ONI Global

Previously, we couldn’t send out mass promotions because the increase in traffic would crash our website. Now, with Commerce Cloud, we can easily send an SMS to 200,000 customers, and even if they all land on the website at the same time, it won’t crash.”

Evelyn Teo | Group Head of Marketing

ONI Global powers its ecommerce evolution with Salesforce

ONI Global has built a successful network of more than 200 nutritional supplements stores across four countries in Southeast Asia. Now the company is turning to Commerce Cloud to power the next stage of its ecommerce evolution.

ONI Global is a home-grown success story. After completing her training in nutrition, CEO Cynthia Poa opened her first nutritional supplements store in Singapore in 1995. Now, 25 years later, the company operates a network of more than 200 stores throughout Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan. ONI Global is also the sole franchisee of world-renowned health and nutrition supplements brand GNC in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan, and owns the globally distributed LAC brand.

The company also acquired Xndo and Face on Clinic in 2018, and followed that with a new regional partnership with personalised wellness company Imagene Labs. This has cemented ONI Global’s position as one of Asia’s largest speciality retailers of nutritional supplements. But Poa and her team are not stopping there. They are dedicated to breaking all boundaries to achieve their vision of becoming the largest nutraceutical retailer in Asia Pacific.

Evelyn Teo, Group Head of Marketing at ONI Global, credits the company’s expert staff as the powerhouse behind the success of its burgeoning network of stores. “All our customer service agents are certified nutritionists and many have been with the company for many years,” she says. “Their expertise enables a deep understanding of our customers’ needs and how to meet them. This has built a high level of customer trust that separates us from many of our competitors.”

The company puts great value on employee training and expertise, and works hard to develop staff and promote from within. “We almost never hire a store head from another company. They are groomed from within,” Teo explains. “Even our Group COO started with us as at the retail front and moved her way up to the management team.”

The growing pains of old tech

However, maintaining such high product training standards across a network of more than 200 stores in four countries has been challenging. Likewise, the company needed a robust platform to run complex promotions, and required better visibility across the organisation.

“We are always looking for ways to grow and improve our operations,” says Teo. “The recent acquisition of different businesses had left us to manage several different systems, and we needed to invest in an ecommerce platform that could handle traffic spikes to our website and could be scaled up to support our continuing growth.”

The company’s website is vital for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is used by customer service agents as an extensive product guide they can refer to when coming up with personalised customer solutions. Secondly, it forms the foundation of the company’s ecommerce push and digital marketing activities.

“We used to have to manually upload and update product PDFs to the website for our customer service agents. This was obviously very time consuming and inefficient,” says Teo. “We are also putting a higher priority on growing the ecommerce element of our business, and the functionality of our previous website was too limited to support this.”

Scaling up for a new era of ecommerce

Teo had previous experience using Salesforce with a former employer, and felt that Commerce Cloud could deliver the added functionality and scalability the ONI Global required. A staged Commerce Cloud deployment went live across the company’s Singapore network in April 2019, then was rolled out to the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan in concurrent months.

“Commerce Cloud allows us to scale faster,” says Teo. “Previously, we couldn’t send out mass promotions because the increase in traffic would crash our website. Now, with Commerce Cloud, we can easily send an SMS to 200,000 customers without worrying about concurrent visits crashing our website. In fact, our Head of IT said the website didn’t even sneeze.”

While the website is intended to attract customers who usually shop online, it is also vital to the company’s in-store operations. Product information hosted on the website is used for extensive employee training, and is used by in-store customer service agents as a reference guide to provide personalised customer solutions.

“All our in-store staff have tablets and can access product explanations on our website to assist in meeting our customers’ individual needs,” explains Teo. “They can also use the tablets to order additional formulas or flavours that may not be available in-store. This gives all out in-store customers full access to our entire product range that we could never fit into one store.”

Reaping the rewards of digital transformation

In addition to the new capacity to send 200,000 promotional SMS without fear of a website crash, Teo says that Commerce Cloud has delivered a boost in the company’s search engine ranking due to in-built SEO functionality.

“As we are quite new to digital transformation, we don’t have a large team composed of an SEM expert or an SEO specialist or even a digital marketer,” she explains. “But Commerce Cloud does most of that work for us. Commerce Cloud is advanced in the way it structures our website, and that has made a big difference to our SEO results. That has contributed to a revenue increase between 20 to 50 per cent since the Commerce Cloud deployment.”

Teo says that Commerce Cloud delivers much more visibility into how promotions are set and run, and has improved productivity with automation functions. “Commerce Cloud is quite smart with its automations. For example, if we are running a two-for-one offer, it will automatically make the cheaper item free. We also have easy access to real-time data and insights like the current top-10 selling items or the number of customers who have redeemed a promotion. This makes reporting to management much faster and more effective.”

This level of analytics has also helped the company quickly respond to shifting customer needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as a rising demand for immunity-boosting products.

“Overall, I think our experience with Commerce Cloud has made more people in the company digitally savvy and less worried about adopting new technologies,” says Teo. “The success of Commerce Cloud will help get more budget assigned for new systems that will continue to improve our operations into the future.”


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