For Backcountry, a best-in-class customer experience is central to its company ethos. Across all of its brands — Competitive Cyclist, Motosport, Bergfreunde, and Steep & Cheap — their business strategy is centered on delivering value-added services.
One of Backcountry’s strongest value-adds is its team of Gearheads: a dedicated group of outdoor experts and gear enthusiasts who provide 24/7, personalized product expertise. So when Backcountry customers started inquiring about additional product protection beyond the manufacturer’s warranties and a desire for accident coverage, Backcountry hit the ground running to find a solution.
Backcountry’s customers ride hard, play hard, and push their gear — and themselves — to the limit. Inevitably their gear becomes too damaged from wear and tear and can’t take another ride, climb, or hike. That damage isn’t covered by manufacturer guarantees, so when customers turned to Backcountry for a solution, the company had to make a choice: create an unhappy customer or eat the cost?
Without product protection, Backcountry was losing up to an estimated $7 million a year eating product replacement costs and losing incremental revenue to do right by their customers. They knew they needed a solution to stop those losses and improve the customer experience.
After assessing Clyde, Mulberry, and Extend, Extend became the easy choice to partner with because it was the only solution with benefits that extended well beyond protection plans.
For Todd Anderson, Director - Bike and Powersports Gearheads at Backcountry, customer satisfaction isn’t just a business goal — it’s a passion. He wants customers getting after their next adventure without worrying about the cost of replacing damaged gear. His commitment to putting customers first is a value he and Backcountry weren’t willing to compromise on in a product protection solution.
“There are so many businesses for customers to choose from and if you don’t take care of your customers, they’re really quick to write a business off and move on to the next one,” Todd said, emphasizing how critical it was for Backcountry to find a company whose values aligned with their own.
From the outset, Extend demonstrated a sense of dedication to Backcountry that set itself apart from other solutions they were considering. While Todd was impressed with the collective experience of Extend’s seasoned leadership, it was the human, personal support and communication he received from the team at Extend that really struck him. From the Merchant Services team to Extend’s own CEO, Woody Levin, the team took time to understand Backcountry’s needs and build a solution that embodied the customer-first ethos. As Todd put it, “Extend didn’t just talk the talk — they walked the walk.”
With Extend, Gearheads have the independence to file and manage claims on behalf of their customers. Compared to Clyde and Mulberry, Extend made it easy and straightforward for Gearheads to take ownership of the process. Kaley, Extend’s virtual claims specialist, streamlines filing and tracking claims so Gearheads can get customers’ gear replaced fast and hassle-free. And because Extend was the only solution with Field Sales Enablement, Backcountry developed a three-part training plan with Extend’s Integration and Training Team to teach Gearheads best practices on offering product protection and filing claims on behalf of customers.
Backcountry also loved how Extend is the only product protection solution that can cover their wide range of products across their portfolio of 10 million SKUs. Extend’s proprietary insurance stack allows the creation of new programs to cover significantly more products than Clyde and Mulberry can. Extend already offered product protection plans relevant to Backcountry’s business, including wheel and tire protection plans for ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles, as well as helmet protection plans. More product coverage, more happy customers.
For Todd, Extend wasn’t just a perfect match for everything they needed in a product protection partner — providing product protection plans for Backcountry’s customers was beneficial for them and for the company. “It’s a no-brainer from a financial perspective. It’s a non-overhead product (you don’t have to inventory it or stock it), fantastic margins, and it’s a value-add to the customer. Not only is it benefitting the business financially, it’s a very low lift on the business’s part to integrate it and offer it to customers.”
The benefits of using Extend came quickly for Backcountry. Their units per order (UPO) increased by +10.7bps (driven by Motosport and Competitive Cyclist) while average order value (AOV) increased by +32bps (largely driven by outsized lift on Competitive Cyclist) as customers began adding protection plans to items. Additionally, they experienced an increase in sitewide conversion: +5bps on Backcountry and Competitive Cyclist and +15bps on Motosport, respectively. Backcountry found that customers who purchased Extend protection plans became significantly higher-value customers: higher units per order, higher average order value, and the customer’s overall two-year lifetime value increased.
With Extend, Backcountry is now able to own the post-purchase experience, providing customers with unmatched service and product coverage that builds long-term loyalty and keeps them coming back to gear up for their next adventure. Customer expectations are changing, and product protection has become non-negotiable. Backcountry exceeds those expectations by delighting their customers and increasing their overall revenue with value-added services — a win-win for everyone.
"For us, product protection is a no-brainer. We want customers enjoying their gear without worrying about damaging it — because if they’re not, we’re not succeeding as a business.”
Director - Bike and Powersports Gearheads at Backcountry