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The All-Digital Customer Has Arrived — Is Your Business Ready?

What does it look like to market, sell, and engage your audience from anywhere? Our latest customer stories featuring Sonos, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and Spalding show how to get more from digital.

Online buying has been turbo-charged over the past year, and shoppers now embrace digital experiences at such a rate that every day feels like Cyber Monday. Our research shows:

  • Unique online visitors (shoppers visiting a commerce site for the very first time) grew by an incredible 43% across the globe last year. 
  • Consumers doubled down on digital in 2020, culminating in 56% growth in Q4.
  • The top 20% of buyers made up nearly a third of all online orders and 54% of online revenue.

Savvy digital-first businesses own the customer experience. But it’s a tall order for companies that were already struggling to bring their technology and processes up to speed. After all, building customer loyalty requires a lot more than simply launching a digital storefront. You need a strategy that revolves around your customers’ needs and expectations, enables your brand to connect with them on their favorite channels, uses data to personalize every customer journey touch point, and delivers personalized marketing and commerce experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Simply put, you need to market, sell, and engage audiences from anywhere. And you need to do so in ways that are data-driven, customer-obsessed, and future-proof.

The new Digital 360 tailors the power of the Customer 360 for the digital leader. It combines Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud with a partner ecosystem and free on-demand learning through Trailhead so you can get more from digital. 

In addition, going digital brings a specific set of industry challenges. You have unique data to capture, systems to integrate with, and processes to manage. For example, to go all-in on digital:

  • Grocery stores like Foodstuffs must manage tens of thousands of SKUs and pick-pack processes.
  • Financial services institutions like Mascoma Bank must comply with FINRA and integrate into the online loan processing system.
  • Government institutions like the State of Rhode Island had to build out contact tracing and COVID-19 testing portals overnight.

And that’s why we’ve continued to innovate with Digital 360 for Industries. Whether you’re in banking, insurance, manufacturing, communications, retail, or another industry, choose from industry apps, toolkits, and Customer 360 guides that help your business go digital fast. 

Digital 360 is a natural result of the work we do every day with some of the biggest brands in the world. Here’s a look at how you can get more from digital, with success stories from Salesforce customers to inspire you.

It was surprising to see our customers shift quite quickly and comfortably to buying our products online.

lindsay whitworth, senior director of global dtc at Sonos

Data-driven: Put your customers at the center with a flexible, scalable platform

We define data-driven as mastering a single view of the customer and using it to inform every part of your business. It’s integrating your commerce systems, marketing technology, service portals, and everything involved in the customer journey so your full relationship is reflected in every touch point. This single view empowers you to innovate with insight.

Sonos, one of the world’s leading sound-experience brands, was dedicated to growing their direct-to-consumer (D2C) business even before the pandemic. Over the past two years, the company invested in Salesforce Customer 360 and other products to activate data and provide personalized, high-touch digital experiences for their customers.

With our CRM platform as its single source of truth, Sonos used Commerce Cloud to quickly launch an online storefront when their physical locations closed due to COVID-19. They adapted to changes in their supply chain and provided instant fulfillment and delivery updates to their customers. And they used behavioral data to power personalized marketing campaigns across owned and paid channels in Marketing Cloud.

Sonos’s data-driven investments in Commerce Cloud and their D2C business helped them to achieve an incredible 299% year-over-year increase in D2C revenue in their most recent quarter.

“Traditionally the retail piece has been really important in the consideration cycle for customers. We’re a sound product. Many of our customers want to see it, hear it, listen to it,” Lindsay Whitworth, senior director of global DTC at Sonos, told me. “And so it was surprising to see our customers shift quite quickly and comfortably to buying our products online. It demonstrated a real opportunity to sustain some of the new retail behaviors that we’re seeing.”

Sonos also uses its complete customer view to inform new opportunities for engagement. It launched a content service and it’s optimizing how to deliver personalized content using data about customers’ listening preferences.

We use data and insights…to stay in tune with the communities we serve. This allows us to be agile and adapt to new things.

ekta chopra, e.l.f.’s vice president of digital

Customer-obsessed: Personalize every touch point to provide seamless experiences

If data-driven is about using customer information to drive strategy, then customer-obsessed is using that knowledge to create personalized experiences anywhere and anytime they engage — from social to storefront, curbside to self-service.

For example, e.l.f. Cosmetics uses Marketing Cloud to deliver dynamic customer journeys across email, mobile, social, and the web. Commerce Cloud powers e.l.f.’s digital storefront and integrates with their application of Service Cloud, which allows customer service agents to access the shopper’s full history when resolving issues. According to Ekta Chopra, e.l.f.’s vice president of digital, this integration pays off. “We use data and insights to inform our messaging and product strategies to stay in tune with the communities we serve. This allows us to be agile and adapt to new things.” 

And e.l.f. taps into artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across all three platforms to build accurate customer segments, optimize marketing messages and send times, customize product results, and personalize offers. It’s a big reason why e.l.f. is blazing a trail in beauty.

Future-proof: Meet your customers where they are and provide value faster

Digitize every part of your business. The concept is easy to grasp but daunting to execute. It demands a constant willingness to look ahead and rethink any strategy, process, or technology that isn’t supporting your customer’s needs.

When the pandemic caused a massive pause in pro and recreational sports leagues, Spalding brought the arena to the driveway. The sporting goods brand shifted its focus to at-home sports play for customers who were sheltering-in-place. It created dynamic family-focused campaigns in Marketing Cloud and relaunched its digital shopping experience on Commerce Cloud to accommodate the new demand. It incorporated Service Cloud Live Agent to help complete online orders. And it enhanced the Spalding MVP program, which was built on Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud functionality, so members could enjoy exclusive discounts online.

As a result of Spalding’s digital transformation:

  • Transactions are up 421%
  • MVP membership has grown 50%
  • Average order value is up 52%

The pandemic has pushed many of us into all-digital work spaces, classrooms, and storefronts. Some organizations were better prepared than others to stabilize and grow. But there is still time to get it right.

Digital 360 is here to help. We’ve got what you need to hone your digital strategy and build the foundation for a brighter future.


Adam Blitzer is Executive Vice President and General Manager of Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Community Cloud. Prior to joining Salesforce, Blitzer co-founded Pardot, a marketing automation solution that assembles B2B buyer journey data points into actionable insights, enabling marketing and sales teams to sell smarter. ExactTarget acquired Pardot in 2012 for ~$100M and Salesforce acquired ExactTarget in 2013 for $2.5BN.

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