Chubbies is a fast-growing eCommerce company empowering their customers to live for “Friday at Five.” A key trendsetter in the revival of short-shorts in modern men’s fashion, Chubbies is now a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping people reach fulfillment and joy outside of the daily 9-5 grind.
Before Heap: An Incomplete Picture
The mission may sound happy-go-lucky, but the Chubbies team takes their business and their customer experience goals seriously. For Chubbies, a data-driven culture starts at the top, with co-founder Tom Montgomery leading the way:
Customer data tells us what people like and don’t like. We want that feedback. We crave brutal honesty from our customer base, so we can constantly be delivering these amazing experiences. The purpose is to have a relationship with the customer – customer data is critical to that.
Before Heap, Chubbies used a legacy analytics tool to collect data. Too often, the data from their legacy analytics tool wasn’t granular enough, and the Chubbies team were relegated to making guesses. They simply didn’t have the complete picture they needed to feel confident in their decision making, and the constant bottlenecks associated with answering questions inhibited them from fulfilling larger ambitions like maximizing the lifetime value of their customers. Their previous tool was unable to tie purchases to behavior at a granular level, blocking them from understanding the revenue impact of their digital experiences. Chubbies went looking for a new platform to gain a holistic view of their customers and drive business impact.
Why Heap?: Sophistication and Speed Without Additional Engineering
Chubbies – like many companies – doesn’t have access to unlimited engineering resources. The leadership team at Chubbies is reluctant to dedicate valuable engineering hours to analytics projects that take bandwidth away from the core business. Presented with this challenge, the team saw clear value in autocapture which requires near-zero resources to set up and eliminates technical maintenance overhead. As Carlos Nido, the company’s Senior Manager of Data & Analytics, put it: “A lot of the analytics tools we were considering took a lot of setup time, so we would have to give up time from our developers. Now, whenever we release a new site or make changes, we’re able to see all the events that are automatically being tracked.”
Heap’s modernized platform also allows Chubbies to automatically integrate data from their eCommerce platform, Shopify. Detailed purchase and return events are available in Heap – a capability that Carlos and the Chubbies team couldn’t find among legacy analytics vendors. “With other tools, we’d have to bring in transaction IDs and do complex joins downstream,”Carlos explains. “But with Heap, everything is unified right in the app. Having that capability out-of-the-box allowed us to up our analytics capabilities without having to sink a ton of developer resources.”
Additionally, the Chubbies merchandising team uses Heap behavioral data downstream in BigQuery and Looker dashboards. Heap’s capabilities here were significantly advantageous to the lean engineering resources at Chubbies. Heap’s managed ETL populates and maintains tables in BigQuery, without additional effort or maintenance from the Chubbies team. For Carlos, this relieved what had always been a constant burden with legacy analytics tools:
In my previous lives working with other web analytics tools, I have had all the experiences of our own developers building API integrations to bring web data in – and it always takes so much maintenance. So for me, as a single person data team here at Chubbies, it’s been a great experience to have that all handled by Heap automatically.
After Heap: An “All-in” View for All of the Business
All of this automation means that Carlos can focus on helping the internal teams “build a stronger analytics base for them to make decisions”. Carlos used Heap to empower the marketing, product, and merchandising teams to use data in their decision-making.
With Heap, the team has pushed past what was previously possible with their legacy analytics tool. They are able to take a deeper look at what behaviors are meaningfully correlated with retention and lifetime value. With insights from Heap, the team is increasingly successful in driving their customers to return to the site and make repeat purchases with greater frequency.
The product team uses new content and layouts to continually optimize the customer experience. Because of Heap, they are able to adjust assets and measure impact on conversion without slowing down to maintain tracking. “We’re able to confidently put out new experiences in a day,” remarks Devon Chulick, a Product Manager at Chubbies.
Moreover, the insights from Heap played a critical role in the Product team’s conversion rate optimization efforts. Heap helped Chubbies find “new patterns in behavior on our site that correlated with higher conversion rates and higher customer value.” These discoveries led to a redesign of the core navigation system, resulting in a more seamless digital customer experience and higher conversion.
Cyber Monday: Data in Action
So, how does this improved agility and data access drive business value? Cyber Monday is an important day for all eCommerce companies, and Chubbies is no exception. A big marketing push meant a lot of traffic – which in turn meant all hands on deck leveraging Heap to make quick decisions and make the most out of the day.
Jack Wilson, from the merchandising team, noticed in the first hour that the sports category was producing the highest value orders. This was abnormal for a company known for their khaki shorts. They decided to flex heavily into sports, and by the end of the day, it was their leading category. Jack credits Heap for this: “Without Heap, I think we would have stuck with what we knew, rather than making a decision like that.”
Devon had a bit of a pet project on Cyber Monday – the “boss button.” When this red button in the top right corner was pressed, your screen would fill with fake spreadsheets, emails, etc. so if your boss happened to walk by your desk, they’d think you are working rather than shopping. Using Heap, Devon was able to confirm that people using this feature were more likely to convert, and more likely to return throughout the day.
For Gabby Greenburg, an analyst at Chubbies, Cyber Monday was a 14-hour marathon. She was adjusting layouts on an hourly basis and using conversion rates in Heap to keep what was working, and change what was not.
Finally, Carlos was in on the act, making adjustments to their “gifting engine” as the day went on. Chubbies customers could select a free gift with their order, with better gifts unlocked at higher cart values. Carlos examined not only what people selected, but also what options they interacted with before selecting. This allowed him to optimize gift ordering and gift tiers, helping drive conversion.
Chubbies’ use of Heap has empowered the whole team to use data to make decisions. This enables them to act with confidence to improve the customer experience, and ultimately increase sales. When it comes to leveraging data in decision making, Gabby puts it best: “You can’t base your company and your profitability on an opinion.” Opinions and gut instincts play less of a role than ever before at Chubbies. With Heap’s help, Chubbies has successfully built a culture of data-driven action.