We chose Salesforce because it listens to customers in the same way SHOPLINE listens to its merchants, with a customer first approach.”

Fiona Lau, COO and cofounder

From startup to scaling up: Why SHOPLINE focuses on customer success

Shopline has its sights firmly set on being the go-to online shop builder throughout Asia. It plans to get there with its simple to use, mobile ready platform. Salesforce is helping Shopline expand rapidly in overseas markets with a scalable, agile cloud system underpinning that growth - all while keeping the customer at the centre of everything it does.

Shopline is a platform designed for local small-to-medium-sized merchants to establish an online store in an easy and customisable manner, without the need for technical expertise. Asking the right questions and using customer feedback to improve its product has been the cornerstone of Shopline's growth throughout Asia.

The startup has pivoted from an app that was doing reasonably well to building an eCommerce platform that went on to secure US funding. Listening to customers in their first marketplace of Hong Kong, helped the Shopline team better understand customer needs, and being responsive to those needs showed the business its calling.

Growth from seed

With Shopline's rapid expansion in North Asia, the team sought scalability first. Fiona Lau, COO and CoFounder, wanted a system where her team could process more leads without increasing headcount, but without compromising service.

Because these leads came from a range of sources including digital marketing, content marketing and a hotline, the system also had to help evaluate different methods of customer acquisition, as well as monitor team performance.

And as customising features for individual markets had become a key selling proposition in Shopline's growth, Fiona also knew the system she selected had to support their ability to quickly implement new ideas.

She chose Salesforce because it listens to customers in the same way Shopline listens to its merchants with what Fiona describes as "a problem-solving approach."

Taking the lead

One way Shopline collects customer feedback is through Intercom's live chat, which integrates easily with Salesforce. "Salespeople can see the conversation clients have with customer success staff, so when they talk to the customer they know what's going on and vice versa, customer success agents can offer a more personalised experience."

Using Sales Cloud, Fiona has a comprehensive view of customer interactions across all integrated apps in all locations. "Salesforce makes it easy to look at how each agent is doing and how long the whole process takes. I found that very, very useful."

The result is improved operations. When customers complained it took too long for someone to contact them after they made an enquiry, Fiona looked at the data. Although the team only took one or two days to respond, customers expected them to call earlier. New leads now trigger an immediate auto-response email and due to the streamlined lead assignment process, the team now makes contact sooner.

Fiona also uses Salesforce's sophisticated, easy-to-use analytics to evaluate lead sources and the team's closing rates.

Understanding the customer contributes greatly to helping them succeed. Fiona uses Salesforce to maintain a customer profile, which drives more targeted leads and helps decide where to invest resources – in growing channels or conducting campaigns. Knowing whether a merchant is struggling or successful also frames the interaction. Shopline reaches out to struggling merchants to offer help, but also prompts successful merchants to suggest possible improvements.

With a firm customer base now in HK and Taiwan, the business plans to expand throughout South East Asia, using Salesforce to scale quickly in the region and to support Shopline's agile, versatile and customer-centric model. This will give Asian merchants the localisation they need to build successful eCommerce businesses in their respective markets.


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