Tuft & Needle leverages data to deliver a good night’s sleep

Byron Kerr, Director of eRetail at Serta Simmons Bedding

Sep 1, 2020

At Tuft & Needle, our mission is to provide customers with premium mattresses and an excellent customer experience. We make this our primary objective, no matter where you may purchase our products — whether it’s on our website, in our retail stores, or on other retail eCommerce sites like Amazon.

To deliver on that mission, we need to be able to access and use real-time insights across the business. At any given moment, our teams need to be able to answer questions like:

  • How are our customers behaving on each channel?
  • How efficient is each stage of our supply chain?
  • What makes a marketing campaign successful and how do ours compare?

These answers are critical to helping us optimize our customer experience and marketing spend.

Prior to bringing on Looker, my colleague Edmund Worden from our data science team reminded me that accessing actionable data followed a very different process. Our setup consisted of a disparate data set that was spread out across various databases, Excel, and Google Sheets spreadsheets. To provide teams with answers to questions, members of Edmund’s team had to manually write SQL queries to a reporting tool we were using at the time. Plus, data wasn’t always up to date across those various sources, which made it difficult for anyone to gain real-time insights. This made it difficult to access, share, and collaborate with data across different business teams. As we grew, we knew we needed to make a change, which ultimately led us to Looker.

Optimizing marketing campaigns and cross-channel spend

Because we sell our mattress in multiple places, we need to know how our products are selling on each channel and how different campaigns are contributing to those sales. Cross-channel visibility is critical to understanding these relationships. Without the visibility we gain from Looker, it would be difficult to measure and understand our overall return on marketing spend.

Example: evaluating Amazon campaign spend vs cross-channel sales with data

A great example of how we use Looker for these analyses is our recent evaluation of our Amazon campaigns and the impact they have on sales across our various channels. More specifically, we wanted to see whether dollars invested towards marketing on Amazon detracted from potential sales on our website. To do this, we leveraged Looker to build a dashboard where we could centralize and visualize all the relevant data for this analysis together. With Looker, we were able to get a clear understanding of the relationship between Amazon marketing spend, Amazon sales, our website sales, as well as retail sales in our physical stores. This visibility enabled us to see the integrated relationships between channels and guide our decision making processes for allocating budget to future campaigns and cross-channel marketing.

Expediting testing and measurement with Looker

Testing new marketing campaigns and being able to immediately measure the impact on each channel is another reason we chose to implement Looker at Tuft & Needle. Before Looker, we weren’t able to take advantage and learn from these types of tests because we didn’t feel confident drawing conclusions from incomplete or delayed data points. With so many spreadsheets to analyze and too many portals to log into, it was hard to access the data, let alone compile and integrate it into actionable insights. Compiling reports alone took 10-20 hours each week, and was an entirely manual process.

Now, Looker’s ecosystem allows us to rapidly pull all this critical data into a single, centralized location in less than an hour. This not only enables the senior management team to access and use data to make quick, data-informed decisions for the company, it also gives back 19 hours a week to the data team to spend on revenue-generating activities rather than manually pulling reports. That’s huge.

Improving Year-over-Year Prime Day growth by 1,000% with data

As an eCommerce company, online sales days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are hugely important to our yearly growth and success. Since Tuft & Needle products are available on Amazon, Prime Day is one of our biggest revenue-generating days of the year. To understand, adjust, and optimize the ROI from the campaigns and deals we run for Prime Day, we rely on the real-time analytics Looker provides so we can track ad spend and monitor our mattress inventory against every purchase made.

For each of these major sale days, we set specific sales targets based on previous performance and allocated marketing activities. When the big day comes, we use Looker for real-time tracking to see how much we’re spending and make adjustments to ensure our return on that spend aligns with our goals. Last year, we achieved 1,000% year-over-year growth the week of Prime Day and received the ‘number one best-selling mattress’ tag, which we attribute to our ability to use data to keep a close eye on what was happening throughout the sale.

Mapping supply to increased demand

In addition to optimizing our campaigns and marketing spend, we also use Looker to monitor and plan our inventory to make sure we can meet sales demands during these high-volume times. One way we do this is through a batch form we developed, which tracks actual sales velocity and maps it against our inventory levels, both on Amazon and at our own facilities. This helps us to coordinate with manufacturers to make sure we aren’t over or understocked. And by leveraging our Looker dashboards to visualize this data in one centralized location, we are consistently able to maintain a 100% in-stock percentage

For me specifically, the visibility I have into our end-to-end operations allows me to more closely coordinate with our head of supply chain and ensure we meet all of our compliance metrics and hold our retail partners accountable for their experience and efficiency goals. Doing this in the efficient way I'm able to today would not be possible without the real-time accessibility and data monitoring I have with Looker.

Planning for the future

While we’ve gained efficiencies across the business, we’re continuing to explore new opportunities to improve with data. One of our current projects includes optimizing our marketing spend even more by refining segmentation to better understand our customer personas. In addition to enhancing the customer experience, this will help identify and eliminate areas where we might be duplicating spend. Our product team is also working to curate products by using research and data to make product performance predictions based on our knowledge of channel performance.

Across the Tuft & Needle organization, we use Looker to access data and understand how our activities contribute to our overall customer experience and the success of the business. As we grow our use of Looker and strategically grow the business, we’re excited to leverage data to continue delivering on our promise to provide an unparalleled customer experience.

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