Tea is more than a drink: it’s an experience. And second only to water as the world’s favourite beverage, it’s been bringing people together for centuries. In 2008, DAVIDsTEA opened its first store in Toronto, and since then has grown to more than 240 stores, building communities of tea lovers, and quickly growing to be Canada’s leading tea retailer.
With more than 100 varieties of tea and a taste to suit everyone, the company has set its sights on becoming a world leader in the tea industry. And investing in customer service and its eCommerce platform is a key ingredient in its unique blend for success.
"For us, what's most important is ensuring customers can engage with our journey to discovery on their preferred channel. This way, we can curate a friendly, one-to-one experience as they explore and select their favourite teas," said Catherine Laporte, Vice President, Marketing and eCommerce at DAVIDsTEA.
Traditionally, winning in retail meant opening a brick and mortar in the right location; today it’s all about recognizing your customer and anticipating their needs. At DAVIDsTEA, discovering unique blends is a journey that never ends – tasting new flavours and revisiting old favourites is centred on an emotional connection to the product. In today’s landscape, you can build off that emotion across several touchpoints whether it sparked over an email, a social post or a tasting at an event, to recognizing this customer as they enter the store, knowing what they have been looking at, encouraging them to pursue their discovery and ensuring they leave the store with the perfect cup of tea. Staying competitive in retail means building loyalty, meeting customer demands, and delivering the best possible service no matter which way they choose to engage. “To give people the shopping experience they want, we have to get to know them,” said Laporte. “The age of second-guessing what consumers want is gone – we needed access to real data so we could make smarter strategic decisions. Lucky for us, tea is the perfect category for technology; it’s immersive, deep, complex and so much fun!”
As the company continues to explore new distribution channels, capturing customer data required a smarter, more scalable system. “There comes a point where technology becomes your best friend. The right platform can help you connect with your customer in a more personal way, while uncovering better business insights,” said Laporte.
“We’ve reached a point where we can’t deliver the one-to-one customer experience that’s so important to us with people alone: Salesforce helps support our business at scale without changing our culture,”
CATHERINE LAPORTE, VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING AND eCOMMERCE, DAVIDsTEA
For DAVIDsTEA, that best friend is Salesforce. In 2017 the company rolled out Service Cloud, replacing spreadsheets with a single platform providing 360-degree visibility of its customers.
“Salesforce was at our side every step of the way, from introducing us to implementation partners and making sure we got the best out of the platform, to giving us advice to support our long-term goals,” commented Laporte.
Once all the Service Cloud features are integrated, the team will know who a customer is when they call or email. And with their full history in front of them, they will be able to have better conversations and respond to queries faster – a key piece for a company that has customer service embedded in its DNA. “If someone contacts us across multiple channels, Service Cloud will join up the dots so our team is supporting with one ticket, not five,” said Laporte.
As well as making the team more productive and efficient, case information and customer satisfaction surveys captured in Service Cloud help the management team track common issues and respond better to customer demand.
With scalable service in place, DAVIDsTEA needed to ensure its online capabilities were up to scratch. “Our previous platform just didn’t offer the scalability or performance we needed, which impacted the customer experience,” said Laporte, “Since rolling out Commerce Cloud in April 2018, load timings have improved by around 50% for both desktop and mobile users.”
Commerce Cloud’s responsive design helps the team streamline their workflow and avoid duplication. The scheduling feature also allows them to set up campaigns and product launches in advance, so with events such as Black Friday, the team no longer has to work at midnight to post web banners.
Although still early in the implementation, conversion rates for both mobile and desktop orders are on the up and organic traffic is growing. “With Commerce Cloud, the best is yet to come,” said Laporte. “We’re capturing browsing data so in the future, we can connect to our fans in relevant and responsive ways across various touchpoints, such as our loyalty program, social channels, and beyond.”
The company now has access to stronger reporting, with figures on how quickly it can respond to customers, which products are purchased, and how fast orders are being completed, now available at the tap of a button. “Before Salesforce, our actions were based on feelings not facts. Now we can use real data to deliver the best possible customer experience at scale,” said Laporte.
With the Salesforce solutions integrated with DAVIDsTEA’s core business platforms, the company can keep the customer at the heart of its business. “We’ve reached a point where we can’t deliver the one-to-one customer experience that’s so important to us with people alone: Salesforce helps support our business at scale without changing our culture,” commented Laporte.
With plans to explore Marketing Cloud and predictive analytics to take personalization to the next level, DAVIDsTEA is achieving its ambition of getting hot cups of tea into the hands of more customers. “Tea is a way of life, and with Salesforce at our side we know we can help more people discover a whole new world of flavours and experiences,” concludes Laporte.
“I love to lead the pack, and with Salesforce, I know I’m blazing a trail to help DAVIDsTEA become a world leader in the tea industry.”
Catherine Laporte, Vice President, Marketing and eCommerce, DAVIDsTEA