|Lands End leveraged data science to make its way back on firmer ground / Photo Credit: leungchopan (via Shutterstock)|
Before 2019 came to a close, US retailer Lands End showed signs that its long-awaited turnaround was finally paying off as its share price skyrocketed to 21%, reported Stuart Lauchlan of business insights new platform Diginomica. Lands End is certainly on firmer ground even if it may be too soon to assume that it is out of trouble. At the recent ICR conference in Orlando, CEO Jerome Griffith shared his thoughts. He took over in early 2017 and he thought it was a brand that still had a “great brand name.” Lands End started as a catalog-based firm and it successfully transitioned to an online model. Presently, 60% of revenue originates from its US e-commerce business and another 12% from international.
Lands End endeavored to be digitally-driven with three elements: Grounding data-driven decisions on a test-and-learn philosophy, focusing on mobile, and utilizing AI for dynamic pricing and price clarity to encourage upsell and conversion by making real-time deals. Griffith narrated, “We’ve done early work on AI, early work on machine learning, we've done some early work on 3D design and making a lot of efficiencies in the company and that's going in the [right] direction, but there's so much more to do.” His team also worked on upgrading the mobile experience.
Being data-driven prompted Lands End to invest in its own in-house data science capabilities and build its own team. Griffith admitted, “A lot of them come from academics, and they've done a very good job with us, it's probably been the hardest job to recruit for though.” He added that every piece of data they have collected—ranging from product data and consumer data to demographic data—has been utilized.
He said, “The hardest thing was really getting everything into a single format from all the different areas where we pull data, because we have different divisions.” These divisions are the Leo division (all uniforms), international— which is on different platforms—the US division, and store division. “So information coming in from all those places had to be put together in a similar format so you can access it,” Griffith continued. Everything Griffith and his team have done has been thoroughly executed. We can say that 2020 can be a tipping point for the better for Lands End.