Samsonite takes customers on the trip of a lifetime with Salesforce
From baking sourdough to making TikToks, many of us got creative during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. And leading luggage brand Samsonite is no exception. Faced with temporary store closures during lockdown and a significant drop in demand, the retailer took the opportunity to totally transform its ecommerce strategy, launching a brand-new website in June 2020.
“We’ve come out of the first waves of the pandemic more resilient and robust,” said Edouard Wattel, VP of Digital and Ecommerce. “As part of our recovery strategy we want to reconnect with our customers and build stronger relationships than ever, and Salesforce is helping us get there.”
Samsonite has multiple brands and a global presence, making it all the more important to create a consistent customer-centric approach across each and every brand. That means acting on real data insights to get a deeper understanding of customer behaviour, predicting peaks in demand, and focusing on issues that are important to customers.
“Having Salesforce technology by our side helped us to be more resilient during COVID-19 outbreak, and reconnect with our customers”
Redesigning the customer experience at every touchpoint.
With a dramatic change in customer needs and habits during the pandemic, Samsonite wanted to redesign the customer experience from start to finish. Working backwards, the team analysed every touch point to identify where they could improve services, payments, and logistics.
“Our customers were extremely empathetic during COVID-19 uncertainty. It gave us the space to really focus on optimising processes to serve them in the best possible way,” explained Katrijn De Clippel, Senior Ecommerce Manager.
While global travel all but ground to a halt, demand for luggage plummeted, but the company saw higher demand for laptop bags, children’s bags, accessories, and personalised items. And while the volumes of window shoppers dropped, visitors to the website were much more likely to make a purchase. To adapt to these changes, Samsonite needed a flexible and agile solution to ensure it could meet the needs of customers both today and in the future.
Leveraging an out-of-the-box framework for success.
Having used Commerce Cloud for some years, Samsonite successfully rolled out Commerce Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture to support the relaunch of its website. “We used an OGSM (objectives, goals, strategies, and measures) framework and defined personas to create the best user journey,” said Wattel. “The website launched in June 2020 and was successfully rolled out to 19 different countries in the local language by October 2020.”
Although the company worked with a design agency and implementation partner initially, the team also used Salesforce accelerators to ensure they could manage the website in-house in the future to accelerate releasing new updates.
The website was designed to be mobile-first and provide a faster, more omnichannel shopping experience, including click and collect, ordering for home delivery via in-store devices, and enhanced features such as augmented reality (AR).
“It was important to balance giving customers a seamless experience with being innovative and distinct'' said De Clippel. “For example, one of the top reasons that customers return an item is because the size is wrong, so we used AR to replicate the in-store viewing experience online.”
The tool uses the customer’s smartphone camera to generate a 3D image of the item next to them or in their living room so they can check the size in a setting they recognise. There are also interactive features allowing them to open the case, pull the handles up, and view it from 360-degree angles.
Salesforce product configurator also supports personalisation, where customers can add a message to a bag handle or emboss their initials on an item and see what it looks like before they buy. “Personalised merchandise is always popular. When we had a sharp spike in sales in the run up to Christmas, Commerce Cloud handled the peak seamlessly,” commented De Clippel. “With Salesforce we can innovate knowing that our website can handle our busy periods.”
Helping customers find their perfect product.
To create a more guided shopping experience, the team replaced endless scrolling through hundreds of products with grids broken up with marketing banners that promote relevant items based on customer interests or browsing history.
“Now that we know people are spending less time on our website, it’s important to direct them to the products they’ll be most interested in,” said Wattel. “We need to cater to both people looking for extra help and those who prefer to browse alone, so we’re planning to implement Live Chat and have added better product descriptions with more lifestyle content and videos to help customers make the right choice.”
Einstein Product Recommendations are also helping people to find their perfect match, but those who still want advice from a member of the team can book an appointment with a personal shopper either in store or via video chat from a handy widget that pop ups on the product page.
And, when customers are ready to buy, the new checkout experience is clear, fast, and has autofill capabilities to speed up entering their details.
“Since we launched our new website, the time taken to make a first purchase has reduced by 35-50%, and people are interacting with the site 25% faster than before, and that’s down the website being 8% faster.” “We’re closely monitoring analytics to make sure people are having a good experience on the site, and Salesforce gives us the agility to react to changing needs as soon as we identify them,” revealed De Clippel.
With travel restrictions easing, Samsonite is well positioned to handle increasing volumes in demand. And it’s set to get even more customer centric, with the European roll out of Service Cloud and Social studio to dynamically handle customer questions or comments in their local language.
As part of its new data-driven approach, the company is also considering Salesforce CDP to help it make smarter decisions based on real data and provide a next-generation ecommerce experience to customers.
“Having Salesforce technology by our side helped us to be more resilient during COVID-19 outbreak, and reconnect with our customers,” said Wattel. “We can’t wait to see what the next chapter of our journey brings.”
“We’re closely monitoring analytics to make sure people are having a good experience on the site, and Salesforce gives us the agility to react to changing needs as soon as we identify them.”