True Alliance

The digital capabilities we’ve built with Salesforce together with our supply chain capabilities are unsurpassed and allow us to onboard new brands and businesses at speed.”

Roni Perlov | Chief Financial Officer at True Alliance

True Alliance helps brands break into new markets and scale with speed

Since 1982, True Alliance has helped more than 20 of the world’s most famous brands build their businesses and achieve success in Australia and New Zealand, including market leaders like Speedo, The North Face, and Coach. And True Alliance’s impressive portfolio continues to grow with more recent clients including Under Armour, Gap, Banana Republic and Ellesse.

These businesses rely on True Alliance to execute their global marketing and sales strategies and to grow and develop their market positions on a multi-channel basis across wholesale, retail and online channels.

“There are a lot of challenges for international brands entering the local market, including complicated logistics and the high cost of doing business and servicing a market which is large geographically, but has a small population compared to North America or Europe,” said Roni Perlov, Chief Financial Officer at True Alliance. “We work with brands to navigate these challenges and provide them with services and an infrastructure built on best-in-class platforms which allow them to scale and grow in a cost-effective manner.”

Salesforce is a strategic partner in True Alliance’s success, underpinning seamless and personalised shopping experiences while also delivering insights to help drive the growth of its brands.

A foundation for personalised experiences

True Alliance started on its journey with Salesforce in 2012 just as it was moving into the digital marketing space. It adopted Sales Cloud first to gain new insights into customers so that it could personalise customer engagement. Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud were subsequently deployed to provide a 360-degree view of each customer and enable a more unified customer experience.

“We are a data-driven organisation and make every decision based on fact and analysis. Salesforce has helped us apply that to our digital strategy in a more sophisticated way," said Perlov.

True Alliance now has a complete view of customers’ online interactions with each brand, including every sign-up, sale, and return. It also has a project underway to extend that view to include in-store interactions. The project involves creating a direct link between Salesforce, SAP, and True Alliance’s Point of Sale (POS) to capture all relevant customer interactions in real-time.

This integration is complete for two brands already and once historical data is brought into Salesforce, True Alliance will be able to understand customers and personalise their experience like never before.

“What we have done to date is taken our customer data in Sales Cloud and layered it with Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud so we can apply technologies like predictive intelligence to deliver more personalised experiences," said Ken Kennedy, Group Head of Digital at True Alliance. “Having an omnichannel view of customers would support future state goals like providing real-time recommendations to customers over the phone or in-store. In fact, we are in the middle of implementing this for The North Face in Sydney World Square where staff will be able to view a customer’s full profile. This will include the customer’s purchase history agnostic of channel, any returns, and personalised recommendations based on their browsing history.”

Building for scale

Implementing Commerce Cloud was key to helping True Alliance’s brands provide a better experience for customers online. The legacy platform it had in place wasn’t optimised for mobile traffic. Also, development on the platform was slow and difficult which limited the company’s ability to deploy new features.

"Using our legacy platform, we would have had to redevelop our brand websites one at a time, and we would have been trapped in a constant cycle of development," said Kennedy. "Commerce Cloud provided a flexible alternative and allowed us to launch mobile-first sites in record time.”

Following the initial development project carried out jointly by True Alliance and Deloitte Digital, True Alliance established an internal digital agency model whereby it can fully develop and launch new brand websites even faster and completely independent of a third-party. The internal agency also provides world-class management of ecommerce together with digital marketing, CRM, and creative services.

All brand websites include mobile responsive design and an easy check out process for shoppers who want to browse and make purchases right from their mobile. They also leverage Einstein Product Recommendations to provide a personalised customer experience. The resulting sales growth has exceeded expectations with events such as ‘Black Friday’ yielding increases of up to 98%.

On top of all this, True Alliance now has the infrastructure to bring on new clients and launch new websites quickly. This is backed by recent investment in an Autonomous Robotic pick solution that uses mobile robots to enable online order fulfilment. This solution is scalable and vital to ensuring that orders are fulfilled during peak online sales events such as ‘Black Friday’ and ’Cyber Monday’.

“The omni-channel digital capabilities we’ve built with Salesforce together with our supply chain capabilities are unsurpassed and allow us to onboard new brands and businesses at speed,” said Perlov. “For example, we can build a brand website from start to finish in just six weeks which gives us an enormous advantage at a time when other businesses are struggling just to find technical resources.”

Optimising digital engagement

With the help of Marketing Cloud, True Alliance has moved to more automated and personalised customer engagement. For example, it has set up welcome and reactivation journeys to nurture customer loyalty and uses data flowing from Salesforce to trigger more intelligent journeys and tailored offers. In the future, True Alliance plans to personalise communication at an individual level, something which could be supported by Interaction Studio.

The reporting provided by Salesforce has helped the business to further optimise its digital channels and capture every opportunity. For example, during the pandemic, True Alliance leveraged insights from Salesforce and Google to stay on top of changing spending habits and product preferences. The business was then able to adjust its ads and offers to provide customers what they wanted most.

These activities and an increase in targeted digital ad spend helped True Alliance drive high volumes of new traffic to its sites during the early part of the pandemic, contributing to an overall increase in online sales of over 200% on the prior year. For one brand, online sales increased by 600%.

To support this growth True Alliance has had to increase its customer support capabilities. This has involved hiring more staff and equipping them with Service Cloud to provide efficient and personalised support.

True Alliance got up and running quickly by partnering with Aware Services on the implementation of Service Cloud and by focusing on a minimum viable product, including Live Chat and Einstein Bots. More than 70% of customer inquiries are handled through these channels during peak periods, including requests for shipping updates. Customer service agents are therefore freed up for more meaningful interactions. They also have information at their fingertips to resolve cases faster, helping to reduce case handling times by 22%.

“Our customer service agents are able to have more value-added conversations and answer customers’ questions about different products. They are acting more as sales agents and we see that reflected in conversion rates,” said Perlov.

True Alliance’s ability to scale and enhance its digital capabilities at a fast, but controlled pace is possible thanks to the broad skillset and commitment of internal team members and the support they’ve had from Salesforce and their system integration partners. The business is constantly seeking new and better ways of working as well. For example, it has used Quip to overhaul internal processes like campaign sign-offs and improve the efficiency and speed with which it launches new campaigns.

Several departments are also now using Slack, alongside other collaboration tools such as Quip and Jira. The secure, channel-based messaging platform is used most heavily by the Digital, Creative, and Development teams to collaborate on projects and exchange ideas and information in a quick, free-flowing way.

“One of the things that’s unique about working with Salesforce is how the culture of Salesforce has permeated through our teams and helped to keep the team inspired and motivated. Salesforce has created a wonderful community where people can learn and share new ideas and that’s resonated with our team and supported our rapid innovation,” said Perlov.


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