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Mulberry bags Google Cloud support for data-driven sales push during Covid-19

Public cloud giant adds Mulberry to its roll-call of retail customers

Luxury fashion brand Mulberry claims tapping into the Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) data analytics capabilities has led to a 25% uptick in sales despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the firm to close its bricks-and-mortar stores.

The move to GCP followed Mulberry’s appointment of Neill Randall as the brand’s solutions architect in late 2019. Upon joining the company, Randall discovered that the firm generates huge amounts of customer, stock and sales data through its online and bricks-and-mortar store operations but was failing to exploit it properly.

“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,” said Randall in a GCP blog post.  

In terms of the amount of data it was processing, the company said it has 5,000 products and a customer base of 2.7 million individuals, whose transactions all create a digital paper trail containing useful information that could help Mulberry grow its business even further.  

“To create a global view of our stock, products and customers, we needed to bring all that information together. Google Cloud made that possible,” said Randall.

This work saw the firm build a centralised data management system in Google Cloud that enabled it to keep closer tabs on where its data was, so it was more accessible and easier to glean insights from.

The company says this capability came into its own during the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown, which resulted in non-essential shops having to close their doors for an extended period to help arrest the spread of coronavirus.

During that time, Mulberry took action to convert its bricks-and-mortar stores into warehouse space for its online sales stock, while also rapidly listing all of the products on its shop floor for sales through its online channels.   

Read more about Google Cloud in retail

“The benefits quickly made their way to customers, who now had an even larger selection of products to choose from when shopping online,” said Pip White, managing director of Google Cloud UK and Ireland. “Better still, with an improved view of each order status, issues were easier to resolve and customers received their favourite Mulberry items faster than expected.

“Full stock visibility, coupled with fewer order issues and faster shipping, led to a 25% boost in sales. Some of Mulberry’s stores even got back to their normal sales levels, despite Covid-19.”

Having its data more readily available for analysis also meant the firm could refine its marketing procedures by rolling out personalised campaigns and product offers to its customers.

This resulted in it reporting a 37% increase in click-through ad rates on its website, which generated a 110% uptick in the return it received on its ad spend in general.

Randall added: “We managed to get up and running within days, and began to see the benefits quickly. We are basically self-taught, which is a testament to how easy to use Google Cloud is.”

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