As the VP of Data Activation at Velir, I always encourage my team of analysts and analytics engineers to demonstrate the business value of data as early and often as possible.

This helps avoid the ‘data death spiral’ where lack of understanding in a data project’s value can lead to reduced investment and further difficulties in showing value. That’s why Littledata’s ability to reduce the time to value for data integrations has been a critical input to success for Velir and our clients.

There’s no better demonstration of this than our joint work building out johnnie-O’s customer data infrastructure.

Building the stack

johnnie-O is a leading men’s apparel brand that blends East Coast prep with Southern California surf style. After a surge in ecommerce sales, johnnie-O uncovered cracks in its marketing technology stack that were holding it back from its full potential.

johnnie-o clothing

Its analytics reports were unreliable, and most of its shoppers received a static, non-personalized experience. In response, johnnie-O engaged Velir’s Data Activation team to deploy the customer data platform, Segment, and connect it to Shopify to produce advanced analytics and personalization capabilities.

Littledata’s Segment connector saved the day by streamlining the integration and allowing us to bypass what would have been months of planning and development work implementing an ecommerce tracking plan from scratch. The final solution allowed johnnie-O to ingest high quality data into its CDP and revolutionize how johnnie-O understands and interacts with its customers.

Getting a deeper dive into data

Like many other businesses seeking to become more data-driven, johnnie-O doesn’t have any full-time data engineers on staff. For this reason, Velir recommended tools that provide turn-key integration over those that would require custom development.

Included in this recommendation were Twilio Segment, Fivetran, and Littledata. Each of these tools focuses on making high-quality, timely data available to downstream systems with as little setup and maintenance as possible. Similarly, Snowflake was selected as a cloud data warehouse platform because of its low administrative overhead.

The final data infrastructure shown below allows johnnie-O to flexibly handle both real-time and batch data workloads with ease.

velir johnnie-o tech stack

How Littledata links apps together

Like other ecommerce retailers, johnnie-O faced challenges in coordinating the number of tools needed for its marketing operations. Twilio Segment is well-known for its ability to seamlessly synchronize data across marketing tools, but building and implementing an ecommerce tracking plan can take several months.

During that time, no data is flowing into the CDP which means that no business value can be derived until after the data collection phase is complete. Littledata stepped up to the challenge by providing a full implementation of Segment’s ecommerce tracking specification from day one. This included tracking for events such as:

  • Pageviews
  • Product impressions and clicks
  • Checkout steps
  • Add to cart (server-side)
  • Orders (server-side)
  • Refunds (server-side)

With these events in place, johnnie-O was able to forward them to tools such as Google Analytics for website reporting, Klaviyo for personalized messaging, and Power BI for business intelligence reporting.

Why server-side tracking matters in data reporting

Littledata’s server-side tracking capabilities were especially important to johnnie-O's reporting goals. While collecting order data through client-side JavaScript (like Google’s gtag.js) is possible, the quality can suffer due to variations in user browsers and behaviors.

As a consequence, businesses like johnnie-O are often stuck jumping between different reporting systems to view ad performance, revenue, and behavior metrics. With Littledata’s server-side order tracking in place, johnnie-O was able to consolidate reporting in Power BI which had full visibility into orders, returns, behavior data, as well as shipping and other costs. This meant fewer places to look when stakeholders needed to answer questions and higher reliability in the data being presented.

Tip: Learn how to create powerful, dynamic ads on Facebook using server-side tracking.

Conclusion

Today, johnnie-O enjoys easy access to customer data for personalization and reporting.

Segments of users like "high AOV boys clothing shoppers”, or "gift-givers" can be easily created and targeted with emails, SMS messages, and advertisements. The johnnie-O marketing team is able to unleash their creativity in crafting sophisticated, cross-channel personalized journeys without having to worry about the underlying data integrations.

As a result, johnnie-O has seen increased engagement with personalized content and has been able to make smarter decisions about marketing spend and product purchasing. Importantly, johnnie-o has an enterprise-class solution that will keep up with their ambitious growth targets over the years to come.

This is a guest post from Adam Ribaudo, who leads Velir's Data Activation Services. His group is focused on helping businesses convert data into business value through data engineering, advanced analysis, and data strategy. He holds a Master's degree in Data Science from Northeastern and has 16 years of experience helping marketers make the most of their marketing technology and customer data.