Empowering store managers is the Lush way
Making data-driven business decisions.
LUSH is a cosmetics company founded in 1995 and headquartered in the United Kingdom. Today, LUSH has over 900 stores in 51 countries, and invents and manufactures all of their own products which are 100% fresh and handmade. LUSH use natural ingredients, fresh fruit and vegetables, essential oils, honey, and beeswax as key components in their products. The company has been present in Sweden since 1997, and currently operates nine stores from Luleå in the North, to Malmö in the South, as well as online. All LUSH stores globally capture foot traffic, but the decision on which technology to use has been left up to the individual countries. In the beginning of 2014, LUSH’s nine Swedish stores replaced their existing footfall system and implemented AXIS People Counter with reporting system.
LUSH operations in Sweden were concerned with the accuracy of the previously installed visitor counting system, and also felt that data could be potentially manipulated. Distrust in the output from the system, lead to focus on the number of transactions, which in turn did not really provide any measurement of the customer service level and the right customer focus. The management at LUSH Sweden had a strong desire to measure customer flows, conversion rates, sales per hour, efficiency, and effectiveness in the store in a better way.
LUSH is a large company today, but entrepreneurship still lies at the heart and spirit. The Swedish operations were quick to make an implementation decision once the solution had been presented. Within a matter of a few weeks, all stores had the AXIS People Counter up and running in conjunction with the reporting system which captures and analyzes the data over time - the era of increased transparency had begun.
I had started to look into different alternatives within the field of visitor counting, and when I came in contact with Jatox, longtime system integrator, and Axis partner, the pieces came together. The timing and personal chemistry were right. These solutions provide retailers with vital key performance indicators, so it is logical to work with a trusted service provider. In addition, the system had a good track record and proved to be cost effective.
“We monitor the daily store results down to hourly units. The full benefit of the solution became apparent with completely comparable data after a year, and we see clear trends and patterns and have therefore gained benefits in staff planning, which is great,” John Ramberg, Business Manager at LUSH, pointed out. A little over a year after the successful implementation, LUSH took the next step to empower the store managers by rolling out a globally renowned business intelligence and visualization tool. This tool enables LUSH store managers to monitor sales in shops throughout the company, promoting a positive feeling of competition amongst colleagues. Sweden is the second country in line for rollout after the United Kingdom.
Scott Silverthorn, head of reporting and data services at LUSH Digital, explains, “Experience has shown that our shop managers respond very well to increased data access. They take their figures very seriously – they look at conversion rates and buying behavior and take action if it is lower than expected, like for example by providing training of staff. They also speak to their colleagues and exchange learnings.”
Data quality is key
LUSH is a data driven organization and believes in the power of providing employees with access to relevant data for their role to enable business decisions. The importance of accurate, consistent information with the right level of granularity is thus pivotal. Scott Silverthorn says, “By far the highest quality of data traffic within LUSH today, comes from our Swedish operations. We are able to get bi-directional information down to 15 minute intervals over the course of the day. In addition to providing store managers with daily reports the integration to head office has been simple, painless and happens overnight enabling further exploration in our business intelligence and visualization tool.
Quick implementation and early rewards in staff planning
LUSH stores in Sweden average some 60 m2 in size, and the right amount of manpower to meet customer flows, maintain the desired service levels, and yet be cost effective is essential to business operations. “Based on analysis of customer flows, we have added staff for a few hours during certain times of the day, and we are also moving into measuring effectiveness of events in the store. As an extra benefit we have a very good continuous 24/7 health check of our Internet connection. If the visitor counters are not reporting numerical data we get a call from Jatox and can investigate,” John Ramberg says with a smile.
LUSH prides itself to be 100% committed to its customers and focused on the future - why settle for anything less when it comes to retail analytics and service providers.