ChowNow uncovers new growth opportunities and payment insights with Stripe Data Pipeline

ChowNow is a commission-free online food ordering platform that helps more than 20,000 independent restaurants across North America sustainably grow their delivery and takeaway business. ChowNow offers restaurants a range of digital tools and services, a commission-free ordering marketplace, marketing support, and access to valuable customer data so they can easily maintain direct relationships with their customers.

Products used

    Connect
    Billing
    Data Pipeline

Challenge

ChowNow uses Stripe to process two types of payments: transactional revenue from diners who place food orders through its platform (powered by Stripe Connect), and SaaS revenue from restaurants who pay subscription fees to use the platform (powered by Stripe Billing). As the company was experiencing tremendous customer growth throughout the pandemic, it wanted to follow the flow of payments throughout the customer lifecycle and better understand profitability, margin, and unit economics at a customer and transaction level. ChowNow was also looking for more visibility into how multiple Stripe products interoperate with its financial operations.

ChowNow considered building an API integration to export its Stripe data to its data warehouse, but it realised that it would introduce data latency and errors when moving around data. The company also acknowledged that building and maintaining an API integration would require a large, ongoing data engineering investment. “It’d be a multiple-month effort to build an integration to support ChowNow’s volume of data,” said Tim Reilly, director of analytics and data science. “As our data continues to multiply, the engineering overhead to maintain the integration and risk involved would multiply as well.”

ChowNow also considered adopting an ETL pipeline (“extract, transform, load”), but it rapidly recognised that an ETL pipeline would be less able to support its high transaction volumes and, as another third party system, would introduce potential security risks.

Solution

ChowNow decided to adopt Stripe Data Pipeline, which allowed the company to access all of its Stripe data in their existing Snowflake Data Cloud. ChowNow chose Data Pipeline because the product is tightly coupled with Stripe’s payment and financial platform, ensuring the highest levels of data integrity and data security. The company also placed high value in Stripe Data Pipeline’s seamless evolution with ChowNow’s strategic roadmap, as the Data Pipeline would automatically support any new Stripe products ChowNow adopts in the future.

The team was impressed by how easy it was to get started with Stripe Data Pipeline: “Within 24 hours of signing a contract, the whole treasure trove of ChowNow’s Stripe data was readily available in Snowflake. We could immediately query Stripe data in combination with other business data, without needing any internal engineering support,” said Reilly.

Results

By pulling Stripe data into Snowflake through Stripe Data Pipeline, ChowNow has a single source of truth for transactional revenue analytics and a complete picture of its restaurant and diner customers. ChowNow can easily identify payment details associated with who it’s charging (restaurants or diners) and what it’s charging for subscriptions or food orders via Stripe. With full visibility into current payment activity across restaurants and diners, teams can pull deeper payment insights with confidence and identify new opportunities to grow revenue.

Enhanced software for restaurants with valuable insights and better fraud detection

As part of its mission to help local restaurants thrive, ChowNow strives to offer the best platform experience to its restaurant customers, including detailed insights to help them identify growth opportunities. With Stripe Data Pipeline, ChowNow was able to provide new insights to restaurants, including active and top diners, most-frequently ordered items, and top sales locations. ChowNow was also able to improve its fraud detection by looking at fraud signals, such as chargebacks, by restaurant.

More effective customer acquisition, with detailed customer insights

Stripe Data Pipeline allowed ChowNow’s marketing team to combine Stripe data with other business data, resulting in a clear overview of the customer journey for its restaurants and dining customers. The team now better understands how long it takes before diners sign up for the platform and place their first food order, depending on the diner’s location. They also understand how long it takes different types of restaurants to create an account after their first interaction with ChowNow. These in-depth insights helped ChowNow’s marketing team identify where they should increase or decrease their advertising, which ultimately allowed the company to improve its Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

Cost savings and pricing improvements enabled by easy access to Interchange Plus fee information

Stripe Data Pipeline provides access to ChowNow’s “Interchange Plus” costs, which outline the various fees associated with each transaction. The company can easily see its Stripe payment volume, its processing costs for each credit card, and its gross take-home margin. Further, based on a breakdown of net margin per restaurant, ChowNow’s finance team successfully justified a shift to a recurring subscription model for their commission-free product, which improved overall restaurant retention.

My team can only act upon data when it is timely and accurate. With Stripe Data Pipeline, we can confidently pull valuable customer and revenue insights to make the best decisions for our product and users.

Tim Reilly, Director GTM Analytics and Data Science

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