ShopBack masters the art of the deal with Salesforce
ShopBack drove over $1.5 billion in sales year-to-date in 2020. But efficiently managing around 4,000 merchants across nine countries has required a deep commitment to digital transformation.
ShopBack created the cashback bandwagon in APAC in 2014, and since then has evolved beyond its cashback model and rapidly grew to become the largest pre-shopping destination in the region.
Today, more than 20 million shoppers across APAC love ShopBack. The rewards and discovery platform has returned US$115 million in cashback incentives to its users since the company launched in Singapore in 2014.
ShopBack partners with around 4,000 merchants across a wide range of categories to offer users cashback opportunities when they purchase eligible goods and services from participating merchants. Categories include general merchandise, travel bookings, fashion, health and beauty, groceries, and food delivery.
The company has also entered the in-store market with the launch of the ShopBack GO app in Singapore. ShopBack GO takes its online rewards offering into brick-and-mortar retail, dining, and entertainment venues.
ShopBack has obviously created a winning formula. The company has expanded into Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, Vietnam, and most recently, South Korea.
Dealing with growth
While the ShopBack story is certainly one of sustained success, it has not come without challenges. Negotiating thousands of separate deals with its huge list of merchants, managing multiple affiliates programs, pushing out promotions to consumer-facing apps in nine countries, and maintaining more than 20 million user accounts is a Herculean task.
Multi-country contracts with larger merchants need to be pushed out to markets across the region. At the same time, local single-country contracts with smaller merchants are independently managed by ShopBack’s domestic offices.
“Prior to deploying Salesforce, this process used to be handled manually,” says François Picard, Head of Operations at ShopBack. “Sometimes we had trouble ensuring continuity because contracts could be lost or the terms of a specific deal could be confused.
“The complexity comes from managing so many deals at any point in time. We really needed a system to streamline the flow of deal information from the merchant contract into the CMS so it can be pushed out to the consumer-facing apps.”
Picard explained that their legacy system provided very little transparency on how the deal with the merchant was negotiated with no historical view. It also couldn’t attribute metrics or measure performance.
“Salesforce gives us the ability to track where each deal comes from, and the conversations that led to that deal.”
Unlocking the data flow
After comparing software vendors, Picard and the operations team settled on Salesforce as the best solution. Sales Cloud had already been deployed by the sales team in Singapore, however Picard identified that it wasn’t being used to its full potential.
“In terms of integration, Sales Cloud was not connected to our CMS, and all the contract information was being copied and pasted between the two systems,” he explains.
But that changed when the operations team partnered with the engineering team to lead the project. They set about integrating Sales Cloud with a new custom-built CMS to ensure all contract data was automatically pushed from Sales Cloud into the CMS platform for distribution to the consumer-facing apps.
The operations and engineering teams then rolled out the new integrated system on a country-by-country basis over around 12 months.
“Now, the moment a sales person engages with a merchant on a new deal, the data is immediately entered into Sales Cloud,” says Picard. “This information is turned into an agreement, and we generate the contract through Sales Cloud. That contract data will also flow through to our new CMS without any manual input.
“So, with Salesforce, we now have full end-to-end integration of the data we have in the merchant contracts all the way through to the consumer apps.”
Working smarter, not harder
The results of the deployment have been impressive. Picard says that productivity has improved 40 to 60 per cent since the Salesforce integration. The deployment has also maximised sales ops throughout.
“That means instead of one sales ops agent supporting two sales reps, one sales ops agent can now support four sales reps,” Picard explains. “This makes it possible to do more deals.”
“Deals can also be cloned in Sales Cloud,” he adds. “That means we can take a similar existing contract and use it as a template to create a new contract. This is making it much quicker to set up a deal.”
Deal tracking through Sales Cloud is providing much more visibility into merchant contracts, which can number in the thousands each year for any given country.
“Salesforce gives us the ability to track where each deal comes from, and the conversations that led to that deal,” says Picard. “And we can now break down revenue by account owner, which gives us visibility into who did what in the sales team.”
Connecting the company
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