This post was originally published on Medium
Tictail is a global community with stores and customers in over 140 countries.
Metrics and data visualization are critical to understanding how the community is developing. This starts with absolute numbers displayed over time e.g., GMV, number of active stores, number of unique customers. Slightly more sophisticated is cohort data which offers insights on how a set of users engage with the product through time e.g., average monthly sales by store grouped by the month the store launched. Cohort data also helps us understand what type of users we are attracting and how product changes are helping them.
All of these numbers and graphs are great for analytics, but they don’t provide our community with an intuitive appreciation of just how global the community is. We thought it would be amazing to see an animated map of every Tictail order over time.
It is inspiring to see how many people, all around the world, find products they love on Tictail stores. This is just the beginning.
We recently launched our first consumer app to help stores reach mobile shoppers around the world, and we can’t wait to see what the next two years looks like!
Technical Background: To make this graphic we exported a uniform subset of recipient addresses, extracted unique city and country pairs, and geocoded those using Mapquest’s free geocoding API built with OpenStreetMap data. If you are interested in geocoding at scale, check out this brief introduction of available resources. We designed a custom basemap using Mapbox and used the CartoDB Torque engine to create the animated temporal map.