Case study – Global Homework Experts

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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.
Risk and Technology
Case study
Part (a)
Background
Jacques & Lull (J&L) is a private retailer of sleepwear and sleepwear accessories, founded in 1982 by two individuals
with extensive fashion and retail experience. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, J&L has over 200 stores across
Australia and New Zealand. It caters mainly to men and women who are economically active, and to children.
J&L operates in a highly competitive environment. The backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and global stagflationary
pressures have intensified these challenges while also providing growth opportunities.
Market research has revealed that the reduction in foot traffic to stores during the pandemic caused an unexpected
upsurge in e-commerce as consumers changed their purchase options. In Australia, for instance, total online sales
averaged an annual rise of 67.1% from March to October 2020.
1 Although the 2020 e-commerce upsurge boomed
somewhat artificially (with brick-and-mortar retail stores closed, choice was limited and e-commerce was the only place
that was always available), the pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the trend towards e-commerce. J&L hopes this
trend will persist into the future, given current technological advancement and growth across the globe.
Market research has also revealed that more consumers were willing to interact with new brands during the pandemic.
Consumers showed interest in browsing the internet and experiencing brands digitally. While this caused an upsurge in
new customer acquisition for J&L, retention has been difficult as demand patterns change and consumer expectation
heightens.
At the board meeting in April 2022, it was noted that while visits to J&L’s website increased by 9% for March quarteron-quarter, the conversion rate (the rate at which website visits result in a sale) over the same period fell by 16%. Data
sourced from J&L’s digital channels has revealed that the customer engagement rating (measured on a 10-point Likert
scale ranging from 1 (unengaged) to 10 (highly engaged)) has dropped from a previous average of 7.5 to 6.3. Based on
experience, J&L considers a minimum average rating of 6.8 as a benchmark the company must meet to remain
competitive. Feedback from an increasing number of customers has also revealed that they find the website somewhat
static and not user-friendly with limited personalised content.
J&L’s management is concerned that timely content personalisation could impact the customer engagement rating and,
in turn, customer digital experience. J&L considers a minimum average digital experience rating of 7 as a benchmark to
remain competitive. Based on experience, customer digital experience directly affects brand loyalty. It is a proxy for
customer retention and a primary driver in maintaining J&L’s market share.
As part of the annual strategy review, the General Manager (GM) has requested your assistance.
The GM has given you a Microsoft Excel dataset, including summary statistics (see the third tab, ‘Summary Statistics of
Data’, in the Excel workbook) and asks that you analyse and interpret the dataset to generate insights into the customer
experience with the website.
1 https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/online-sales-october-2020-supplementary-covid-19-analysis
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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.

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Your tasks
Using the dataset provided in the Microsoft Excel file, complete the tasks in Part (a).
The tasks in parts (a), (b) and (c) form the basis of your 2,000-word report. In your report, you will need to refer to
or copy relevant data from your Microsoft Excel file.
You will submit your updated Microsoft Excel file, along with your 2,000-word report. See additional instructions
below about what you must include in your Microsoft Excel file.
Use the Microsoft Excel file for Task 1 (analysis) and Task 4 (dashboard preparation).
Task explanations
Task 1: Perform a numerical analysis of this cleansed dataset to inform your advice to the GM on the following:
A potential relationship between these three random variables, being content personalisation and:
– Customer engagement.
– Customer digital experience.
Whether there is a difference in the level of digital interaction between adult male customers and adult female
customers with J&L’s digital content.
Whether there is a difference in customer digital experience between New Zealand and Australian customers.
Whether there is a difference between customer age groups and their brand loyalty.
You do not need to interpret the results of the numerical analysis in Task 1. You will do this in Task 3.
Task 2: In your report, justify the numerical analysis approach you used in Task 1 and explain your choice of
data.
Task 3: In your report, undertake an analysis and interpretation of the summary statistics the GM has provided
in the dataset (see the tab called ‘Summary Statistics of Data’), and the results of your numerical analysis from
Task 1. You can assume that the GM’s summary statistics are correct.
Task 4: Based on the dataset, the results of your numerical analysis and the summary statistics, prepare a
dashboard in Microsoft Excel to present to the GM. The dashboard should provide relevant information to
enhance the GM’s understanding of the issues raised. Take a screenshot of your dashboard and include it in
your report.

