co-written with Michael Walter, Director of E-Commerce, Nature’s Path
Nature's Path is a family-owned producer of certified organic foods. Originally known for its breakfast cereals, it now has a portfolio of more than 150 products which include granola, oatmeal and waffles. Nature’s Path has a large presence in brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon, Walmart and now their own DTC channel.
Michael Walter, who leads Nature Path’s E-Commerce team, was launching the DTC channel of an already pre-established and well known brand.
He knew that this DTC channel would grow quickly – and it was his job to put the systems in place upfront to ensure that his tech would scale and his business would grow sustainably. Therefore, Michael decided to find a pricing and discounting partner upfront.
Prior to finding Luca, Excel was our best friend. We would take the cost of the ingredients, the cost of manufacturing and added additional costs like shipping. And then added a margin. So every product was priced in isolation, just based on costs. I knew this wasn’t the best way to do it, but it was the only way we could do it. -- Michael, Director of Ecomm, NP
When Nature’s Path integrated with Luca, there wasn’t much historical data for the Price Optimization Engine to work with. Therefore Luca’s forecasts evolved every single week based on new data points.
This is where Luca distinguishes itself from established pricing solutions that are oriented around lots of training data and are slow to update their predictions. Where other such solutions might fail, Luca’s algorithms are able to work with very small training datasets to create estimates, which are iterated and refined as needed.
Nature’s Path has a Shopify based store. It took them all of 60 seconds to approve Luca’s Shopify app and for Luca to get access to sales and customer data it needed. No additional setup was required. Integration was seamless.
Within 8 weeks of the Luca integration, Nature’s Path experienced the growth outcomes they wanted as the foundation of their young DTC business, with a 2.2% increase in revenue with sustainable unit economics.
Our internal teams have all the data we need, but my small team didn’t have the time or the tooling to make the decisions Luca was able to make for us. Luca takes pricing off my hands, because we are able to completely trust it to make the right decisions – every time. -- Michael, Director of Ecomm, NP
We asked Michael what advice he would give E-Comm Entrepreneurs in the similar situation of launching a young DTC brand. This is what he had to say –
For me, it is about getting the foundations right. Whether it is finding the right tech solution such as the right pricing, subscription or reviews platform, or it is getting your numbers right so that you are profitable from the beginning. Before you grow and become a large DTC business, you have to invest in the right partners that will help you scale! -- Michael, Director of Ecomm, NP