Generating business insight

BY Retailer  |  comments ( 1 )  | 

Activecubes solutions are focused on helping businesses make intelligent and insightful decisions in respect of marketing, targeting customers, retaining the right suppliers. 



The Shop Direct group is UK’s leading online retailer and largest Home Shopping Company. The company has a turnover of £1.6 billion coming from 5 million customers. Online transactions account for more than 50 per cent of sales. The main modes of communication to its customers are through catalogues and non-catalogues (on-line, TV, radio, etc). Customers buy products through the call centre, online, etc. The percentage of the online sales has been increasing over the years.



Shop Direct wanted to determine the impact of various marketing channels on the sale of its products, visitors to the website and the awareness of its brand. The findings helped understand ‘what works’ in the market and hence in optimising its marketing communication mix (which included mass media, one to one, online and face to face).


Solution approach

The approach to solving the market mix problem was done in phases. The first phase was data creation – collating data for the questions that needed answers. The key performance indicators were first identified and then data was collated using parameters like channel used (direct marketing, TV, print), time period, data granularity, vintage of the data, environmental factors, etc.

The second phase was model creation. Time series regression techniques were used to model the sales on the various marketing activities. The final models were selected based on the best fit.

Based on the final models, the optimal communication vehicles were identified – those that work in isolation. Decisions to move marketing spend from one vehicle to another were taken based on this.



The ROI break-up of the various activities helped Shop Direct to take an informed view on where additional investment would make sense and where it could be scaled back without adverse effects. This also helped identify the extent of co-relation of spend amongst spend channels.        


Shop Direct spends £120m plus in marketing to its customers via a complex mix of above the line, online and offline direct-to -onsumer channels. We engaged Activecubes to help us refine and optimise the marketing decisions we take with a view of making our marketing spend work harder. Their team helped us break down a complex problem into clear, simple chunks and evaluate the return on our marketing activities in a meaningful way. They were incredibly easy to work with, regardless of whether their team was located on-site in the UK or remotely in Bangalore.

Anita Balchandani, Group Strategy & Business Development Director, Shop Direct Group


Retail business needs to seriously start investing time and energy towards understanding their customer data, through implementation of BI/analytics solution. Today, some of them are doing that and some are not yet there. In the coming days, leadership in retail will not only depend on the number of stores opened at what pace, it will also depend on who understands their customers better and are able to come up with right kind of promotions/offers, cross sell, up-sell, manage loyalty better, etc. India will continue to be one of the fastest growing retail markets, and opportunities around it are exciting.

Anand Ganapathy Chennira, Executive Director, Activecubes



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Alex January 03, 2012 at 10:19 am

You can aalwys tell an expert! Thanks for contributing.

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