How Matilda Jane Clothing Uses Data to Inform Design

The Company

When you look through the Matilda Jane Clothing website, you find whimsical girls clothing designs. The youthful clothing company is based on a unique direct sales model in which “trunk keepers” showcase fashion collections directly in homes.

But while the company is founded on creativity, it's also highly data-oriented, according Madeline Katzel, Vice President of Design and Product Development. The company’s recent shift into an exciting new data-driven phase proved successful thanks to a cloud data platform that lets them pull all their data—from marketing to revenue—all in one place. 

The Challenge

Prior to implementing a new data framework, the company faced several barriers to growth. In particular, Matilda Jane Clothing's marketing team needed visibility into key metrics to be able to continually assess the health of its sales.

However, accessing those important metrics became cumbersome, as analysts had to take many sources of data, “mash” them together, and wait hours to see them transformed into tables they could query, according to Adam Beltz,  Senior Manager of Information Architecture.

This slow and complex data processing also made it difficult for the company’s designers to make proactive business decisions about what collections to create. Matilda Jane Clothing designs their collections far in advance, sometimes a year out, so it’s crucial to gauge the performance of each current collection to ensure future designs are on-target.

After vetting solutions that met their needs as a data-driven company, the Information Architecture team found a solution that alleviated the data analytics challenges the company was encountering: Panoply.

The Solution

Beltz knew the company needed a cloud-based data analytics stack that would enable hands-off management, but provide hands-on support. The company also needed a data warehouse compatible with its existing marketing and sales technology stack. The company’s data stack now consists of several MySQL and SQL databases, Shopify, Formstack, and Google data connectors, all of which feed directly into Panoply.

Matilda Jane Clothing implemented Panoply to reliably and quickly sync and store their multiple data sources. Panoply stores volumes of key customer account information, including customers' historical purchase activity, which any team at Matilda Jane Clothing can quickly and easily access without the help of engineering or IT.

Prior to implementing a data warehouse Beltz painted a picture of data mayhem, saying,

Before Panoply we had spreadsheets on spreadsheets and random transaction reporting tools all cobbled together.

- Adam Beltz, Senior Manager of Information Architecture

The Results

Adam Beltz said implementing Panoply was a “game changer” for the company. Where previously the “mashing” of multiple data sources was slow and cumbersome, with Panoply, managing multiple data sources is nearly effortless.

A particularly powerful use case of Panoply is the ability to identify and win back lapsed customers. The company can now isolate lapsed customers, assess their previous behavior and tailor a reactivation strategy for each account.

The marketing, design, and sales teams all now have a clear understanding of the performance of the company’s sales and marketing campaigns. Using Panoply, they are able to see the number of active trips per customer. This particular metric is like a litmus test of how the business is doing, and previously this metric was not readily available.

Data and insights have made a huge difference to Matilda Jane’s business especially from a marketing perspective.

- Allison Flatjord, Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer

With a new data analytics stack in place, the sky's the limit for this dreamy retailer. Matilda Jane Clothing now has the right actionable data, at the right time, enabling it to extend its positive message and inspiring clothing to more girls than ever before.


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Industry Retail, Ecommerce Team Data Analytics, Product Development, Marketing Location Fort Wayne, Indiana
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