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Mulberry: Adopting a modern approach to data to deliver age-honoured products worldwide

About Mulberry

Known for its luxurious leather handbags, Mulberry is a UK fashion brand with a range of products, all brought to life with a craft and design that’s quintessentially British.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: United Kingdom

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About Datatonic

Specializing in data analysis and visual analytics, Datatonic helps businesses unlock value by gaining insights from ever-increasing data volumes with AI and ML solutions.

By building a data warehouse with BigQuery, Mulberry gains a single view of stock, customers, and products, boosting online sales by 25% and hyper-personalizing campaigns with machine learning.

Google Cloud results

  • Delivers a single view of stock with BigQuery, resulting in faster shipments to customers
  • Raises click-through rate by 37% and return on ad spend by 110% with data-based hyper-personalized campaigns
  • Reduces order and shipping issues by enabling an operational dashboard with Looker Studio, tracking each order
  • Streamlines the flow of delivery and purchases by connecting all stock systems with Google Cloud

25% growth in online sales with BigQuery

Who we are is ingrained in our style. Speaking through colors, cuts, or fabrics, fashion is a display of individuality, inextricably linked to our identity. And our favorite brands have identities too. With its Somerset roots and its timeless luxury, Mulberry has remained quintessentially British, even while expanding internationally. Renowned for its leather craftsmanship, embodied by the iconic Bayswater bag, the brand has created several contemporary classics. Today, Mulberry’s made-to-last accessories are sold across 25 countries in 120 owned and partner stores and through a strong digital network.

Meanwhile, an interesting contradiction makes Mulberry such a thoroughly British brand and is also a driver of change across the company: its combination of age-honoured craft with innovation, which doesn’t just underpin its designs but also its approach to technology.

“All the data at Mulberry was coming in at different times, from different silos, in different formats, into different systems, making it impossible to gain end-to-end visibility. To create a global view of our stock, products, and customers, we needed to bring all that information together. Google Cloud made that possible.”

Neill Randall, Solutions Architect, Mulberry

When Neill Randall joined Mulberry in 2019 as Solutions Architect, the company’s advanced data collection capabilities caught his eye immediately. With a range of third-party data collectors, Mulberry was gathering data from online and physical sales via many different channels. But the company didn’t yet have a central solution to bring all this information together. This became a problem when Mulberry’s physical stores had to close because of COVID-19 and shifting to online retail became a necessity, but the lack of stock visibility was hindering the brand from adapting as fast as it needed to. It was against this backdrop that Mulberry turned to Google Cloud for a solution.

“All the data at Mulberry was coming in at different times, from different silos, in different formats, into different systems, making it impossible to gain end-to-end visibility,” Neill explains. “To create a global view of our stock, products, and customers, we needed to bring all that information together. Google Cloud made that possible.”

Building a single view of stock, customers, and products

With a centralized data solution on BigQuery, Mulberry can connect the dots between data that was previously scattered across different systems. This way, it can extract better insights to personalize campaigns at scale and delight customers with more relevant recommendations. That’s the domain of Customer Insights Manager Louise Vanwildermeersch, who joined the company around the same time to develop an insight-led strategy. “To really understand our customers and adjust our strategy accordingly, we first needed to understand the data and transform it into action,” she says.

Excited by the possibilities, the duo combines their strengths and experience to streamline the way data is gathered and visualized at Mulberry and uses this data to reinvent the customer experience with hyper-personalization.

An enterprise data warehouse at almost zero cost

The Mulberry website was already hosted on Google Cloud, but in choosing a data solution, the biggest drivers for Neill were the warehouse capabilities of BigQuery and serverless computing possibilities with Google Cloud.

“With its unique pay-as-you-go price model and serverless infrastructure, BigQuery enables us to build an enterprise-level data warehouse with a 360 degree view of our customers, products, and stock, at almost zero initial investment,” says Neill. “With other data platforms, a similar setup would have cost us tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Simplicity was another important factor affecting Neil’s choice. “We managed to get up and running within days, and began to see the benefits quickly,” he recalls. “Louise and I are basically self-taught, which is a testament to how easy to use Google Cloud is. We find that Google Cloud has a lower learning curve compared to other cloud providers.”

Increasing sales by 25% with full stock visibility

Today, Mulberry uses BigQuery to consolidate customer, stock, and order data, breaking down data silos across the company’s stores, website, order management system, and warehouse system. The company also uses Cloud Functions to help combine data from these multiple systems into BigQuery. Meanwhile, Pub/Sub ingests event-driven systems and streaming analytics, enabling real-time insights.

