Here at Yaguara, we are interacting with eCommerce teams daily that are pushing the industry forward. One company we’ve had the pleasure getting to know (and learn from) is the team over at Paravel. Paravel is a direct-to-consumer brand based out of New York City that creates the world's most resilient canvas luggage and travel accessories. And while they make a pretty sleek product, they are just as thoughtful behind-the-scenes. I had the opportunity to speak with Alex Romac from their team about all things data and dashboards. So without further ado…
Hey Alex, thrilled to be speaking with you about Paravel among other
eCommerce topics. But before we jump in, do you mind sharing the Paravel
story? And your role and responsibilities there?
Hi J.D., Excited to speak with you. Paravel is a sustainable DTC travel
goods company started by Indre Rockefeller and Andy Krantz 3 years ago. We
offer bags and accessories ranging from rolling suitcases to personalizable
duffles. I handle all things Data and Analytics acting as the primary
resource for reporting, understanding our customer base, and any ad hoc
The three year mark is such an interesting time for an eCommerce business,
at this point there are probably a lot of learnings around product-market
fit, customer journeys, and strategies that did or didn’t work. You’ve been
with Paravel since nearly the beginning, what is something you found
interesting throughout the company’s growth to this point?
There are so many great stories, but I really like what happens when we
launch a new product. It's interesting to see how the product performs from
a new vs. repeat customer perspective over the course of the first few
months. Our new rolling bag, The Aviator, is the perfect match for anyone
with one of our duffels, but also instantly appeals to people who are just
learning about Paravel.
is definitely a nice addition to the product line, looking forward to seeing
how it does over time.
Let’s talk about your professional journey for
a bit. How did you end up working in the analytics and data department of a
company? Did you always have an interest in this side of an eCommerce
I got my start in my previous role at a ride-share start up, running simple
python scripts to pull and clean data for other team members and myself. I
really started to get into ecommerce analytics at Paravel. The business and
the team grew quickly so efficient data analysis became increasingly
important. I started to leverage SQL on a daily basis to answer questions
faster and create queries for recurring reports that saved me a lot of time.
It has been very rewarding to provide the team with insights that were
previously out of reach or that took too long to come up with.
Thanks for sharing, sounds like data has always been on the mind and now you
found a niche you accel at with eCommerce.
Data visualization, specifically Dashboards, starts having a
substantial presence in everyday activity in a role such as yours. So how
many team and personal Dashboards do you work with? And how often are you
looking at these Dashboards?
We have a pretty agile dashboard set up. I have a few for each marketing
channel, a sales overview, and a more granular report that I look at
monthly. I look at many of these reports on a weekly basis. When there are
larger decisions being made such as inventory planning and forecasting
sales, it's helpful to have many of these dashboards pre-built so that the
focus can stay on strategy and not waiting for a report.
Definitely agree that you don’t want to play the waiting game during crucial
As you know, we are big fans of data visualization at Yaguara.
Once you know which metrics to look at, they still need to be presented to
you in a way that is easy to understand and provides you the information
that you are looking for when you are looking for it. Like understanding the
underlying metrics themselves, the art of presenting those metrics in an
effective way that facilitates action without impeding productivity is vital
to a successful data operation.
With that being said what are
the top metrics you look at in your Dashboards?
that, what trends do you typically look for when visualizing these top
metrics over time?
Couldn’t agree more. Presentation is something that I am constantly working
on. The top metrics I am looking at are AOV, UPT, Return Customer Rate,
Personalization Rate, Traffic Sources as a % of all traffic, and Blended
ROAS. In the three years we have been in business, our product mix and
messaging has changed significantly. Therefore, I look at these metrics
holistically as well as categorically to observe trends. The longer back I
look, the more I tend to look categorically rather than at specific styles.
For shorter term analysis, I like to look for week over week changes as well
as relative performance compared to trailing 30 day performance.
Speaking of your company’s history, do you mind sharing about a time at
Paravel where the use of data and dashboarding drove a positive outcome for
Our personalization dashboards have been a big help. They have influenced
merchandising, how we advertise certain products, and reinforced decisions
to invest in new ways to customize products.
That’s awesome, I’m a big fan of teams moving towards a data-driven
merchandising approach. It is the historical core of every retail
organization, and that function is finding itself at a critical inflection
As you continue to dive deeper into leading data and strategy initiatives
for eCommerce teams, where do you think is an area you could further grow?
I’m most excited about becoming better at enabling others to leverage
dashboards and tools to make their jobs more dynamic. I’m really working on
preparing analyses with the end user in mind from the start. Working with
teams to lay out the concrete actions that will be influenced by dashboards
helps improve product adoption as well as saving me time!
Alright I have to ask, do you have any predictions around your industry
and/or data in eCommerce?
My Magic 8 Ball told me that travel will still happen, just not as much by
plane this next year. Luckily, Paravel has a diverse product offering that
is perfect for weekend car trips. I think it will be hard for companies that
are primarily focused on air travel. Regarding eCommerce Data, I think it
will only become more important to find and measure efficiencies as larger
companies enter the digital market. It has never been easier to access data
about your business, but deciding how exactly to use it will still be a
challenge. I think the companies that will do the best will be those that
have pre-defined goals and consistent testing frameworks.
Alex, couldn’t thank you more for this exchange. It is insightful and
inspiring to learn more around what you and Paravel are continuously
building. Anything else you want to share with the crowd before signing off?
Thanks JD. Thank you for building a tool that makes it easy to contextualize
these metrics on a project level. It is very helpful for the team to see
everything tied together.
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