Mint Velvet is a British success story, growing to over 100 locations internationally, including standalone stores and concessions, in less than 10 years. As our first client, Datitude is particularly proud to be Mint Velvet's business intelligence and CRM partner.
CUSTOMER & RETAIL DATA PLATFORM INCLUDING DIRECT MARKETING CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT & SUBSCRIBER CENTRE
YEAR OF ENGAGEMENT
Original Project Background & Challenges
Our partnership with Mint Velvet began in 2012 when they asked us to build a customer analytics solution. Back then, it was struggling to understand customer behaviour with the tools it had, and its biggest challenge was understanding how effective its direct mail (DM) activities were.
- did it drive new customer acquisition or loyalty, or both?
- could customer segmentation be used to improve margins?
- was it even a profitable channel?
At the time, DM campaign analysis was outsourced to a specialist agency and, whilst the response and financial analysis were good, it was severely limited by the time taken to get results (6 weeks after campaign completion), and the breadth and depth of analysis was limited by the data available. Mint Velvet was missing opportunities to improve performance whilst the campaign was live, and it could not fully understand the drivers of customer behaviour, essential for taking corrective actions. It needed a solution that would provide:
- robust and detailed analytics of customers, products and orders
- real-time DM campaign analytics to improve marketing communications, website messaging and stock availability whilst in progress
- connected data from across the business to inform direct marketing decisions, eg. knowing customer lifetime values, use of promotions and returns rates from all time and all channels, not just the data from the campaign recipients for the period of the campaign
- highest accuracy to find look-alikes with more timely and accurate customer data.
Datitude’s Original Solution & Results
Datitude introduced fast and secure access to accurate, up to date and trusted trading and customer data in a single managed, scalable, and easy-to-use solution. It integrated and processed source data from multiple systems (store, ecommerce, merchandising, email, web analytics, e-receipts) to create standardised data sources and a single version of the truth across customers, sales, and stock.
Out-of-the-box workbooks, reports and analytics, including visualisations and dashboards, were automated and accessed via a Tableau front-end.
One of the immediate benefits gained was the ability to report and act upon customer data insights literally as the DM campaign landed. It also brought the management of its direct mail campaigns in-house and so it became more agile, able to use data to engage with customers on a more personalised level, which is where the real gains are. It also increased the success of cold data selections as a direct result of providing more timely and accurate data to data co-operatives.
In addition, Mint Velvet can now build campaigns by channel, segment, discount type and product using customer insight. Plus, it knows each campaign’s profitability because Datitude’s tools more accurately attribute orders to the right campaign with intelligent match-back analysis.
The Success Story Continues
It’s hard to believe Mint Velvet’s relaxed glamour concept only originated in 2009, with the first store opening in September that year, followed a month later with the launch of their website. Fast forward 10 years and it’s grown to over 100 locations (standalone stores and concessions), launched new product categories and is at the forefront of omnichannel retailing.
As Mint Velvet has grown, so too has our relationship with them, and the scope of our work has increased significantly. We’ve developed the original core business intelligence and customer data analytics solution to include:
2 further user interfaces which offer UI solutions for different users’ needs.
- Datitude’s own proprietary web application with simple Report Builder and Data Extract tools
- The Data by Datitude Excel add-in enables users to quickly and easily access reports already built in Datitude straight from Excel, all with a single sign on. Users can use tools they already know and love whilst having confidence in the data.
CRM Module to provide deeper insight into customer behaviour:
- Direct access to the customer database to understand customers and their behaviour with easy-to-understand charts
- Contact Manager allows users to look up customers and see full profiles – order and returns history, RFM segmentation, subscriber history
- Matchback tool for identifying customers using emails or order numbers
- Suppression Tool – this key tool for data compliance management enables customers to be suppressed from communications
- GDPR right-to-be-forgotten and subject access requests can be managed with full audit logs.
- a centralised tool for managing subscriber acquisition and changes to communication preferences across multiple channels (including instore and third-party). Changes to communication preferences are automatically checked, validated, and updated, with alerts if any errors are logged. At its heart is a reporting tool providing enhanced analytics capabilities and business intelligence on how subscribers are responding to, and engaging with, marketing campaigns and the impact of this on customer segmentation and lifetime value.
The Mint Velvet team make extensive use of all these features within Datitude’s customer and retail data platform. The data universe now at its fingertips is enabling better data-driven decisions to shape the business. Here’s a small sample of the data insights available to them through the platform:
- Customer modelling – lifetime value, RFM segmentation, sales and returns history, subscriber status, loyalty index, potential VIPs, customers at risk of churning
- Guest and registered customers reliably matched to customer profiles
- Subscriber counts by type (email, catalogues and third parties) with event sources (store point of sale, ESP, online, Subscriber Centre), plus opt-in and opt-out rates by type and customer segment
- Repeat purchase and purchase frequency rates
- Top rated products, loyalty generating products and best-selling product combinations
- Response to promotions and impact of pricing on customer behaviour and lifetime values
- Margin visibility and growth across channel, price and product mix.
Real-time, accurate and actionable insight into trading, marketing performance and customer behaviour are crucial for any business, not just retail, and Datitude is proud to be a data solution partner to Mint Velvet.
"Mint Velvet began their relationship with Datitude in 2012 when consistent growth dictated that we needed greater business insights around trading activity and customer behaviour. Datitude provided Mint Velvet with access to integrated data, from multiple systems, through a self-service data analytics front-end, alongside a suite of out-of-the-box reports and dashboards.
The platform also has the ability to extract data for slicing and dicing data in any way, including directly into Excel.
Datitude has been a daily go-to for Mint Velvet over the course of the last 9+ years, helping to shape business decisions.
However, Datitude’s real point of difference is them – the team that run the business really understand ecommerce, so they are always able to provide real-life insights and are passionate about helping businesses learn and adapt via their product."
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