Pet Circle Improves Customer Experience Through Data

Fivetran integrates MariaDB data into BigQuery, enabling Australia’s largest ecommerce pet store to understand and improve its customer journey.

Key Takeaway

By using Fivetran to centralize transactional data into Google Cloud’s BigQuery, Pet Circle saves months of engineering effort and has reliable access to accurate data. The business is using the data to understand and improve the customer journey and create a customer-centric culture.

Data Stack

Pet Circle is Australia’s largest pet ecommerce store, serving hundreds of thousands of pet owners with food, toys, medication, grooming products, advice, on-call vet services and more. The business is on a mission to use data to better understand customer and animal needs.  

Centralizing Transactional Data Into a Warehouse

A few years ago, Pet Circle moved from an on-premise setup to Google Cloud, where it hosts a customized stack to support its subscription service model. James Edwards, co-founder & Head of Data Science, chose Google Cloud because of its machine learning capabilities, focus on big data, out of the box Java, and the fact that it was already a Google Cloud customer for ad spend and more. Until recently, however, it was still using database services on top of Google Cloud, rather than centralizing the data into a warehouse. Edwards sought out a pipeline solution to integrate its data:

We needed to centralize our transactional data into BigQuery to create foundational data models and transformations to provide value to our customers and our operations team. We chose Fivetran and we’re seeing great results in the initial phase of consolidating and transforming our data.

Choosing Fivetran over building internally was a simple decision for Edwards, who believes that the reliability and data quality of Fivetran are its biggest selling points. “We’re setting up a lean, five-person data function,” he explains. “The last thing I want is for the team to be spending their time troubleshooting broken pipelines. I want them to have confidence in the data that’s coming through. We have that with Fivetran.”

Before deciding on Fivetran, Edwards was advised by a consulting firm to set up an internal engineering solution which would have required nearly every database event to fire a message that would be consumed by cloud functions and written into BigQuery:

If we had kicked off the engineering project, we wouldn’t even be close to being finished. It would have been a huge amount of work and the data would have been highly unreliable, requiring an engineer to add code in multiple scenarios. Fivetran is reliable and saves us engineering cost and time.

Building the Foundation for Game-Changing Analytics

The ultimate goal of a modern data stack is all about using data to create the best customer experience. By joining views of website sessions with paid data in a single transformed table, the business can understand how often customers visit the site, login, modify their subscriptions and more. This data can help Pet Circle improve loyalty and retention by adding customer value rather than transactional value.

Having the data in a warehouse creates a single source of truth that the business previously lacked. One project, for instance, is focused on the metrics around orders. Transactional systems don’t deliver a single record of gross margin, so different teams throughout the business use snippets of SQL to get their own numbers for gross margin. Having a single source of truth and reliable analytics will eliminate any debates around data accuracy and, in the long term, enable the business to better serve customers:

Having an analytical model to help us understand the direct impact of our decisions on customers is critical. A more sophisticated, customer-centric view will permeate the entire business. This is a game-changer for how we can impact our customers in a positive way.

About Fivetran: Shaped by the real-world needs of data analysts, Fivetran technology is the smartest, fastest way to replicate your applications, databases, events and files into a high-performance cloud warehouse. Fivetran connectors deploy in minutes, require zero maintenance, and automatically adjust to source changes — so your data team can stop worrying about engineering and focus on driving insights

About Sisense: The Sisense business analytics platform empowers developers, data engineers, and business analysts to easily simplify complex data and transform it into powerful analytics apps.

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