 

You must submit your updated Microsoft Excel dataset with the following information
provided and clearly marked:
Task 1: The results of the numerical analysis in Task 1 (label the new tab as ‘Numerical Analysis’).
Task 4: The dashboard reflecting the results of your analysis in Task 4 (label the new tab as ‘Dashboard’).
Note: Any additional information and workings you provide in the Microsoft Excel file will not be marked.

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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.
Part (b)
Further to your findings from Part (a), the GM has asked you to review J&L’s digital marketing process, with a view to
identifying inefficiencies for improvement. Due to the pandemic, J&L decided in January 2021 to bring its marketing inhouse. As part of your review, you interviewed the digital team and documented the following background information
and sub-processes: research, content and creative, distribution, and report.
Digital team
The digital team (Digital) comprises two members – Alan and Emily. Alan is the digital advertising manager responsible
for developing and executing online marketing strategies and for tracking online marketing campaigns. Alan oversees
the work of Emily, a digital content and creative specialist responsible for writing and distributing digital content. Due to
budget constraints and labour shortages, marketing research and administrative duties are performed by both Alan and
Emily.
Each year, the marketing team is allocated a pre-determined budget based on revenue targets. While the industry
benchmark for marketing budgets ranges between 15% and 20% of gross revenue, J&L’s marketing budget sits at
10%. Half of that budget is allocated to digital marketing.
Research
The process begins with Digital obtaining briefings from the design and products team about new ranges to be sold.
Digital also asks the warehouse for details of slow-moving stock that needs to be pushed through the sales channels.
Finance provides Digital with the budgets and revenue targets for both new ranges and old stock with little scope for
change. J&L’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is not integrated with marketing, causing the process to be
time-consuming. Information is exchanged mainly over emails and in various formats, such as Excel, Word and PDF.
Digital then sources information about its target audience (such as age, products purchased and spends, online
surveys and reviews) using Egloo-feeder. It also conducts research about what competitors are doing. Egloo-feeder is
a paid privacy-centred, cookie-free data analytics provider that J&L uses to enhance browser privacy and security for its
customers. Egloo-feeder does not collect customer data for its own pocket and no personally identifiable information is
collected, making it compliant with privacy laws.
Content and creative
The information collected in the research stage is analysed and used to plan content and publishing schedules. Content
assets, such as infographics, photography and copyrights, are produced at this stage.
Emily considers an effective landing page as the primary driver of website traffic-to-sales conversion. She creates a
dynamic landing page for each campaign, showing the products and offers that J&L is promoting at the time. To
minimise distraction and maximise the conversion rate, every landing page provides only two options. If a customer
chooses to make a purchase, they click the ‘add to cart’ button to finalise their purchase and pay. If they do not make a
purchase, they are not prompted to provide their details and they simply close the page.
Designing the landing pages leaves little time and budget to update the website in any significant way. Apart from
updates to include the latest products and offers, the website’s design, layout and visitor paths have not changed since
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. This is a contrast to similar retailers who have revamped their online platforms
over the past 24 months.
Digital’s limited budget does not permit the landing pages to be tested. Apart from information collected from online
surveys and reviews, and conversion rates by channel, J&L’s website cannot be effectively tested either. This is
because Egloo-feeder does not provide an option to view page-specific metrics, so it is not possible to assess how
specific webpages perform. Further, Egloo-feeder does not capture bounce rate metrics (this is the percentage of
visitors to a particular website who leave the site after viewing only one page) for individual pages. Bounce rates
provide insights into the pages that require attention to improve user retention.

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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.
Digital content and campaigns are quickly created and launched to see what works. Success is measured purely on
Digital achieving conversion rate and revenue targets. Budget constraints and J&L’s existing IT infrastructure do not
permit any in-depth analysis into the main drivers of the conversion rate.
Distribution
Content is distributed via three main digital channels:
Search engine optimization (SEO) – Egloo-feeder captures keyword performance across Google, Bing and Yahoo,
showing the keywords that brought visitors to J&L’s website. Meta tags are then fixed or updated to optimise searches,
and earn links and mentions from other websites, publications and influencers. Emily is solely responsible for this task
and reviews SEO fortnightly.
Email newsletters – content assets are emailed to all customers at the start of each campaign. J&L’s customer
relationship management (CRM) system does not allow mailing lists to be customised without laborious manual effort,
so content assets are sent to all customers in the interest of time. This task is shared between Emily and Alan.
Social media optimisation (SMO) – J&L uses Facebook and Instagram to grow its online presence. Due to labour
constraints, comments and questions from the audience are addressed within 72 hours during marketing campaigns. At
other times, the accounts are checked every Monday and Friday. A broad study revealed that the average response
time for businesses is about 5 hours.
Report stage
The results of each digital campaign are collated through Egloo-feeder and measured against revenue targets.
Conversion rates are tracked by the following channels:
Website and sales tracking.
Social media leads and sales tracking.
Organic search engine leads and sales tracking.
Online surveys and reviews are also collated for further improvement.

