A Fireside chat with TULA Skincare
Recently we had a chance to take a step back from the day-to-day grind and catch up with one of our customers—TULA Skincare—about their experience with data, Daasity and Looker. Pull up a chair for our fireside chat with Zack Abbell, VP of Digital Marketing and eCommerce for TULA.
Daasity: First off, for those who aren’t familiar, tell us about TULA.
Zack: TULA is the leading probiotic skincare brand that offers clean & effective skincare products powered by probiotics & superfoods to give you healthy, balanced, glowing skin. Our higher-level vision is focused on inspiring confidence by making it easier to achieve a healthy balance, inside and out.
Our founder, Dr. Roshini Raj, is a frequent contributor on Dr Oz and The Today show – has studied probiotics for 15+ years and seen first-hand the power of probiotics with her patients.
We’re still a young company, growing fast and have over 1200 points of distribution including our own site, Amazon, Ulta, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and more.
Daasity: You’ve been with TULA for ~6 months now, what kind of data challenges did you see coming in?
Zack: As a high growth company we were challenged with having a lack of a centralized data structure. After joining the company, it was apparent, that like many other high growth companies, discipline about data structuring did not exist. Different teams were using different data sources and coming to inconsistent data across the organization. It became difficult to understand whose data was accurate, if anyone’s.
We spent too much time in meetings talking about or debating whose data was right, rather than talking about strategies to continue the growth.
We were at a point of trying to run large cohort analysis in excel files and just praying they don’t time out during their 8-hr run time. It wasn’t efficient or effective and was preventing us from continuing to accelerate.
Daasity: We’re happy you found us; can you share why you ultimately became a Daasity customer?
Zack: We knew we didn’t have the resources in house to build out a data architecture and weren’t in a position to hire. I’d been through a prior Looker project at a previous company, and knew how complex and labor-intensive the data-mapping journey could be. So I knew we were going to need to outsource the build out of our data warehouse and integration into Looker.
We started by reaching out to connections in the industry to see who had found companies to help with similar projects. We only looked at a few after receiving some strong recommendations from companies within our venture-funded community with similar tech and data stacks regarding Daasity. Daasity came highly recommended in spinning up Looker quickly and integrating into our core systems. Working with Sean and the team in the pre-sales process, it was apparent that they knew how to approach the data mapping and had many prebuilt integrations on our Tier 1 systems.
Daasity: Where have you found the greatest value of being a data-driven retail / eCommerce organization?
Zack: The truth lies in the data. The deeper you can understand customer behavior, the more personalized you can approach marketing to your customers. We don’t rely on gut feel but let the data and our experience help us move forward intelligently.
Daasity: What advice would you give to someone in your position at a retail / eCommerce company that is looking towards data modernization and adoption to improve their business?
Zack: It is never too early to get started. We got started too late. We were already busting at the seams trying to run key reports to help us understand consumer buying behavior, LTR models and understanding how to build out customer personas.
The past few years has seen the overall costs of building out data warehouses & BI tools come way down. Making decisions without a complete view of the data can be catastrophic in a fast-moving DTC world. The longer you wait, the more you may need to rebuild after making mistakes that would have been prevented by understanding your business better earlier.
Daasity: What data has been most impactful to the organization to date?
Zack: There are a few key areas that have been most valuable for TULA:
- Which products to promote
- Which products have the highest LTRs, to help us define our target CACs
- Lifecycle campaigns for email understanding what was bought first vs. subsequent purchases
Finance & demand planning
- Understanding velocity across channels (direct, amazon and wholesale – future) of specific SKUs
- Tighter forecasting and inventory allocation
Daasity: What departments / specific users do you see using Looker / data most frequently?
There are definitely power users organizationally and others that just have dashboards built and emailed daily/weekly but everybody uses Looker to some degree within the organization.
The digital marketing team, finance, and brand marketing are the primary users today but as we build out our reporting suite both wholesale and operations will become more involved with Looker.
We are able to focus more on analyzing reports vs. pulling reports and debating numbers from different sources.
Daasity: What business outcomes and improvements have you been able to uncover?
Zack: It’s early as we kicked off with Daasity in June, but were up within 6 weeks. The past few months has been focused in a couple different areas as we’ve started looking at data views that were completely new to the organization.
We’ve started looking at what products to feature in ads not just from a conversion side but looking more at LTR by first purchase SKU. We’re starting to think more holistically about the entire customer experience and the best entry point for consumers into our brand that drives the highest repeat rate and lifetime revenue.
A Big Thanks to Zack and the team at TULA for sitting down and chatting with us; looking forward to more conversations in the future!