February 24 - 27, 2020
JW Marriott, Palm Springs, CA
Here's How Backcountry.com Is Delivering an Award Winning eCommerce Service
Beginning life with just two guys selling avalanche beacons from a Park City, Utah, garage in 1996, Backcountry.com has been in the ecommerce business since the infancy of domestic internet. Today Backcountry.com provides its customers with everything they could possibly need to explore the great outdoor spaces of America.
With a brand portfolio which covers everything from cycling, to motorsports, and even a European outdoor gear supplier based in Germany - Backcountry.com knows what it means to do business in the modern global space.
Backcountry.com doesn't just sell equipment for outdoor activities, but is an active participant in those communities as well. With arranged company expeditions and trips, and perks such as allowing dogs in the office - Backcounty.com takes work-life balance very seriously.
(Image source: themuse.com)
"Backcountry is a family of ecommerce websites, with a mission of connecting people to their passions," said CEO, Jonathan Nielsen. "So, we only operate in specialty retail spaces [...] where customers are very passionate about their products. We look to hire people [...] who want to work in a growing company which is evolving with the way consumers shop online and the way they interact with brands, and consumers who are passionate about the outdoor space.
"I think we have a really unique opportunity here, given where we're located, and the fact we operate in passion-based industries, to attract people who have worked really hard, in really interesting places, solving big problems. I really feel I have the best confluence of a compelling career and a lifestyle that allows me to live as holistically as possible."
Backcountry.com has been at the forefront of ecommerce innovation since before the term had even been coined. When the topic comes up, minds inevitably turn to factors such as how brands engage with their audience on social media, or whether their app has a cool new feature which makes the online experience simpler or more fun for their customers. However, Backcountry.com have recently been recognized for innovation in an area often ignored in such discussions - the mailroom.
In all the excitement around mobile and social media, the fact that ecommerce companies need to process orders and get them shipped out to customers in the most efficient manner possible sometimes falls by the wayside.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) however, are obviously rather invested in this element of commerce and present an annual Innovation in eCommerce Shipping Award to any company it feels has gone above and beyond in their efforts to innovate their distribution centers.
Backcounty.com was nominated for the Innovation in eCommerce Shipping Award 2017 when a USPS representative was given a demonstration of its new CVP-500 automated packing solution while on a tour of the company's facilities.
(Video source: youtube.com)
Able to produce more than 350 packages every hour, the CVP-500 represents a quantum leap forwards in the way ecommerce products can be delivered. Cardboard is taken from a ream and automatically cut to fit each laser-measured package - meaning less packaging per parcel, and less wasted material. The machine then neatly wraps the item in the packaging material, which is then weighed before the appropriate postage sticker is applied.
Not only are savings made in the packaging materials used, but the speed at which the CVP-500 operates allows for more deliveries to be loaded on each outgoing truck, further reducing the per-delivery cost.
The CVP-500 saves ecommerce companies between $1 and $2 per package. For a busy company such as Backcountry.com this can translate to thousands of dollars saved every single day. Not only can these savings be passed on to the customer to keep checkout-applied shipping prices down, but the machine's efficiency means consumers can receive their items quicker than ever.
"Many shippers believe that the customer experience ends with the 'order' button, but it's important to note that it's actually shipping (including returns) that concludes the experience of online shopping and alters customer lifetime value," said ProShip, the company which developed the CVP-500.
"For instance, when an online shopper is presented with a single shipping option of receiving their item after the date they need it by, an average of 47% of the shoppers will abandon their cart and go with a competitor's site that offers better delivery options, so the customer can receive it within the timeframe needed. And that's nothing - 54% of shoppers will abandon their carts because of expensive shipping. That's more than half of your customers!"
A Win-Win Situation
In identifying the benefits of innovating, not just in the way the company engages with or makes sales to its clients, but also in the way each order is completed at the final stage, Backcountry.com has figured out how to retain more customers and cut down on abandoned cart rates - all while reducing unnecessary overheads.
The last word goes to Jeff Carter, Senior Vice President, Fulfilment Operations at Backcountry.com.
"It's great to be recognized by a national shipper for innovations that not only benefit us but also benefit the environment and the carriers. Ultimately for us, the CVP-500 leads to more efficient processes and reduces costs."
Download the Etail West 2018 Agenda to learn more.