The retail industry has significantly transformed since the arrival of new digital technologies. The number of communication and sales channels has increased at a high rate, and as a result, consumers are changing the way they make purchase decisions. They are as likely to shop online as they are to shop in-store. When they shop in person, they use their mobile devices to check trend and style information, compare prices, and share photos and opinions on their social networks. Although they shop on multiple channels, they expect highly personalized service on all of them. The customer decision journey has become cross-channel, and demands business integration to support it. Salesforce is helping innovative companies like ALDO lead the way to the future of retail.
“If you want to succeed in this new era, you will need to put customers at the center of everything you do,” says Todd Dean, Vice President, Cross-Channel and eCommerce. “The Salesforce1 customer platform is helping us build relationships with customers on every channel.”
ALDO, a leading fashion footwear and accessory brand, started using Salesforce to gain better insight into its customers’ preferences in order to be able to serve them better. This increase in customer knowledge helps ALDO better anticipate the customers’ needs and expectations and select the best channels to engage with them more effectively. For example, customer service agents use Service Cloud to quickly access customer data, find answers, and respond to issues faster. With Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, ALDO can participate in conversations about its brand on social networks.
Salesforce now allows ALDO to have a 360-degree vision of its customers. In the future, the company will be able to use information from Salesforce to create synergies between physical and digital channels, allowing them to interact in a fluid and personalized manner with their customers anywhere in the world.
As part of its cross-channel strategy, ALDO is also building a suite of mobile apps with the Salesforce1 Platform: “Style Guru” will be a hub for trend and style information; “Outfit Matchmaker” will help customers match shoes to outfits they already own; and “Virtual Shelf” will let customers quickly explore and purchase from the ALDO collection. Other apps will make it easy for VIP shoppers to pre-order items or use their phones to shop in-store. Not only are the apps fun to use, but they also help ALDO increase its knowledge of its customers, which will ultimately allow the company to provide a better service.
Mobile will also be a central part of ALDO’s store experience, starting with the “store of the future” that will open next year at New York’s World Trade Center. “Mobile bridges the physical and digital world,” explains Dean. “When we deploy it at the store level, we’ll be able to learn even more about customers and provide a totally personalized experience.”
In addition to engaging customers, ALDO is building apps on the Salesforce1 Platform to streamline operations and save costs. Because its business is highly seasonal, and merchandise turnaround is quick, tight management of inventory can have a big effect on the bottom line. ALDO’s “Fix my Mix” app will help stores find shoes from other stores, avoiding a long and costly process at the distribution center, and getting them quickly into the hands of customers.
“It’s not just about staying a step ahead of competitors,” says Dean. “Salesforce is helping us transform our business so we can do more for our customer.”