EXCLUSIVE: Direct-to-consumer vitamin brand Ritual integrates data

Ritual is obtaining a unified view of sales data from brick-and-mortar partners.

A direct-to-consumer (DTC) startup is leveraging data automation to support expansion with brick-and-mortar partners.

Chain Store Age recently had a conversation with Brett Trani, director of analytics at Ritual, to learn more about how the digitally native health and wellness company, specializing in a variety of women’s vitamins, is successfully selling its products via brick-and-mortar retailers including Target and Whole Foods with data support from Snowflake and Crisp.

As you began offering your product line for sale by retail partners, what issues did you have?

When we moved into brick-and-mortar, we started to interface with systems which were older than our internal systems and we could not easily extract data out of. To obtain data on what was actually happening at Target and Whole Foods every day, our sales team would have to log into a portal and download data manually from different platforms. 

They would put in a lot of manual effort to get partner data into a recording sheet. If you knew about that sheet in the company, you could probably get access to it. But it was just kind of siloed, and then we ran into an issue where someone went out on leave for a few months and nobody knew how to get that data out. 

So the process was very manual, very time-consuming, and we weren't really able to share that data among other stakeholders of the company.

How did you start to try to improve your integration with brick-and-mortar partners?

We tried to build integrations ourselves using our existing Snowflake Data Cloud implementation. We were able to get some data transferred out of sources like Targets APIs, for example, and put it into Snowflake. But we still ran into issues such as permissions expiring and schemas changing, or the structure of the data itself changing. 

What was your next step?

We decided to start investigating to see if there were a vendor or platform we could use to help us pull third-party data to store on our Snowflake platform. We discovered the Crisp SaaS-based collaborative commerce solution from an industry recommendation, and the company had a model that fit what Ritual was looking for, which was to set it up and let it run with no management on our end.

How did you implement Crisp?

The implementation was smooth with no real integration process, as Crisp is a partner in the Snowflake vendor marketplace. In terms of the setup, like getting data from our retailer partners, it was a 15-minute process that we could do ourselves that mainly involved putting in our credentials. 

The data started appearing a few hours later. Ritual has been using Crisp with Snowflake for about six months now.

What type of benefits has Ritual received from this technology deployment?

We save about 10 hours a week of manual labor, things like recurring meetings, coding and check-in, that all went away. Over the course of the year, that’s roughly 500 hours of labor savings, which right out of the gate was something that we could point to as a quick return on investment.

A second benefit has been the ability to integrate all of this partner retail and sell-through data into our larger data ecosystem. So instead of kind of treating brick-and-mortar as a separate channel that was often siloed, we now bring all that data together in a unified order model so that anybody can look at our business and blend all these data sources together. 

We use a visualization tool to integrate all the data together. This means people throughout the company up to executive level can see all these different types of data from different sources merged together, instead of trying to manually pull and combine all these different reports.

Because we can rely on this data so well, we are starting to look at not just optimizations with inventory, but getting more proactive about issues like impending out-of-stocks. These are things that have just started bubbling up because we have good foundational data now.

[Read more: How important is direct-to-consumer for CPG companies?]

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds