NRF 2017: How Aldo and Vineyard Vines are boosting performance with Salesforce

January 18, 2017 01:48 PM

Consumers shop everywhere and the final transaction is often the result of a mix of desktop, mobile and store interactions.

At least 82% of consumers begin their shopping journeys online and many of those consumers still make their transactions in a physical store, says web-based customer relationship management technology vendor Inc. To keep pace as consumer preferences evolve, retailers must deliver personalized experiences for shoppers that blend in-store with online and mobile shopping.

Shoe and accessories retailer The Aldo Group, No. 479 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, and preppy apparel retailer Vineyard Vines both turned to Salesforce to consolidate their shopper and inventory data in one spot, the retailers said at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York City this week.

For Aldo, pulling all it knows about a customer into one platform under the Salesforce Marketing Cloud helped the retailer reduce the number of emails it sends by 40% while increasing email revenue by 70% over 12 months. 

Aldo also recently enabled its customer contact center agents to use the platform to quickly access shopper data to find answers and respond to questions more quickly via phone, chat, email and social media, across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Using Salesforce has significantly cut the time it takes to resolve service issues, the retailer says.

“We see Salesforce as our hub for connecting with the consumer,” says Patrik Frisk, CEO for The Aldo Group. “It enables us to take the information we have about the 200 million customers that walk through our stores each year and provide 1-to-1 journeys—no matter what the media or communication platform.”

Vineyard Vines, which launched in 1998 selling only online, now has about 100 stores and sells through department stores such as Nordstrom Inc. and specialty stores. The retailer is using the Salesforce Commerce Cloud to better market to shoppers in stores and to manage inventory, says Joanne Marciano, senior vice president of operations for the retailer.

Salesforce last year bought Demandware for $2.8 billion and unveiled in September its Commerce Cloud, which incorporates Demandware technology. Commerce Cloud offers brands web, mobile, social and in-store services, in addition to web-based customer-relationship management services already offered by Salesforce.

Vineyard Vines, whose sales are nearly evenly split between stores and the web, is using the Commerce Cloud technology to more efficiently run its store operations, Marciano says. The retailer rolled out the technology in a small number of its stores before the 2016 holiday season and plans to implement it in its remaining stores by spring.

Store associates can pull up shopper data from a tablet, smartphone or at the register to see a consumer’s past purchases and other information to better market to and aid the shopper. Associates also can help a shopper order online products not available in store, Marciano says. The tool also gives associates  access to up-to-date inventory—including sales, returns and exchanges—for products available online or in other store locations.

“What we are doing with Salesforce is taking the dynamic capability of the e-commerce platform and putting it in our stores,” Marciano says. “Each store now is a warehouse, and we can do whatever the customer wants.”

Being able to give shoppers what they need more quickly helped Vineyard Vines this holiday season. Lines at stores close to Dec. 25 are typically out the door, but this season only a handful of customers were waiting at any given time for help, Marciano says.

Additionally, near-instant warehouse shipping updates tell staff at each store what types of product shipments are coming to each store and the amount of inventory to expect each day. “We know what items are coming down to the box,” says Karen Beebe, vice president of information technology at Vineyard Vines. “That has helped cut stocking time by at least 50% at stores. We have a single view of inventory and single view of the customer, and we can access it all from a handheld device.”





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