Daasity’s Platform Gave Harper Wilde Accessible, Real-Time Data
Harper Wilde was founded by two women who got tired of the unpleasant experience of shopping for women’s underwear, especially bras. The company’s home page makes their goal crystal clear: “We take the B.S. out of bra shopping.”
Co-founders and co-CEOs Jenna Kerner and Jane Fisher say their experiences “inspired us to create a company and a brand that women are proud to wear and stand behind.” The result is several lines of women’s underwear without the traditional retail markup. But it also means underwear for all shapes and sizes of women, tops and bottoms, in different colors, styles and materials. That’s a lot of data, and many different levels of data, to analyze.
Although companies in the apparel industry are usually started by creative types, not technical people, both founders were MBAs and they were hungry for analytics, said Benjamin Jacobs, the company’s vice president of growth. They wanted data that was accessible to individual teams so every part of the organization was empowered to make better decisions, and data that was delivered in real-time, which meant it had to be automated.
A Hunger for Data and Analytics
That hunger translated into two major challenges when the founders met the team at Daasity, a company that goes beyond the modern data stack to give consumer product brands access to the data and tools they need.
Its CEO Dan LeBlanc said Harper Wilde’s first challenge stemmed from the home tryout it was giving customers on their initial order, right after the company’s launch. In the tryout, after customers ordered multiple items they shipped back the ones they didn’t want.
“Harper Wilde was using Shopify, but doing analytics around the home tryout and being able to get the right data was very complicated,” said LeBlanc, who co-founded Daasity with Sean Corson, its chief analytics officer. “So the first challenge was how to properly understand a customer’s repeat purchase behavior, not including this home trial.”
The second challenge stemmed from the fact that, to understand the true performance of their business, Harper Wilde needed to understand each of the different pieces being fulfilled in each order, or “how to deconstruct the ‘product’ — the bundle — into its components,” said LeBlanc. But until recently, Shopify didn’t support the concept of a product bundle.
At first, Harper Wilde was trying to use spreadsheets. “But that didn’t work with the home tryout — they had to look at every single individual order and manually link the try-on sample order to the final purchase order to understand conversion,” said LeBlanc. That approach took a lot of time and was difficult to implement. So Daasity modified logic to create the linking they needed, and to exclude the sample orders from other metrics.
Although Shopify allows writing a script to create a bundle, it doesn’t provide for a script that can analyze what happens to those bundles, said Jacobs. Harper Wilde used Daasity’s Modular Data Platform to solve those specific deficiencies in Shopify, as well as to improve its overall business.
For subscriptions, Harper Wilde was using Recharge. But that also caused difficulties. “When a customer buys a single product in Recharge this might be fulfilled as a bra plus panties in Shopify, but you can’t link those two items in either Recharge or Shopify,” said Jacobs. “Daasity’s solution combines the two and was able to show us how our subscription bundles break down into individual items. It can also build custom development on top of these out-of-the-box ways to slice and dice data.”
Real-Time Analytics Made Affordable
One alternative might have been investing in a data warehouse plus consultants, the build-versus-buy approach. But the cost would have been prohibitive for a small company like Harper Wilde, which started with seven employees in 2017 and today has only 34.
Although the company enjoyed very early growth, Harper Wilde knew it couldn’t afford a data warehouse, or its own licenses, or the resources to build views and dashboarding, said Jacobs. Also necessary was a business intelligence interface to interpret all the data.
“Some consumer brands, which have lower margins, inadvertently became tech companies but now may have decided that was a mistake, and now they want to become lean,” said LeBlanc. They ended up spending lots of money on analytics, instead of on the core functions of product development and marketing.
By contrast, Harper Wilde’s founders could see early on that this approach didn’t make sense for them. Consequently, they ended up spending a lot less than they might have if they’d tried to be a tech company by doing everything themselves, said LeBlanc.
Jacobs said the Modular Data Platform gave Harper Wilde the best start as a platform that helped them do things more efficiently, for example, improving marketing efficacy. “We wanted to behave like a much bigger company without a big company’s investments.”
Harper Wilde also leveraged Daasity’s shared visualization platform to help lower costs, said Jacobs. “That was really important, because we’re not taking on technical debt in the consumer space, especially not as a consumer company that is digitally based.”
Easier, More Efficient and More Profitable
Since those beginnings, Harper Wilde has substantially expanded its use of the platform from reporting on operations, financial reporting, and strategic high-level customer analysis, to leveraging it for the next priority: customer lifecycle analysis.
The company has also begun using the Modular Data Platform for all of its paid media, which is a work in progress, said Jacobs. That includes spend by platform, link-level tracking, and reporting. These are now coming directly from the platform, instead of individually from media channels like TikTok or Facebook. The company’s use case has therefore progressed from the original operational analysis, to customer analysis, to marketing effectiveness.
Daasity’s technology and solutions have made life so much better that Jacobs said he could probably find three different examples each month of how things have become easier, more efficient, and more profitable.
In the past month alone, Harper Wilde has seen more efficient analysis of bundle uptake during sale periods, platform-level marketing reporting, and analyzing the time from fulfillment departure from all carriers to the time when packages arrive. “All of these are now dashboarded and easily accessible by every member of the team, which speeds up decision-making hugely and makes us more agile, a big advantage.”
The Modular Data Platform has been especially helpful at giving the Harper Wilde team better efficiency and understanding of customers buying on sale and in bulk. For example, why customers buy some items in bulk even when they’re not being encouraged to.
“We can’t understand this in Shopify,” said Jacobs. “So it’s really about that quick access to information we wouldn’t have otherwise. Even if it requires a little custom development, it’s not very much, and it makes a big difference. Now, the answer is either there, or we know it can be there, instead of having no idea how we’re going to get that answer.”