Marketing a Pure Play E-Tailer: Historical Emporium Inc

10 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Paul Farris

Paul Farris

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

The material in this case provides customer data that were available to the case protagonists to make data-driven decisions. From their garage to a 16,000-square-foot warehouse and office in San Jose, California, Chris and Alicia Allen built a business, Historical Emporium Inc. (HEI) that generated nearly $8 million in sales in 2015. They both had previously worked in the technology field. In true techie fashion, the pair continually thought about ways they could use digital tools to increase sales and enhance customer experience. One of the main drivers of HEI's rapid growth had been the steampunk trend that started back in 2006. Initially there were few competitors in the space but as the size of the market grew, so did the competition. Noticing the dip in their sales, the Allen's wanted to pursue avenues to backfill the loss of that business. They returned to the analytics—what should they concentrate on to draw new customers and keep existing customers engaged?

Excerpt

UVA-M-0901

Rev. Sept. 19, 2016

Marketing a Pure Play E-Tailer: Historical Emporium Inc.

Chris Allen, CFO of Historical Emporium Inc. (HEI), had always wanted to become an entrepreneur, though he had never envisioned himself in the historical clothing retail business. He was a financial professional who had worked for Hewlett-Packard and several start-ups and consultancies in Silicon Valley. His father, Terry, had become a Civil War reenactor and operated a small traveling store that offered Civil War–style clothing for men throughout the U.S. Midwest.

Chris's wife, Alicia, a techie with a business degree, worked as a product development consultant and helped develop business websites. By the time Chris and Alicia had two children, they were ready to pursue a business that would offer more flexibility than the average start-up in Silicon Valley. So in 2003, Alicia and Chris decided to take a crack at selling historical costumes and took over the business but added a twist—instead of a traveling store, they would become an online retailer.

From their garage to a 16,000-square-foot warehouse and office in San Jose, California, the Allens built a business that generated nearly $ 8million in sales in 2015. And in true techie fashion, the pair continually thought about other ways they could use digital tools to increase sales and enhance customer experience. The number of available online marketing campaigns was vast, but each one cost money and the Allens were looking for the best bang for their click.

. . .

Keywords: resource allocation, AdWords, Google Analytics, marketing analytics, channel marketing, consumer behavior

Suggested Citation

Farris, Paul and Yemen, Gerry, Marketing a Pure Play E-Tailer: Historical Emporium Inc. Darden Case No. UVA-M-0901. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974746

Paul Farris (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-0524 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/farris.htm

Gerry Yemen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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