DAVIDsTEA brings more people their perfect blend with Salesforce

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.

"As we prepare to increase our distribution across new channels it’s critical that we maintain an intimate relationship with our customers. We want to ensure that their connection to the DAVIDsTEA experience is enhanced, and not hindered. This way, we can curate a friendly, one-to-one experience as they explore and select their favourite teas," said Damon Sloane, Vice President, Ecommerce at DAVIDsTEA.

Capturing real data as the business grows required a smarter system.

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 centered 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. “Every interaction with a customer sets an expectation that we are accompanying them on their journey,” said Sloane. “It’s our responsibility to show our customers that we know and understand them – having access to data coupled with the ability to act on this data ensures we can make the right strategic decisions.”

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 the digital nervous system of your company. The right platform can help you connect with your customer in a more personal way, while uncovering better business insights,” said Sloane.


Salesforce has become our digital nervous system, driving strategic decisions and fueling the future growth of DAVIDsTEA. The platform allows us to scale without losing the intimate connection with our customers that we’re known for.”

Replacing spreadsheets with a single platform improves visibility of customers.

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 Sloane.

Capturing better information enables more efficient service.

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 the dots so our team is supporting with one ticket, not five,” said Sloane.

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.

Improving website performance will support goals for growth.

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 Sloane, “Since rolling out Commerce Cloud in April 2018, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in conversion stemming from an enhanced customer experience.”

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.

Instant reporting reveals vital business insights.

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, we’re now looking forward to even greater acceleration,” said Sloane. “We’re capturing data so in the future, we can connect to our fans in relevant and immersive 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 old data. Now we can use real data to deliver the best possible customer experience at scale,” said Sloane.

Technology helps the business scale without changing its culture.

With the Salesforce solutions integrated with DAVIDsTEA’s core business platforms, the company can keep the customer at the heart of its business. “Salesforce has become our digital nervous system, driving strategic decisions and fueling the future growth of DAVIDsTEA. The platform allows us to scale without losing the intimate connection with our customers that we’re known for,” commented Sloane.

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 Sloane.


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