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How Burberry is increasing revenue with better data

Discover how Burberry boosted its revenue, reduced data latency by 99%, and enhanced personalization with Snowplow and Databricks.

A shopper who browses products on Burberry.com is telling us something about what she really wants. Thanks to Databricks Lakehouse Platform and Snowplow, we can build an AI-Ready Customer 360 so our client advisors have that information from the moment she walks into our store and can deliver a personalized NextGen customer experience (CX).”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Background

Burberry is a global luxury brand with a rich British heritage. The company has 413 stores worldwide. In the fiscal year 2022-23, Burberry’s revenue reached £3.1 billion, an increase of five percent over the previous year at constant exchange rates.

Burberry plans to keep growing by providing an outstanding, personalized customer experience. Until recently, this goal was difficult to achieve due to extensive data processing delays which prevented the company from analyzing clickstream data from Burberry.com in a timely fashion.

By implementing Databricks Lakehouse Platform and Snowplow’s Behavioral Data Platform, Burberry formed a complete view of each customer (AI-Ready Customer 360). In-store client advisors can now pull up information about opted-in customers’ latest online behavior on their phones and tablets, which helps them deliver a truly superior customer experience (NextGen CX). 

Challenges

Daily clickstream data batches arrived too late to be useful

Whether they’re looking for the iconic Burberry trench coat or another luxury clothing item, shoppers around the world flock to Burberry stores for a personalized experience. But many browse the company’s offerings online first, a practice known as webrooming.

Burberry analyzes online user behavior to determine how it can best improve its service and increase sales. For years, the company pulled clickstream data from a cloud-based data warehouse, but wanted more precise control over data delivery. 

With our data warehouse, we would receive the previous day’s data anywhere between 2:00 and 7:00 PM GMT. Although that delivery schedule works for many businesses, we at Burberry are in a constant race to activate our web data so that we can pass it along to our client advisors in stores, worldwide. That kind of speed is essential to offering the level of service for which Burberry is known.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Burberry also needed greater visibility into its data. The company’s data warehouse automatically pre-aggregated and sanitized Burberry’s data, which made it difficult to trust the details about customer visits. Burberry also needed to validate its web data regularly to ensure it was actionable.

The more deeply we dug into our data, the less confident we felt in our ability to form conclusions. Simple requests such as, ‘What happened on the website yesterday?’ were going unanswered. We often faced the choice of either making a quick decision or making a good one.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Solution

Better, faster data enables machine learning models to drive NextGen CX

To address these challenges, Burberry implemented Databricks Lakehouse Platform and Snowplow’s Behavioral Data Platform (BDP).

The solutions enable Burberry to deliver a NextGen CX based on reliable, high-quality data. As clickstream data flows in from Burberry.com, the company uses Snowplow BDP to realize real-time AI-Ready Customer 360s from across its digital touchpoints. From there, the data travels into Databricks Lakehouse Platform, which contains 40 personalized models covering tasks such as product recommendations, propensity scoring and lifetime value. These models instantly recalculate the data before sending it to the company’s action system.

A NextGen CX program is only as good as the speed and accuracy of the data you can get from it. With Databricks Lakehouse Platform and Snowplow BDP, we’ve broken free from daily data batches and formed an accurate real-time view of our customers’ digital activity. Our personalized models automatically stay up-to-date by consuming behavioral data. And throughout the process, Snowplow helps us safeguard data privacy by giving us total control over how much information we collect from customers and enabling us to track user consent.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Burberry also gained a more accurate view of its marketing ROI by refining its approach to marketing attribution.

The company used Snowplow to refine its business definitions for all of its marketing activities and taxonomies. Using the dbt plugin for Databricks, Burberry gathered additional detail from its referral sources, consent banners and server-side cookies. As a result, the company has migrated onto a rich and fully-owned marketing foundation that uses a simple attribution model to understand what’s working in near real-time. 

Using behavioral data from Snowplow, we’ve formed a last-click attribution view that incorporates some of the many variables from our work. We’ve gotten much smarter about how we create our data lead attribution models, which will help us make better decisions about where to invest our marketing spend in the future.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Results

Driving a NextGen CX with powerful personalization

After implementing Databricks and Snowplow, Burberry has overcome many of its longstanding personalization challenges.

Previously, the company faced a severe limitation in using cookies because the Safari browser limits cookie duration to seven days. After switching to server-side cookies with Snowplow, Burberry’s cookies are now valid for 12 months.

Best of all, server-side cookies are much better than third-party cookies for respecting customer privacy and adhering to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) top priorities for Burberry. 

Going from one week to one year for our anonymous cookies is a ridiculous uplift. When we can hang onto a user for up to a year, there’s a much greater likelihood that they will identify themselves at some point by clicking on an email. That enables us to tie their history back to an actual customer and begin to provide them with more personalized service. ”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Burberry’s focus on offering better service to webrooming customers has also paid off.

The average webrooming journey lasts two to six hours from the time a Burberry customer begins browsing online to the time they arrive at a Burberry store. With Databricks and Snowplow, Burberry delivers data to its client advisors in time for them to provide a knowledgeable service based on the online behavior of opted-in customers.

Our client advisors can pull out their iPads or iPhones to gain an instant view of what a customer really wants and which products to recommend. That’s crucial to making sales, because if we miss that opportunity, we may have to wait another week or two until the customer returns. There’s no chance we would be able to support this use case if we were still getting our clickstream data in daily batches.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

The synergy between Databricks and Snowplow enables Burberry to consume clickstream data on its own schedule, rather than the schedule of its data provider.

We’re working on getting data latency down to five minutes, which is huge for a business like ours. Snowplow enabled us to replace multiple data sources and their transformations with a single set of definitions. And we lean on Databricks to combine many different behaviors from different sources and at different cadences. This is the beginning of a whole new age of customer service at Burberry.”

BENJAMIN STEPHENS | SENIOR MANAGER, BURBERRY

Connect to Snowplow using Databricks Partner Connect today!

Snowplow’s Cloud Behavioral Data Platform (BDP) is now available on Databricks Partner Connect! This integration makes it easier than ever for joint customers to leverage the power of Snowplow’s best-in-class behavioral data pipeline paired with Databricks’ industry leading data and AI platform. Click here to find out more.

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