De Prati had embarked on a major initiative to enhance its CRM capabilities. It was generating and storing significant volumes of data on its customers and their purchase behaviours. However, while it had developed one of the richest retail data sets in the country, it was struggling to leverage it in to both actionable insights and the ability to effectively execute these insights.
Generally, any requests for insights from the data would take days to weeks to be answered by analysts and by then the business had moved on to other things.
“Generally, any requests for insights from the data would take days to weeks to be answered by analysts and by then the business had moved on to other things. “
It was clear the inherent value of this data asset was huge. The challenge was to transform the data into useful insight quickly.
De Prati searched globally for a solution that would not require a massive up-front investment in both time and money.
When it learned of 11Ants it arranged an initial webinar to understand the capabilities of the solution. This online demonstration took about 90 minutes and at the end of it De Prati’s statement was: ‘We are very interested. What would next steps be?’.
The response upended anything De Prati had ever heard before from a vendor. The team was informed that by the end of the day it would receive an email with three items:
11Ants Data Preparation Guide – a brief document which outlined the schema and specification for data preparation. This was something De Prati would be able to prepare on its own and all it needed to do was extract it into a local directory on its servers.
11Ants Data Upload Client – a solution which would copy the data from the host directory, compress and encrypt it and transport it directly to 11Ants.
Credentials to access De Prati’s instance of 11Ants.
De Prati was offered use of 11Ants for a short evaluation period with no commercial limitations and full permission to use the solution to make and execute business decisions. This would enable its team to understand the strengths and limitations of the solution. This was all welcomed by De Prati, which to that point had resigned itself to the fact that any investment in this space was going to require a significant ‘leap of faith’ with significant financial and technical risk.
Within a matter of days De Prati had provisioned 11Ants and had it up and running without anyone from 11Ants setting foot in Ecuador. This is a testimony to the simplicity of provisioning 11Ants.
“Within a matter of days De Prati had provisioned 11Ants Retail Insights Cloud and had it up and running without anyone from 11Ants setting foot in Ecuador.”
This enabled the De Prati team to move the business case for 11Ants from a hypothetical to an actual. It was able to show business decisions. Very quickly the team was able to validate the value of the insights being generated and the De Prati board happily signed off on full commercial deployment of 11Ants.
De Prati was able to virtually instantly deploy a world-class analytics and insights solution which unlocked the value of the massive data asset it possessed.
It didn’t need to import data scientists to do it. 11Ants makes high end retail and customer analytics accessible to business people not only to data scientists.
The paradigm transformed from waiting days to weeks for actionable answers to analytics questions to resolving complex questions, with an actionable path forward within minutes.
Staff who work directly with 11Ants are able to use analytics that enables strategy and actionable insights.
The final word comes from John Barbery CRM Manager:
“In my experience it is uncommon for retailers to truly exploit transactional data at its most granular level (the level of per SKU per minute). Rather it is more common for the data to be aggregated up, so as to make processing easier. However, by definition this results in significant information loss – usually the information required to understand the ‘why’ rather than just the ‘what’ disappears, in the interests of computational processing efficiency. 11Ants has proven to be an excellent tool to focus our vision specifically where it needs to be – that is to say moving our focus and business discussions away from sales and units sold (‘what happened’) and moving focus to how the customers’ behavior is being impacted by our campaigns and interventions (‘why it happened’). To me this is the critical breakthrough of 11Ants. We are now far better able to discern why things are happening, not just that they are happening – something which we consider to be a remarkable success and differentiator for De Prati.“
Tangible Business Benefits
The insights obtained by De Prati are necessarily confidential. However, we provide a brief high- level overview of a small number of examples:
Faster information on sales and overall retail performance (on several KPIs).
Rapid identification of problems (promotions, stores, products, categories) enabling remedial action.
Rapid identification of what was going well, so that this could be further encouraged/supported.
Rapid access to data.
A view of the whole picture.
The information is presented in a way which is simple to understand and explain to other stakeholders, meaning influencing other stakeholders to ‘do the right thing’ is easier than it used to be.
Ability to take a more customer-centric view on the business than was possible via traditional systems helping stakeholders in the business to understand the importance of this.
Once Fully Deployed, Multitude Of Initiatives Across The Organization Opened Up:
Transforming analysis from a product-centric to customer-centric. This was too difficult prior to 11Ants' introduction. Now it is simple.
Rapid evaluation on which stores were up and down versus last year and the dimensions responsible for the most change (categories/promotions/customer segments). This allows regional managers to take rapid action to remedy problems and give more oxygen to things going well. The advantage for De Prati’s regional managers is that they not only know what is happening, but also have significantly more insight into why it may be happening, meaning they can influence the future in almost real time.
Similarly, rapid identification of unexpected category growth, or decline, allowed rapid response by both category managers.
All campaigns are evaluated with the Performance module, both from a sales and GP perspective. What levers did this campaign pull? Increased customers? Increased frequency? Increased spend per visit? Immediately post campaign the information is documented with two purposes: document the past and inform and suggest improvements for the future. The Performance module gives clear insight to not just what had happened, but why;with the why yielding information which is far more actionable and influential.
Micro Segment Builder module is used to rapidly identify the correct segment of customers for a given campaign. For example, a technology campaign may pinpoint customers who had not bought technology to date, but looked like viable customers based on similar behaviour and demographics. The outcome is more targeted and relevant customer communications.
Basket Contents module is utilized to instantly understand cross-sell relationships between products.
Transaction Investigation module – allowed anyone to quickly analyse the specifics of any single transaction, which had multiple uses – including verifying customers claims.
With 11Ants deployed, the De Prati CRM team discovered it was able to deliver answers to stakeholders often in minutes as opposed to the days it had traditionally taken. It was increasingly taking new and innovative ideas to category managers based on pre-built modules designed on customer-centric retail best practices.
De Prati’s CRM Manager at the time of implementation Jose Clavijo said: “Our managers, designers and buying and planning, e-commerce, marketing and CRM teams are all using the platform. We are building sales arguments, optimizing our e-mail click-through-rate by showing the customer the right products at the right time, reducing performance result reporting times to our managers and providing them quick and clear action plans with real revenue objectives – all based on what we can learn from our customers’ behaviour.”
“… there was a full operating solution suite ready to use from day one. De Prati, like many retailers, found this to be revolutionary.”
The wide array of pre-built modules, which were ready to use ‘out of the box’, meant that there wasn’t a back-log of nice to have ideas which would have to be ‘hand built’ over many years, rather there was a full operating solution suite ready to use from day one. De Prati, like many retailers, found this to be revolutionary.
Department Store Case Study
Almacenes De Prati
Almacenes De Prati was founded in 1940 as a fabric warehouse in Guayaquil, Ecuador. It has grown to become Ecuador’s largest and most prestigious department store chain. Located in the major Ecuadorian cities, De Prati has annual sales of several hundred million dollars.