Your tasks
Continue writing the 2000-word report you created in response to Part (a).
Task 5: Based on the case study information in parts (a) and (b), identify and explain four (4) sub-problem areas
in J&L’s current digital marketing process. Do this by applying the computational thinking principles of
decomposition and abstraction.

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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.
Part (c)
The GM has reviewed the problem areas you identified in the digital marketing process and is keen to apply appropriate
automation technologies to improve the process. However, he only has a limited understanding of these technologies.
He calls a meeting with you and the Information Technology Officer (ITO) to discuss the matter. He asks you to advise
them on how to improve the effectiveness of the current digital marketing process using appropriate automation
technologies. Before you begin, you invite them to share their concerns and requirements. Below are extracts from your
respective discussions with the GM and ITO.

General Manager
‘Thanks for fitting this meeting in on short notice.
Firstly, I’d like to say that the current process isn’t very effective, and I’m concerned that it might hurt customer
experience in the long run. Trading conditions are looking to get tougher, and we cannot afford to have our
customers go elsewhere. To avoid that, I suggest we improve the existing process using artificial intelligence
capabilities. I have been reading about some impressive e-commerce transformation happening in other
businesses. I believe we can leverage the same technology to our benefit. Loyalty happens with consistent
branding, and customer relationship and interactions that are positive and engaging. The formula to do this is UX
(user experience). I don’t think basic robotic process automation should be considered. I hear it can be complex
and expensive to implement and won’t solve the issues in the process. I’m also concerned Digital will resist the
change because it’s just too hard.
There are a few things I’d like to see in the automation solution:
I want to integrate every aspect of digital marketing and the CRM system with our ERP system, so we can
creatively translate relevant data into personalised content across customer touchpoints. This would improve
customer experience and retention, which means we would see a positive return on the investment in the first
year.
Last week, I attended a conference and heard that cognitive computing can more easily unify different data points
and create unique profiles to get stronger insights into every customer. This then drives more efficient campaign
orchestration. Apparently, these aspects can be easily integrated into a process automation solution and are not
expensive. This might be our solution to Egloo-feeder. The website will be under construction and relaunched
within one month. This should help us improve customer satisfaction and ensure we still meet revenue targets for
the current financial year.
So, I’d like you to consider those technologies when you’re developing and implementing the solution, please.’

 

Information Technology Officer
‘It’s great that we’re being proactive about automating our processes. However, our existing IT infrastructure isn’t
set up in a way that allows us to implement big changes within a short timeframe, but we can easily adjust it to
automate simple, repeatable, rules-based tasks.
Any automation solution would take time to design and test before it could be confidently deployed. Depending on
the complexity of the solution, the deployment timeline could be anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 months.
Implementation of complex automation solutions can also be very costly.
In addition to the effort and cost, making these complex changes would mean we’d need to proactively monitor
and manage security risks and compliance. Our current systems are secure and meet all the common IT security
standards, so we’d need to be confident that changes wouldn’t disrupt that. We are also currently short-staffed in
specialist IT experts.’

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RT. Assessment 3 Term 3 2022 – Case study A V3.1
© 2022 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand ABN 50 084 642 571. All rights reserved.

Your tasks
Continue writing the 2000-word report you created for parts (a) and (b).
You should address the following:
Task 6: Critique the comments from the GM and ITO about implementing automation solutions. As part of this
critique, discuss four (4) relevant issues of which one (1) must be an ethical issue, that J&L would need to consider.
Task 7: Based on your response to Task 6, advise what relevant automation solutions, if any, J&L could implement
to improve the four (4) problem areas identified in Task 5.
Task 8: Recommend whether J&L should implement automation solutions to improve the digital marketing process.
Justify your recommendation, referring to the information in your responses for all tasks in parts (a), (b) and (c).