Drops Group Delivers the Goods to More Customers with Salesforce


Learn how this Kuwaiti ecommerce company uses Salesforce to streamline operations and scale across countries.

Every day after work, Drops Group founder, Mohammed Al Essa, had to carry large cases of water upstairs to his 2nd floor apartment. It was heavy, tiresome, and frustrating – and to the entrepreneurial-minded Al Essa, a huge gap in the market.

So, in 2019, he established the first water and beverage ecommerce platform in Kuwait, delivering straight to customers’ homes.

What started with ten employees and two cars took off almost immediately, expanding its product range to include fresh produce, household essentials, and electronics. And today, Drops has over 1,000 employees, and a two-hour delivery promise.

However, Al Essa and his team weren’t satisfied with just addressing market demands and offering speedy delivery. They wanted to build a smooth, pain-free shopping experience from start to finish. And they wanted limitless growth, with sights set firmly on expansion into the neighbouring UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Drops needed a platform that could scale with its ambitions. A platform that could support international operations, handle multiple currencies, and sustain explosive growth.

That’s not all. With its fast growth, by 2021, Drops had multiple warehouses and a fleet of almost 200 cars – so its platform needed to manage this complexity too. And dealing with warehouses stocking over 70,000 SKUs was a steep learning curve from the moment the company started growing.

Here’s the story of a true trailblazer. A company that brought an entirely new service to Kuwait – and forged its own path. We spoke to Saud Al Sumait, Deputy CEO at Drops Group, about how an inspired team of trailblazers use Salesforce to meet the most ambitious of visions.

"Our team is our greatest asset. With their drive and dedication to succeed, we’ve moved mountains since implementing Salesforce."
Saud Al Sumait, Deputy CEO, Drops Group

1. Match accelerated growth with accelerated implementation

At just three years old, the major challenge at Drops was adapting to lightning-speed growth. For scale: before March 2020, Drops was handling around 300 orders a day. By 18 March 2020, it was 2,400 a day. And since then, it’s continued to grow.

“Our start-up mentality and entrepreneurial spirit helped us out of the starting gate, but it wasn’t a sustainable business model,” said Al Sumait. “To reach that next stage of growth, we needed verifiable data, reports, and processes.”

Drops’ rapid expansion – coupled with aiming to break into international markets – required robust and scalable technology, accurate data, and a central platform to optimise processes.

So in 2021, Drops migrated its entire technology stack to Salesforce, implementing Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud, plus GoldFinch ERP, an AppExchange platform for FMCG products.

“We were warned a project of this size could take two years, but that simply wasn’t an option,” revealed Al Sumait. “We had commitments with vendors and we wanted to launch in other countries.”

From day one, Drops focused on building strong, strategic partnerships with its vendors, placing them at the centre of operations (and attention). After implementing Salesforce, Drops saw these partnerships flourish. With Salesforce, Drops provides accurate and timely performance information for vendors. And in turn, vendors make critical, timely decisions about their product offerings.

So, just six months later, Drops launched on Commerce Cloud, with Service Cloud streamlining customer support.

“Salesforce is the right platform for us. It’s laying the foundations for our data and processes, and its reputation is one of our biggest USPs in attracting new customers and vendors.”
Saud Al Sumait, Deputy CEO, Drops Group

2. Develop a team of talented trailblazers

Drops has a unique culture of independence. Many similar companies outsource a lot of their work or rent property instead of purchasing it. But Drops has its own drivers, cars, warehouses, and customer service team.

Shortly after migrating to Salesforce, Drops’ leadership made the decision to hire in-house developers. But finding the right talent with in-depth Salesforce knowledge proved to be difficult. Luckily, Drops’ culture shone through, and existing employees took ownership of the Salesforce platform, later using Trailhead to develop their skills and grow their careers.

“Our team is our greatest asset. With their drive and dedication to succeed, we've moved mountains since implementing Salesforce,” added Al Sumait. “Our trailblazers not only implemented the solution, but they also act as Salesforce champions, educating their peers.”

“A champion emerged for every Salesforce cloud. It was incredible to see our people rise through the ranks and learn how to manage and customise the platform. Today, they run the entire system, and the more we invest in Salesforce, the more we benefit.”


