Start-up, Brand Village, helps retailers build customer loyalty

The Australian retail industry is a tough and competitive marketplace. Savvy retailers know loyal customers shop more, spend more and tell their friends about the experience. Brand Village, a start-up offering better insight into customers' in-store shopping experiences, chose Tableau to communicate its findings.

Brand Village is using Tableau to:
• Shave months from project timeline, compared against previous solutions
• Put Brand Village value in customers’ hands using mobile-friendly vizzes
• Differentiate its offering with innovative visualisations

What are customers thinking?

Melbourne-based start-up, Brand Village, aims to help retail clients build customer loyalty through better insight into the in-store shopping experience.

“We’re soliciting customer feedback in retail, primarily,” explains Ian Curry, Operations Partner with Brand Village. “Customers go into a retail store and have an experience—good or bad. We will give the shopper something that directs them to a website survey focused on the in-store experience.”

Brand Village will then analyse and report its findings back to the retailer’s head office and at the store level. Retailers can then use the analysis to fine-tune their overall strategies for improved brand loyalty, advocacy with customers—and better sales, too.

Brand Village needed to select a data analysis solution that could handle survey data well, but that was only the start of the requirements list. Curry and his business partner—who together have nearly 20 years of experience working with data in various forms—knew from the start they wanted to break away from the industry-standard solutions they had used in the past.

“We were looking for something that did things a little differently to what the traditional survey packages would do,” Curry says. “Overseas, this sort of analysis is really big, but it’s a little newer here. One challenge is helping people to see that this data is actually going to be useful to them.”

Finding a solution with the ability to present survey data clearly and impressively would be crucial to the growth and success Brand Village.

“We need to impress our prospective customers, so we want that ‘wow factor’ when presenting survey findings. We need people to be able to effortlessly see and understand the data being presented,” Curry says.

The winning solution would also offer the flexibility to adjust presentations according to customer demands and offer sufficient power to turn around analysis quickly. Finally, Curry and his partner wanted to be able to share results with retailers securely and easily across a number of devices, including tablet computers such as the Apple iPad.

Helping customers effortlessly understand their data

Brand Village investigated a couple of different survey analysis tools but the choice to go with Tableau was an easy one, according to Curry.

“We considered other options, but they were generally cumbersome and simply didn’t look as good as Tableau did,” said Curry. “As soon as we looked at Tableau we knew we had found our solution.”

Curry is the primary author of data visualisations for Brand Village. He authors the analysis in Tableau Desktop and then publishes his work to Tableau Online, the new cloud-based solution for easily and securely sharing visualisations. They also embed Tableau visualisations on the Brand Village website for customer demonstrations.

Flexible and fast

“I’m finding Tableau is unbelievably good at handling the data and I’m really impressed with the speed of it. I’ve built a lot of custom databases in my time and I’ve never been able to reproduce anything as good as I’ve been able to using Tableau,” says Curry.

In addition to being pleased with Tableau Desktop’s powerful data visualisation and analytical capabilities, Curry is impressed with its dashboard function and flexibility.

“We’re able to modify how we present data to our clients based on their individual preferences,” Curry says.

In comparison with his previous work using Access, Curry says that he can build a client-ready solution months faster.

“Building in Access, that might take me two to three months to get something up and running to the standard they need,” he says. “With Tableau I could probably spend a week or less putting something together and it’s pretty close to what the needs are… It’s all there, it’s just a matter of learning the intricacies.”

Curry also appreciates how easily customers will be able to access Brand Village visualisations and answer their own questions on-the-fly.

“Our customers will be able to manipulate and interact with the data themselves via Tableau Online using their iPads or PCs,” says Curry.

Curry is able to show key metrics such as net promoter score. For big chains, Brand Village can clearly present data at a national, state or a regional level. Clients can also see how an individual store is performing compared to a national benchmark and track trends over time.

We’re doing things differently and Tableau is essential to that. Tableau enables us to present and analyze research in a very different way. I don’t think the market has seen anything like this yet and Tableau is a real key to that.

The key to success

Curry and his business partner are still working hard on the initial start-up phase of business.

Curry has been working on building the front-end interface while his partner is talking to as many prospects as possible, using Tableau to show them what kind of store level insights they would receive.

“At this stage we’re talking to people and presenting them with data in a way they can instantly see what they’ll get out of it. We take along the iPad and let them flick through the data and show them how quick and easy it is to interact with. It’s a really good way of showing them what they could be doing.”

“We’re hoping to have at least 10 or 15 clients by mid next year, and to have 50 to 100 stores interacting with their data using Tableau Online,” says Curry. “In future we’ll also look at moving to Tableau Server.”

Curry confirms that Tableau is integral to Brand Village’s success. “We’re doing things differently and Tableau is essential to that. Tableau enables us to present and analyse research in a very different way. I don’t think the market has seen anything like this yet and Tableau is a real key to that.”

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