MEET THE CLIENT: GREAT LITTLE TRADING CO & NATALIE GARDINER
In this series, we catch up with some of our clients to shine a light on their business, find out what Datitude means to them and understand how they are using our platform to get more from their data.
First up it's the wonderful Natalie Gardiner, Consultant at Great Little Trading Co (GLTC).
Tell us a bit about yourself Natalie
I joined GLTC 10 years ago from a background in e-commerce management and, having left the company to start a family, returned shortly afterward as a Consultant covering Operations, Customer Insight and Offline Marketing.
After completing my MBA which allowed for a lot of reflection, I wanted a move away from big companies with tall structures and a slow rate of change. Joining GLTC allowed me to work directly with all parts of the business. It has a great culture and the structure is fairly flat so everyone in the team has a voice and an opportunity to contribute to the strategic direction of the company. The team are a pleasure to work with and have such great commitment to striving for our company goals.
What should our readers know about GLTC?
Our customers and suppliers are often surprised to hear what a small team we are. There are only 25 in the team and we are often told that we “punch above our weight”. Our team passionately believes in our product. The fantastic attention to detail in everything we do, from designing and testing our toys and furniture to our beautiful photography and web design, perhaps does give the impression that we are a much bigger “corporation”. But really, we are a small, yet perfectly formed business.
How did GLTC manage its data integrations and analytics prior to Data by Datitude?
Prior to working with Datitude all of GLTC's data was held in multiple spreadsheets coming from multiple agencies in all different formats and at all different times. It was messy!
What were the biggest challenges facing the business?
Lack of visibility of how we were doing was a real challenge. We had data by the bucket load but no single view of it, no information coming out of it so data rather than info, and perhaps worst of all, it wasn’t timely so we were always acting on intel that was already starting to be a bit out of date. We were also relying on agencies to send data to us and then we were trying to format it to match up all the other data sources.
Why did GLTC choose Datitude’s platform?
Sarah and Gavin were a big part of the reason GLTC wanted to work with Datitude. They took time to understand the business and make sure what they were offering was a good fit. That still remains true all these years later; despite how much change the business has been through, Sarah and Gavin and the rest of the team at Datitude know the business as well as if they were part of our team. They keep up to date with us, seeking ways to continually add value to the service they offer and making sure we are getting everything we need from the platform. Any data solutions business should aspire to Datitude's customer relationship skills.
Which teams use the platform the most and why?
I’m probably the most frequent user of the platform and the app, using it almost every day to help inform decisions the senior team need to make. The marketing team rely on Datitude's platform for managing the house file, daily, weekly and monthly reporting of multiple channels and ad-hoc analysis. Our merchandisers also use the platform regularly to look at product-level analysis.
How does Data by Datitude help to power insights and influence business decisions?
Generally any decision made by the business is based on some information we have obtained from the platform. Any hypothesis we have about marketing tests, customer behaviour, etc can generally be tested by looking at the platform.
What’s the most awesome insight the business has obtained from Data by Datitude, and why?
Probably the insights we gained into customer loyalty and what the drivers were for loyalty and hence profitability. These insights led to changes in product selection, marketing strategy and spend, and continue to shape GLTC’s overall strategy.
What’s next for GLTC? (that you can share with us!)
Like others in our field, we need to navigate the difficult situation we find ourselves in with costs rising across all areas of the business and in particular, the costs of shipping goods into our warehouse during a global freight crisis. Aside from trading through a pandemic, we are continuing to build up our beautiful new nursery range which launched last year and is getting bigger as we add great new designs for stylish, practical nurseries.
2021 has been a bumper year for product awards for our in-house designs and also the year we really made massive progress towards becoming the sustainable business we all aspired to be.
"2021 has been a bumper year for product awards for our in-house designs and also the year we really made massive progress towards becoming the sustainable business we all aspired to be".
All our new toys are in plastic-free packaging and we have ditched plastic in our warehouse, investing in sustainable, paper-based despatch packaging. We are very proud of our warehousing partners who have supported our sustainability goals, achieved Carbon Neutral status and also been certified by the Carbon Trust.
Our deepest thanks go to Natalie, and congratulations to GLTC on all the accolades received this year.
If you're not familiar with GLTC, it's an amazing British business that designs and makes a unique collection of high-quality products that young families really need. They're our favourite children's store, selling exclusively online at gltc.co.uk and through its mail-order catalogues.
You can find out more about GLTC's partnership with Datitude here.