customer stories

McPen: Shop Assistants Using Big Data Increased Average Sales by 30 %

by Jiri Vicherek

Business intelligence is not about how sophisticated tools you use to manage your data. On the contrary, pen and pencil were the only tools you needed in the past to run your business. Everyone had that, but the key ingredient for growing your business is knowing what information you need to make better decisions. That means everyone in your company needs access to that data. Everyone needs to understand what they can do to succeed. That is why the most successful companies are the ones where data is used by anyone making decisions. MCPen is a company where shop assistants once given the access to data in the form they can easily read, approach and search through helped to raise the average purchase by 30%. How was that possible?

At Keboola we teach companies to make business decisions based on their companies data. And for that you do not need to have a large IT department analyzing links between two variables that no-one knows what they stand for (usually with the help of AI, machine learning and complex sophisticated statistical algorithms). Data Driven Management means each and every employee has the right information to behave effectively and to earn more money (for the company as well as for themselves). Thus the reports the employes need do not have to be complex, they must give answers to the right questions. They must work seamlessly

Next time you visit one of the McPen´s stationery, just try to peek behind the counter if you can see reports of our partner Ascoria s.r.o. on the screens of cash register. They are the part of the story how McPen’s shop assistants managed to convince all employees that data analytics is for everybody. Thanks to data each and every shop assistant in the chain used they increased the average value of a purchase by an incredible 30%.

The recipe for success was actually quite simple. The company knew it needed to increase revenues. Strategy was put forward to generate an upsell on transactions of CZK 200-500 (which accounts for about 10-20 USD) as these created most of the turnover of the company. This was not an easy task to do, as only one in ten purchases was in this range. No surprise it was opposed by the employees. Thanks to data, they realized that the greatest space for upsell appears in the transactions up to CZK 50 (i.e. less than 3 USD) as they constitute 42% of the company’s purchases. In other words: With every other transaction the simple question “Would you also like an eraser or a sharpener with your pencil?” helped to increase the average amount of purchase.

However, that would not be enough. The assistants are also given a tool in which they can browse and check the previous week’s top sellers along with items that are most often seen together in one purchase. The insight into this data helped guide he assistants with their upsells of the MCPen´s products.

How to become a data driven company as MCPen did?

  1. Collect and create data that reflect your business (activities).
  2. Make the data accessible in a comprehensible form.
  3. Use the data to make decisions every day.

To be really effective, do not expect someone else to just copy and paste a solution that worked somewhere else for you. If you want to use your data and make them matter, you need to understand where the numbers come from and believe in their accuracy. That is why you need to be at the data and reports creation process.

Start small. Concentrate on one issue. The most crucial question you need an answer for to grow your business (as was true for MCPen: Which products should I offer for upsell?). Then you need to make sure that people who read the report have the capacity to make sensible decisions and feel responsible for their work. This is the moment when you need the second report category that describes how successful the individual is in comparison with others.

Thanks to cloud technologies, “Big Data” and “Business Intelligence” are no longer services that are available solely to large corporations or data engineers with a certain skill set. You can collect data about your own business, make it accessible to your employees and have a qualified team that will be able to use this information to bring about positive changes in your company. What are you waiting for?

Interested in opinions and experience of people who have successfully transformed their business with data-driven approach? Subscribe to our newsletter, where we pick inspiring case studies and news from Keboola… or tune up DataHeroes to find out more about corporate culture in data-driven and fast growing companies. Guests of our CEO Pavel Dolezal share their experience and know-how. If you are excited to try our tool Keboola Connection, learn more on our website or ask for demo straight away.

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