TRAILBLAZER SPOTLIGHT

e.l.f. Cosmetics is making every customer journey beautiful with Salesforce.

 
216 employees
Salesforce customer since 2018

60%+

Website retention rate

 
 

e.l.f. Cosmetics’ customer experience is a thing of beauty.

e.l.f. Cosmetics was one of the early disruptors in the beauty industry. “We started as an ecommerce business when people didn’t think you could sell cosmetics over the internet,” said CEO Tarang Amin. “We also offered extraordinary value. Our mission was — and still is — to make the best of beauty available to everyone.”

The company succeeded with that mission, becoming one of the fastest-growing cosmetics brands in the U.S. and beyond. But then e.l.f. hit new challenges. The beauty industry boasts several of the world’s highest-profile brick-and-mortar brands, and as consumers shifted online en masse, the big brands followed, increasing competition in the digital space.

Meanwhile, e.l.f. was held back by legacy systems, which didn’t offer the agility and capabilities the company needed to adapt and continue on its growth trajectory in the fast-moving sector.

e.l.f. Cosmetics is a Trailblazer in beauty.

After launching in 2004, e.l.f. became the number one U.S. ecommerce site in its sector, largely due to its commitment to providing good-value, high-quality products that are 100% vegan, cruelty-free, and free of paraben and other undesirable compounds. The company also built a strong brick-and-mortar presence at leading U.S. retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and Ulta Beauty, and expanded into more than 18 countries.

Recognizing that beauty products require constant reinvention, e.l.f. focused on rapid innovation. “In a given year, we’ll launch over 100 new products, and we can do it in as fast as 13 weeks from initial idea to selling on elfcosmetics.com,” said Amin.

However, the company’s technology was struggling to keep up. “Any time we would come up with an idea, it was a challenge — it was a six-month project,” said Ekta Chopra, Vice President of Digital. “We needed our technology to be as fast and agile as our product innovation. And while e.l.f. is a digital native, digital has moved beyond ecommerce — it’s an ecosystem that includes social and other connected channels.”

The company turned to Salesforce to help it to better connect to these channels — and to its customers.
 
 

Explore the products that are helping e.l.f. Cosmetics' grow.

 
 

Commerce Cloud

Unify the shopper experience with Commerce Cloud.
 

Service Cloud

Increase customer satisfaction using the #1 platform for service.
 

Marketing Cloud

Strengthen your customer relationships with a world’s leading marketing platform.
 

Deeper insights provide personalized customer journeys.

“The customer is at the center of everything we do,” Chopra explained. “We don’t just think about getting them to our site to make a purchase, but how do we build a relationship with them? So we use Salesforce for the full customer journey, from discovery to post-purchase, which builds that relationship and, ultimately, their advocacy.”

To support that journey, e.l.f. adopted the powerful cross-cloud combination of Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Service Cloud. As the only beauty company integrated across the stack, such an approach also gives e.l.f. the agility and scalability it needs to grow. Cross-cloud connectivity provides a complete view of customers before and after sales, so the company can quickly adapt to changing customer demands. It also enables faster go-to-market innovations with greater efficiency.

“With the power of Marketing Cloud, we can create different customer journeys on the fly,” said Chopra. Those journeys include social media, promotional emails, and digital advertising, all personalized for each customer. With capabilities like social insights, e.l.f can gather deeper intelligence from its 37 million social followers to understand market sentiment and customer intent.

Salesforce’s Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) tool assists with features such as Predictive Scores, Predictive Audiences, and Send Time Optimization. These features allow Chopra’s team to predict the likelihood of each customer engaging with a message, build more accurate customer segments, and send emails at the most effective times based on customer behaviors.

 

The customer is at the center of everything we do. We don’t just think about getting them to our site to make purchase, but how do we build a relationship with them? So we use Salesforce for the full customer journey, from discovery to post-purchase, which builds that relationship and, ultimately, their advocacy.”

Ekta Chopra, Vice President of Digital

AI displays most relevant products, increasing conversions.

Commerce Cloud has enabled e.l.f. to achieve its vision of delivering a seamless customer experience across channels. Customers automatically receive suitable promotional codes in their online shopping carts, reducing abandoned carts. Einstein’s Predictive Sort feature also enhances the shopping experience.

“Einstein looks at customers’ behaviors and displays the products that are relevant to them — and it does this out of the box, without programming,” said Chopra. “And as customers continue to shop with us, Einstein learns more about them and makes their experience even more refined and targeted.”

The improved customer experience has increased daily browse-to-buy conversion rates to levels only previously seen on Black Friday. In addition, Commerce Cloud enabled e.l.f. to resolve some issues with the previous ecommerce site and make the experience easier for shoppers, resulting in a 50% decrease in daily customer service tickets. The company’s ecommerce site remains number one in its sector, strengthened by retention rates of between 55% and 65%. “Our data shows Salesforce as a leading driver in our higher performing KPIs,” Chopra added. 
 

Single view of customers enables faster service.

e.l.f. was one of the first companies to embed data from Commerce Cloud inside Service Cloud. This integration gives service agents a single view of the shopper, with analytics tied back to tracking data and conversation history. Agents gain the insights they need to make decisions and act quickly — reducing the time needed to resolve cases and increasing customer satisfaction. Commerce’s ease of navigation via the Lightning Console has also improved productivity and resolution time.

e.l.f. has capitalized on this increased efficiency by reassigning people who were once needed for case resolution to customer loyalty programs. In addition, e.l.f. is a heavy user of Success Cloud, working closely with Salesforce specialists in each cloud to address key IT objectives, accelerate innovation, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

As Amin said: “It has become even more important to keep that intimacy we have with our customers. So many of the core initiatives that we undertake — whether it’s understanding our customers better through data or personalization — ultimately, it’s making sure we’re there where and when they want us, and delivering the experience that they desire.”
 

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