicators showing statistics on sales, phone calls, response rates and sales help? Could it be used if the company extended its brick-and-mortar strategy? This case is taught at Darden in the Executive Education programs; it would also be suitable in a module covering data science, strategy, or marketing analytics.
- Examine the history of data science and its use in retail - Understand how data analytics can be used to improve customer relationships and loyalty - Consider the role of analytics as an online retailer extends to a brick-and-mortar strategy - Analyze key performance indicators that Backcountry.com uses in its daily scorecard