Indochino is shaking up the retail industry by providing customers across the globe with made to measure men’s suits and shirts that they can order online or in store. With 50% year-over-year growth and its unique retail model expanding from 20 to an anticipated 36 stores by the end of 2018, Indochino is not just disrupting the retail industry; it’s creating a whole new menswear category.
“Our business model breaks the mould, and it’s enabling us to thrive while the traditional retail industry is struggling,” said Peter Housley, Chief Revenue Officer at Indochino. “We combine digital and physical channels so our customers can get measured, personalize their garments and place their orders online or in a showroom for delivery to their homes within three weeks. Our model doesn’t carry inventory, which makes the business efficient to run and means we are laser focused on creating an exceptional customer experience across our retail channels.”
Salesforce has been a key ingredient in Indochino’s success story since 2016, helping it maximize revenues from email marketing and deliver a seamless experience to customers around the globe.
Indochino launched in 2007 as a purely online company, gradually entering the physical retail space with pop-up shops. “We’d rent a massive warehouse in San Francisco or New York, create a social media frenzy, and sell more than a million dollars of suits within a week to ten days,” explained Housley. “It made us realize that the tactile and highly personal nature of the showroom allowed us to provide a top-notch customer experience. Since then, we've been opening stores across North America.”
The in-store customer journey at Indochino is both omni-channel and high-touch, with a visit to the website to make an appointment usually starting the process. This is followed by a consultation with an expert Style Guide at one of its showrooms where customers can check out fabrics and personalize their garment — lapel style, buttons, pockets, linings and monograms are just some of the customization options available. Using a proprietary algorithm that’s been perfected over the last 10 years, Indochino’s Style Guides then take the customer’s measurements, ensuring a perfectly fitting suit is delivered to their doorstep.
“Combining Service Cloud with a best practice approach to skills development has enriched the customer experience and boosted productivity by up to 300%,”
To deliver a rapid and personal retail experience, Indochino must have centralized data and seamless processes. However, like many start-ups, it ended up with numerous fragmented systems across the company. “We had three different solutions for email marketing alone, and none of them talked to each other,” said Housley. “We realized that to maintain dynamic growth, we needed a single view of the customer.”
Attracted by its reputation, Indochino turned to Salesforce. “We rolled out Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud in parallel in November 2016, in partnership with a third party specialist,” explained Aly Habib, Director of Corporate Sales and Partnerships. “We loved the fact that we could connect marketing activities to the customer experience.”
The company’s approximately 40-strong customer experience team use Service Cloud on a daily basis to guide customers through their omni-channel journey. “The customer experience team handles a wide variety of queries and complex orders,” explained Habib. “For example, a quarter of our business comes from wedding parties, which might mean seven people needing identical suits that are measured individually and delivered to different locations across the globe. Our customer experience team ensures that everyone’s happy and the experience is seamless end to end.”
The team uses live chat to talk in real-time with customers. “Live chat hasn’t necessarily reduced the number of emails or calls, but it has proved a valuable conversion tool,” said Habib. “If the customer can get an immediate response to a query while still on the product page, they’re more likely to make a purchase then and there.”
After moving to Lightning edition in May 2018, Habib and his colleagues are exploring how to make smarter use of analytics and business insights on a daily basis. “Before Salesforce, we had zero visibility of performance. We just tasked our agents to answer as many emails as they could, but it didn’t help increase productivity,” said Habib.
With Service Cloud, the team has opened up an entirely new world in performance management. By tracking key metrics, such as outbound interactions per hour, managers can identify if agents need more support and provide relevant coaching.
“Combining Service Cloud with a best practice approach to skills development has enriched the customer experience and boosted productivity by up to 300%,” confirmed Housley.
Whether they are a prospect, a first-timer, or a seasoned Indochino fan, people can opt to receive regular email communications from the retailer. “Around 20% of our revenue comes from email marketing, so it’s a vital channel for us,” explained Housley. “We have a database of 300,000 subscribers, which is rapidly growing with an additional 20,000 people signing up every month.”
Marketing Cloud is behind every one of these automatically triggered emails, which include loyalty programme updates, promotions, and style advice. “Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder is amazing!” said Housley. “We’ve segmented customer groups and created a number of different personas and journeys, so we’re always sending the right content at the right time.” And the results are amazing too – from January 2017 to July 2018, Indochino has seen a 100% improvement in site traffic driven by email, a 30% improvement in email conversion rates and a 23% increase in revenue driven by the channel. Its referral program, which is also heavily influenced by email, has seen a 400% increase in revenue growth.
With customers increasingly using mobile devices as part of their retail experience, Indochino plans to exploit Marketing Cloud MobileConnect for SMS messaging. “MobileConnect will be huge for us,” said Housley. “We want to be able to send retail appointment booking confirmations, reminders, and delivery status updates via SMS to enrich our omni-channel customer experience.”
With all its marketing and service information in one place, Indochino can be more predictive about its customers and business than ever before. “Forecasting is now far more accurate, which is vital for peak retail periods such as Black Friday,” explained Housley. “With Salesforce, we can also map out workforce planning to maintain service levels.”
Greater visibility and smarter forecasting will be vital as Indochino presses ahead with its growth plans, which include expanding globally and launching a new Corporate Partnership Program. Headed up by Habib, the trailblazing program enables companies to partner with Indochino to provide their employees with made to measure suits.
“With Salesforce, we can move into new markets and launch new services without a significant increase in our headcount. Despite phenomenal growth, we’ve only expanded our team by 10% as we remain efficient,” said Housley. “And by creating a single view of the customer, we’ve boosted sales and satisfaction rates.”
“With Salesforce, I can execute on our ambitious growth plans without having to worry about whether service and marketing can keep up.”
Peter Housley, Chief Revenue Officer, Indochino