Using data to become the best pet care business in the world: Pets at Home bring in Infoshare to become more customer- and pet-centric
Pets at Home wanted to use their data to better serve their customers. They wanted to be able to use their data more intelligently to improve the customer experience, and make better, more customer focused decisions.
However, fundamental to achieving intelligent, actionable insight is a strong data foundation of accurate, complete, and trusted data; one that is available to all relevant departments who rely on the data to make decisions.
To create their data foundation, Pets at Home knew they needed to remove the data silos and join up their data from across the business and its various ecosystems.
Rob Kent, Chief Data Officer, Pets at Home, said:
“This project was a vehicle to deliver our analytics platform; to deliver our 360-degree view of our customers across all of our products and services; and create a platform of growth that would ultimately lead to us putting machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence at the heart of all the decision-making across the business.”
Chosen Data Solution
Pets at Home chose a cloud-based solution, as they wanted their data to be in a scalable and cost-effective platform. They also needed an analytics engine to run sophisticated queries and algorithms in an affordable way. Due to the complexity of the project, they used specialist technology and delivery partners to work alongside the internal business and project teams. The partner suppliers selected, as experts in their fields to deliver each part of the project, were:
- Infoshare’s ClearCore created the live Single Customer View (SCV) of Pets at Home’s customers and their pets across products and services by linking together all data from across their ecosystem.
- Salesforce Marketing Cloud was the platform for analytical driven CRM / marketing, including making the SCV available across the organisation.
- Tableau created the analytics engine and built dashboards to enable data visualisation.
- Datatonic built a Google Cloud Platform (GCP), data warehouse design and the orchestration of system-to-system data flows.
Rob Kent spoke about the decision to appoint Infoshare:
“From prior experience of working with Infoshare, I knew they could handle the complexity that we were bringing to the table. There are a range of companies on the market that say they can give a 360-degree view of the customer; but most will only focus on the simple exercise of linking digital identifiers such as email address. The complexities of this project meant linking a hybrid of traditional and digital identifiers in multiple different formats: that is Infoshare’s sweet spot.”
Creating the SCV
The customer data across the Pets at Home Group comes from several different and often entirely separate sources, both digital and traditional in nature: customers have touch points with Pets at Home across in-store purchases, online, Vets4Pets, the Groom Room, VIPs, Digital and marketing campaigns.
As a result, they had millions of customer records from over 20 different data sources; there were over 5 million VIPs who were using their loyalty card on average, on 70% of purchases. They wanted to view all touch points in one place to get a complete understanding of their pet needs and relationship with Pets at Home. It needed to also include customers’ communication consent information, so preference changes with one department could be adhered to by all.
In their FY22 Interim Results, they said about the Single View of Pets:
“Our holistic and integrated view of pets and owners across all parts of our business enables us to communicate with customers individually by relevant category, service or channel.”
This formed the foundation for their ambitious plans to use their data to better serve their customers. They went on to use the improved data in two ways:
1. Analytics and customer personalisation
Their data analytics team provide deep, actionable insights across their unique and growing dataset of eight million pets and their owners. Their new joined up, comprehensive view of customers amounts to over 150bn data points for the analytics team to work with, which enables them to predict customers’ future pet care requirements and, combining their suite of products and physical and digital services, provide relevant, joined-up pet care solutions through the full lifetime of a pet.
2. Seamless customer journey and experience
Their experience team use the data-led insights from the analytics team to provide personalised journeys that seamlessly connects the ecosystem of products and services across all channels. This allows customers to access all their pet products and services through a frictionless single login and a new iteration of their mobile app for a much-improved shopping experience.
Since creating the Single View of Pets, they have been able to optimise their marketing and customer journeys. As reported in their FY22 Interim results:
- They had a Strategic Objective of “Use our data to better serve customers”, measured by VIP customer revenue. This grew 26.6% Year-on-Year.
- Their objective of “Bringing the pet experience to life” was measured by the number of active VIP members, which grew 19.7% Year-on-Year.
Better customer experience and relationship: As every department and Pets at Home brand are now working with the same customer information when interacting with customers, they can deliver a seamless and consistent experience across all touchpoints. Also, they are now able to demonstrate to their customers through their communications and services that they are valued, respected, and listened to, which has been a key priority for Pets at Home.
Better customer personalisation: With the ability to understand customers and their pets, they can improve segmentation and offer more personalised, rounded services.
More effective marketing: Meeting customers’ specific needs by prioritising only the most appropriate cross- and up-sell opportunities, has meant better engagement, with less frequent but more tailored communications.
An increase in customer loyalty: Customers are more likely to stay loyal to brands who provide exactly what they need without bombarding them and respect their contact preferences.
Enabling intelligent analytics: Using data intelligently to inform customer strategy has been a priority for Pets at Home. However, the insights gained from such initiatives are only as reliable as the data that goes in. By focusing on creating a strong, accurate data foundation that is kept up to date in real time, they have improved the reliability of intelligent insights and the success of their analytics initiatives.