The new setup was immediately put to the test, aiming to support Mulberry’s quick move to transform its closed brick-and-mortar stores into warehouses for online sales. With its new data platform in place, Mulberry could better view and manage its stock, and add all products still out on the shop floors to the company’s digital channels. The benefits quickly trickled down to its customers, who now have an even larger selection of products to choose from when shopping online.

“In the past, we couldn’t put our full product range from our stores onto our websites because we lacked a single view of stock,” Neill explains. “BigQuery enables us to sell every single Mulberry product online, no matter its location, which led to a 25% sales increase. Some of our stores even got back to their normal trading levels, despite COVID-19.”

Fewer issues, faster shipments, happier customers

And Mulberry was only getting started. To make its data even more accessible, Neill and Louise created an operational dashboard using Looker Studio to visualize every Mulberry order from placement to delivery. Previously, orders could get more easily lost somewhere in the complex interplay between different systems, stores, and warehouses that they need to travel through before arriving at customers’ doors. Now, with a single place to view the status of every order, issues are less likely to happen and easier to resolve.

Today, customers receive their favorite Mulberry items even faster. During peak season, distribution centers were sometimes overwhelmed with orders, causing delays. Now that every employee in every Mulberry store can prepare shipments, deliveries have accelerated.

“BigQuery enables us to analyze our store stock data in real time, share insights, and distribute orders across a number of different sources. This way, we quickly find the right store or warehouse to send each customer’s order from,” says Neill. “Now more customers get the product they’re looking for, and many of our orders are picked, packed, and shipped within hours, which used to take days.”

“By personalizing our emails, we’ve already increased our click-through rate by 37%, with a 110% increase in return on ad spend in general. In 2020, our conversion rates and the revenues they drove were higher than ever before, meaning we’re targeting exactly the right customers.”

Louise Vanwildermeersch, Customer Insights Manager, Mulberry

Hyper-personalizing the customer relationship

With more than 2.7 million customers and 5,000 products, Mulberry gains insights from each purchase, resulting in billions of rows of data. Now, having established a centralized data view, Mulberry can take the customer relationship to the next level by using this data to offer hyper-personalized services. “With the Google Cloud infrastructure in place, we’re ready to automate and leverage our data insights to better target and serve our customers with the right digital marketing strategy,” says Louise.

By partnering with analytics expert and Google Cloud partner Datatonic, Mulberry is able to derive actionable insights from its vast data volumes within months, sometimes even weeks. “Having all our data streams centralized in BigQuery made the collaboration with Datatonic effortless,” says Louise. “We didn’t need to send anything to them, they just put their AI+ML platform as a layer onto our data sources and created propensity scores for each customer to predict their future buying behavior.”

Mulberry used these scores to start tailoring their marketing outreach to customers individually, boosting sales. “By personalizing our emails, we’ve already increased our click-through rate by 37%, with a 110% increase in return on ad spend in general,” says Louise. “In 2020, our conversion rates and the revenues they drove were higher than ever before, meaning we’re targeting exactly the right customers.”

“Senior leadership at Mulberry always wanted a 360-degree customer view, and Google Cloud enabled us to do just that, all within a few months, boosting sales and our customer experience. Looking at how much we’ve achieved already, there are no limits to what we can do in the future.”

Neill Randall, Solutions Architect, Mulberry

Shaping the future of fashion retail

Having proven their success in a difficult year for the retail industry, Neill and Louise now want to advance data access and personalization across the business. For example, by leveraging ML insights to improve other sales channels, especially the Mulberry website, and by harnessing Mulberry’s data hub success to offer more relevant recommendations for customers via email and social media campaigns. Meanwhile, by expanding its serverless environment with Google Cloud, Mulberry will become even more agile.

“Senior leadership at Mulberry always wanted a 360-degree customer view, and Google Cloud enabled us to do just that, all within a few months, boosting sales and our customer experience” says Neill. “Looking at how much we’ve achieved already, there are no limits to what we can do in the future.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Mulberry

Known for its luxurious leather handbags, Mulberry is a UK fashion brand with a range of products, all brought to life with a craft and design that’s quintessentially British.

Industries: Retail & Consumer Goods
Location: United Kingdom

About Datatonic

Specializing in data analysis and visual analytics, Datatonic helps businesses unlock value by gaining insights from ever-increasing data volumes with AI and ML solutions.