28 May 2019 | Case Study

Mattress Ecommerce Company Makes Decisions With Data That Never Sleeps

Ciara Rafferty
Ciara Rafferty
Mattress Ecommerce Company Makes Decisions With Data That Never Sleeps
With centralised data, mattress ecommerce company reduces product return rates, advertises more effectively, gains an understanding of costs and margins, and improves processes.

Key Takeaways

  • The business has an ROI of 1000% with Fivetran.
  • Fivetran has saved three BI employees 20-30 working hours each per week.
  • With centralised data, the business reduced return rates from 12% to 10%, determined which days/times are best to advertise, and gained an understanding of manufacturing costs.
  • Reporting that used to take two to three days now takes minutes.
  • Active Power BI users increased from a small handful of senior management employees to 50-60 users across multiple departments.

Data Stack

Moving Away From Manual Data Extraction

Our customer, a mattress ecommerce company, specialises in mattresses, pillows and box springs. The company’s Head of BI is responsible for maintaining the entire data infrastructure. This includes acquiring, curating and loading data to the company’s database, and creating monthly and weekly reports on a daily basis for senior management, shareholders and investors.

With all the company’s data in disparate sources, however, handling the data and creating reports was far more difficult than it needed to be. Sales reports could be downloaded from the ERP system in Magento, but the marketing data from sources including Facebook, Google and Criteo had to be manually downloaded and consolidated into one Excel sheet by a BI team member. At least three employees were fully dedicated to extracting data from sources. Since the process took so long, the company could only analyze a limited number of data sources. The Head of BI set out looking for an automated solution that would help the business regain its time so it could be put towards generating insights.

Customer Service That Makes a Difference

When looking for an ETL solution, the company was focused on three main factors: the number of connectors, the level of technical support and the cost. The Head of BI trialled a few tools and found onboarding Fivetran connectors to be a fairly simple process, especially with the available documentation and responsive support team. “Fivetran support has been great so far,” he says. “There were a couple of technical issues at first, but Fivetran’s response was great – the team took the responsibility, worked on it and continue to update the product regularly.”

When it came to choosing a warehouse, the company evaluated competitors based on support plans and compatibility with ETL tools. It found that Redshift worked very well with Fivetran.

A Data Hungry Organisation Takes Shape

Centralising data with Fivetran has completely changed the company’s processes. “Initially we had different teams with different Excel dashboards doing calculations of their own,” the Head of BI explains. “Having Fivetran as our tool to get our data has standardized our KPI calculations across the board.”

With an automated process in place, the three employees that previously spent the majority of their time manually moving data into Excel docs are now able to focus on analysis. Fivetran has saved them each 20-30 hours per week. “If there was no Fivetran I would need two people working on gathering and curating the data from different data sources full-time,” says the Head of BI.

Having readily available data has created a data-hungry organisation. In the past, a report request could take one to three days to generate, or be deemed an impossible request. With centralised data, reporting now takes mere minutes. “There has been a huge shift in culture. Now everyone wants more data points, and they want them immediately. It has improved the standards of data accuracy in the company.” In the past, ten people – mostly senior management – were the only people looking at Power BI dashboards. Now, there are around 20-30 active users across multiple departments including Marketing, Operations, Business Development, Product Development and Customer Support.

Better Business Decisions With Centralised Data

With centralised data, the business has been able to gain deeper insights around advertising, return rates and margins that have led to better business decisions.

The BI team was interested in the day of the week and time of day that most sales occur across different countries and was surprised to find that the results differ between B2B and B2C. The Head of BI was able to create a dashboard with this data, which has helped establish new processes within the company. “With the data, we now know what days to advertise and what times to advertise. Similarly, the Software Deployment team knows what time of day is best to deploy new software versions.”

The business knew how much revenue it was making, but lacked accurate visibility on return rates. It now has a central dashboard that shows the reasons customers make returns in different countries. One thing the data revealed is that customers in northwestern European countries have a very particular reason for returning mattresses compared to customers in southwestern European countries. “With visibility into return rates, we were able to modify our processes and lower our return rates from about 12% to about 10%, and even lower in some countries. We were only able to do this because we have accurate, centralised data.”

The business uses a number of mattress parts, suppliers and warehouses for stock and assembly across multiple countries – all of which have differing costs. The Operations team used to receive the cost data from multiple manufacturers in an email and store it manually in Excel. “They didn’t know what each mattress component cost and from which supplier – the information was in a black box,” the Head of BI explains. “Because the margins were unclear, we couldn’t make decisions on how the marketing budget should be spent.” With an API from the manufacturer to Magento and a Fivetran connector from Magento to its database, the business knows exactly how many suppliers, warehouses and materials it has across the world. “With manufacturer information in our database, we have a better picture of margins which has helped us make better decisions on marketing spend. It has also given us insight into which countries have efficient manufacturing processes so we can replicate that in different markets.”

Want to see how centralised data can lead to deeper insights and help drive smarter business decisions? The Fivetran team is available to present a demo of our service, or you can sign up for a free trial here.

About Fivetran: Our standardised technology delivers data into your warehouse the right way. Shaped by the real-world needs of data analysts, Fivetran technology supports agile analytics, enabling data-backed decisions across organisations. After a five-minute setup, Fivetran replicates all your applications, databases, events and files into a high-performance data warehouse. Our standardised cloud pipelines are fully managed and zero-maintenance.

About Amazon Redshift: Amazon Redshift is a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse solution that makes it simple and cost-effective to efficiently analyse all of your data using your existing business intelligence tools.

About Microsoft Power BI: Microsoft Power BI is a business analytics solution that enables users to visualise data and generate and share insights.

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