- Successful e-commerce equation: knowledge, service, swag -
HEBER CITY, UT (May 6, 2002) ñ In the uncertain world of Ecommerce, where big name outdoor retailers flash and flame out, one privately held retailer has persevered.
BackcountryStore.com – an e-commerce adventure that started in a bare apartment in Heber City, Utah with the sale of one avalanche transceiver – is about to clear what amounts to the crux on Internet business ascents. This May, the high-end outdoor gear site will celebrate its 5th Anniversary.
Over the past five years, BackcountryStore.com hasn’t just held on, it has thrived, doubling in size, traffic, gross and volume each year. The number of online visits keeps growing, as gear-heads discover BackcountryStore.com’s combination of the best outdoor hardware, software and accessories, world-class customer service and free shipping.
The formula for the New Economy, as interpreted by BackcountryStore.com, appears to be “follow the lessons of the Old Economy.”
“Our knowledge, service and fiscal discipline fuel our growth,” said Jim Holland, chief executive officer of BackcountryStore.com. “Everyone at BackcountryStore.com, from the management to our customer service crew, spends a ton of time in the outdoors, using and abusing the gear we sell. We know what performs and thatís what we sell.”
BackcountryStore.com has also applied the financial frugality they acquired from their years ski bumming to their business finances, with some serious bootstrapping that would make the thriftiest skid proud.
“For our shipping needs, we used to intercept people at the entrance to the recycling center and grab cardboard boxes. We also sourced used boxes from the grocery stores and modified them with steak knives as needed. I became a master box-maker,” says Holland.
They acquired free desks from the U.S. Ski Team when the team redesigned their offices, and made other desks out of badly-dinged doors found at the local lumber store. BackcountryStore.com uses their marketing director’s plastic patio furniture for their conference room seating.
“We reinvest every penny we make, channeling it toward expanded inventory, marketing programs that work, and software,” explained Holland.
And, in the beginning, they employed the currency that is universally accepted among the outdoor community — swag. “We bartered for help with our phone system, seasonal shipping help, and help with our all too frequent moves due to expansion. We once traded a pair of telemark boots for construction help that put up a wall to separate the office section of the garage from the retail store and the packaging area,” said Holland.
BackcountryStore.com’s style has grabbed the attention of core customers and manufacturers in the outdoor adventure markets. Customers have shared their experience with their buddies, giving the site it’s most powerful form of marketing. Manufacturers have picked-up on the site’s buzz and have begun selling lines and models to BackcountryStore.com that were previously unavailable to on-line retailers, like Burton’s backcountry split boards, the Oakley Premium Dealer line and high-end alpine ski equipment from Atomic and Rossignol. It is a barrier BackcountryStore.com is happy to have cleared as they continue to expand their line of high-end performance gear.
Rather than kick back and celebrate the 5th Anniversary milestone, BackcountryStore.com is gearing-up for more growth. It’s upgrading its e-commerce platform. It’s hiring new staff to keep up with demand. It’s modernizing its warehouse so outdoor enthusiasts will get their pack, board or shades even faster, and it has hired Jeff Carter, a veteran operations manager from the Sundance Catalog company to oversee the mammoth endeavor.
At BackcountryStore.com, the successful e-commerce equation is simple: combine the best backcountry gear with the best, most knowledgeable service, free and prompt shipping, and watch your pennies.
With headquarters in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Heber City, Utah, BackcountryStore.com sells high-end, specialty gear for backcountry adventures, including skiing, snowboarding, climbing, trail running, camping and hiking. Founded in 1997, BackcountryStore.com is staffed by backcountry veterans and gear fanatics who understand the importance of choosing the right gear. The site has had 16 consecutive prosperous quartersBackcountryStore.com is a Gomez Certified Three Star Merchant and certified by BBB Online Reliability Program. For more information visit http://www.BackcountryStore.com.