Compass Customer Success Story: Rip van Wafels

Rip van Wafels makes snack waffles and sells them both online and in stores all around the country. The two founders, Rip and Marco started selling waffles from their dorm room at University and, just five years later, grew to be a thriving business selling in Starbucks and Whole Foods.

Like all entrepreneurs, Rip and Marco struggle with knowing if each decision they are making is leading the company in the right direction. This is a problem we all face when running a business, mostly because of the over abundance of available data we have at our disposal today. Ironically in today’s context, the more data we have the harder (and not easier) it gets to make informed decisions.

From early on Rip understood the importance of data-driven decisions. They have been using the Compass dashboard to help make make sense of their online sales data and they told us how much it has helped them grow their business. Simply by making it easy to understand, and most importantly, much more actionable. So we interviewed Rip Pruisken, the founder and CEO, to learn more about how they are using our data to drive their business forward.

In case you’re new to Compass, let us give you a quick overview: with Compass you can gather all your revenue and marketing data in one place, connecting them together to generate automated reports in seconds. These reports further help you run your business by showing you benchmarks against similar companies to yours. The practice of understanding data in context will help you identify problems, prioritize and allocate resources and evaluate your data effectively to help you make better decisions and, ultimately, grow faster.

Rip, what do you think was the main driver to make the company grow so fast?

For us it was important to understand what pain point our product solves and for whom, and build a strategy that allows us to scale our business. More specifically, because we are a food company, it was very important to show the value proposition of the company and make it very easy to purchase the product.

So from the beginning, we used data to optimize the site for conversion. We focused on that first and then moved on to retention and email marketing to our existing user base.

Compass Bounce Rate benchmark dashboard:

Bounce rate benchmark

Illustrative image. NOT actual data from Rip Van Wafels.

You’ve been using Compass for 7 months now. How is the product helping you achieve your goals?

Compass allows us to track our Shopify store, Amazon and our acquisition channels (Facebook and Adwords) in one place. The custom benchmarks have helped us to set our monthly goals, identify problems (e.g. conversion rate problems) and support critical decisions (e.g. which acquisition channels to focus on).

Compass also shows our Customer Lifetime Value and our Customer Acquisition Cost for different channels. This way we could estimate the ROI for our campaigns. A feature I believe Compass is working on as well.

We’ve been impressed with how quickly the application has evolved since we first started using it. The Compass team has been very responsive to our feedback. In the beginning we were sometimes lost after seeing our benchmarks because we didn’t know how to fix them. Now they’ve introduced e-mail recommendations and some free consulting which has really helped us build clarity on what actions to take. 

How does Compass fit in the day-to-day life of your company?

It’s very important for a fast growing business to really understand the revenue channels. Compass breaks down Amazon and ecommerce revenue channels in one place. It’s a very effective way of getting a snapshot of our sales performance online.

We have someone in the team put together our weekly sales review, and have them take a screenshot of the Compass dashboard for the weekly meeting. Then we look at the areas that need more work, and optimize the website accordingly.

Compass Acquisition analysis:

Compass Acquisition Channel Analysis

Illustrative image. NOT actual data from Rip Van Wafels.

What did you find unique about Compass?

What I like most about Compass is that the interface is very simple and straightforward. It has improved a lot, showing that you guys are constantly working on making the UX better. This is important as it saves us time in reading reports.

The benchmarking tool is really cool. As the platform signs on more and more companies, the data is going to be even more relevant and interesting to look at. This definitely differentiates Compass from other analytics platforms. Also, I don’t think a lot of other platforms have Amazon. This is very relevant for companies that sell offline a lot and want to begin selling online.

Compass Insights Report:

Compass Insight report

Illustrative image. NOT actual data from Rip Van Wafels.

Can you give us a specific example of a situation in which Compass was very useful to you?

Yeah, we realized that conversion rates on checkouts was lower than it could be so we put in some extra work to test and fix that. The Compass team are also very well connected with extremely talented consultants and freelancers that can help us with one-off projects.

So while the dashboard shows us where we could be improving, their team also works on finding the right people that can help us do that. That saves us a lot of time and money in finding great people for those jobs where you need an expert for a short period of time.

Compass is also testing a new service through which it refers users like Rip Van Wafels to service providers that can help us improve our performance on sub-optimal metrics. We are currently in the process of working on an agreement with a highly specialized agency to help improve our landing page design to optimize our conversion rates. This service is a huge value add because it means that Compass not only helps us identify opportunities for improvement; it also helps us implement them.

Compass Traffic Sources dashboard:

Illustrative image. NOT actual data from Rip Van Wafels.