Enhanced customer analytics support REI’s competitive advantage
Like many retailers, REI has an abundance of customer data, equivalent to more than 90 terabytes. The differentiator is REI’s co-op membership. Co-op members contribute to REI’s success and account for more than 90 percent of purchases with the retailer. With members’ active engagement, the co-op has access to critical customer data, leveraging it to create a more personal experience—particularly online.
To compete against e-commerce and brick-and-mortar competitors, REI has moved from Excel tables housing billions of rows of data to advanced analytics in Tableau. Today, various teams utilize Tableau dashboards to uncover the most important insights and apply them towards an improved customer experience. The REI team now monitors metrics like: attribution, customer lifetime value, customer and member counts, churn and retention rates, items per order, price per item and frequency of trips across digital and brick-and-mortar stores.
By analyzing acquisition, retention, and reactivation metrics in Tableau, teams determine the trade-offs of investing in retail stories versus digital experiences. Based on these metrics, REI teams have also developed enhanced member lifecycle programs to increase customer loyalty and repeat sales. “We’ve seen a complete turnaround in 2017 with new member acquisition,” says Clinton Fowler, Director of Customer and Advanced Analytics.
From an operations perspective, the team also uses Tableau to analyze customer segmentations, which inform decisions like shipping methods, member lifecycle management, and product category assortments.
“For REI it's incredibly important for us to think about how we can leverage analytics as a competitive advantage to discover insights and provide a better customer experience for the customers that we've serviced for 78 years—and continue to do so in the future,” explained Clinton.