The Cotton On Group is one of Australia’s great stories of entrepreneurial success. Less than thirty years ago, its founder was selling denim in a market from the back of a Bronco. Today, the group is Australia’s largest global retailer. It operates in 19 countries and has 1,400 stores and seven brands. The retailer is also blazing a trail to success in the world of eCommerce, offering shoppers a seamless experience across multiple brands, in several countries.
“Salesforce has helped us scale our multi-channel capability and meet demand for more personal journeys,” said Brendan Sweeney, General Manager, e-Commerce.
The Cotton On Group had expanded its network of international retail outlets much faster than its online presence. It wanted to bring the two into line and launch new websites for each country where it had physical stores. It was an ambitious undertaking for the retailer which had launched its first eCommerce website only five years earlier.
“We needed a mature platform that would help us grow quickly without a huge investment in IT,” explained Matt Spowart, Group Head of Digital Innovation at The Cotton On Group. “Commerce Cloud was an ideal choice as it enabled us to offer a multibrand experience from a single website. We also valued the global scale of Commerce Cloud, and the ability to engage and gain insight from other customers in the Salesforce community.”
Using Commerce Cloud, the Group has quickly built up its multichannel capability and turned on ten websites in just 12 months. It has also transformed customers’ experience online. Individuals can shop across seven brands for themselves and for their kids, and add all purchases to the same basket. They can also take advantage of new capabilities like pick up and free returns in store.
“If I compare using Commerce Cloud to our previous platform, we saw an immediate 30 - 40% increase in conversion. So for the same amount of traffic, we were seeing 30 - 40% more sales, and that’s all down to the customer experience,” said Sweeney.
Impressively, 12% of the Group's annual online sales volume results from the success of their cyber weekend sales events. This is indicative of the performance of their websites, but also consumer demand for shopping online. Now, the Group continues to expand its eCommerce offering in line with its retail footprint. It recently launched a new website for South Africa and plans to launch in UAE and Brazil shortly.
While the Group’s website traffic has continued to grow, there has been a significant shift in traffic to mobile, presenting new challenges around how to improve conversion.
To tackle these challenges, the Group has taken a mobile first approach. “For us, mobile first isn’t just about improving access for those on the mobile, but about recognising how customers want to interact. We’ve found optimising the online experience on the mobile drives simplification and is more impactful for everyone—independent of the device they use,” said Sweeney.
The use of Commerce Cloud has helped the Group deliver a more seamless customer experience with features like single page checkout which reduce the risk of customer drop-off. The retailer has experienced a 79% increase in mobile traffic and a 60% increase in mobile revenue as a result. It has also experienced 12% revenue growth on the desktop.