3. Double down on efficiency with centralised data and processes

Before Salesforce, information at Drops was fragmented. Every division had its own way of operating and managing tasks.

But today, it has a single source of truth, with data and processes centralised on one platform.

Sales Cloud dashboards and reports enable smarter decision-making, with people using insights rather than guesswork. “Salesforce elevated critical thinking at Drops. Employees started pulling their own reports and dashboards, exploring new ideas, and approaching problems in a different way,” said Al Sumait.

And with Service Cloud, Drops encourages more accountability. “Previously, if someone changed the price of an item or changed the quantity, we couldn’t tell who’d done it. Service Cloud helps keep track of every action, which also cuts down on duplicated effort.”

“Salesforce elevated critical thinking at Drops. Employees started pulling their own reports and dashboards, exploring new ideas, and approaching problems in a different way.”
Saud Al Sumait, Deputy CEO, Drops Group

4. Make the right moves – not necessarily the easy ones

Unlike many retailers, Drops is mobile-only, making the app its focal point.

And while this caters to the way people want to shop online, it adds serious complexity behind the scenes.

First, it meant a standard Salesforce implementation was out of the question. And with tight timeframes – the team wanted to go international yesterday – plus multiple warehouses and multiple currencies to manage, there was a daunting task ahead.

Salesforce Professional Services stepped up to support, and their advice was simple yet effective: customise. Technical challenges – mainly related to the inventory feed – were solved with some architectural creativity. And completed within the tight timeframe.

But the mobile-only experience wasn’t the only tough challenge. Drops has a commitment to its customers: when they place an order, it’s delivered within two hours. So to support last-mile logistics, the team customised Commerce Cloud to take orders from the app and route them directly to the warehouse.

After seeing success there, the Drops team has an ambitious plan to reduce its two-hour guaranteed delivery to just 60 minutes. To make this a reality, Drops will use Salesforce OMS.

“Phase two will show us the full power and impact of having Salesforce,” said Al Sumait. “Initial feedback has been positive, and warehouse workers are keen to adopt OMS.”

“Drops is a goldmine of ideas. And now, we have the framework and technology to make them happen. Our partnership with Salesforce has become our right arm and helps us turn our visions into reality.”
Mohammed Al Essa, Founder & CEO, Drops Group

5. Meet customers where they are

It’s tough being the first. Not only did the Drops team have to build their own processes, customise the platform, and learn by doing – but they had to change customer behaviour too.

Before Drops, all food delivery services were run by traditional bricks-and-mortar stores. Customers were seriously focused on quality and wanted to do their own in-store shopping. Simply put, they wanted to choose their own apples.

While Drops could ensure it only stocks high quality produce, building personal, trusted relationships with customers was a whole other challenge.

Which meant predicting customer needs – and being there for customers, wherever they prefer.

“Before Salesforce, we recorded orders and tickets by hand, and managed communication via WhatsApp,” recalled Al Sumait. “With Service Cloud, we’ve completely transformed customer service.”

Now, regardless of whether the customer calls, emails, or uses instant messaging, the agent has full visibility of all the relevant information that they need to serve them quickly and easily.

To make ordering even more convenient, Drops is building an ecommerce website on Commerce Cloud. It also plans to implement a digital wallet to make paying online a breeze across multiple currencies, and social login so people can sign in using their social media credentials.

But meeting customers where they are doesn’t end with better service or a new website.

Next, the team will use customer segmentation tools within Commerce Cloud – plus Einstein – to create a unique shopping experience for every customer, based on their demographics and purchase history.

And with Marketing Cloud, Drops is automating several user journeys – like promotional, product-specific, onboarding, and abandoned cart – and running its loyalty programme. Thanks to Marketing Cloud, Drops can be even more responsive to an ever-changing market, and it’ll help the team nurture stronger relationships with both prospects and customers.

“Before Salesforce, we recorded orders and tickets by hand and managed communication via WhatsApp. With Service Cloud, we’ve completely transformed customer service.”
Saud Al Sumait, Deputy CEO, Drops Group

Many companies take decades to reach the growth that Drops has achieved in a few short years. And now with Salesforce – with centralised data, efficient commerce processes, and a 360-degree view of the customer – Al Essa and his team can plan and prepare for growth well in advance.

“We have a talented team. We have quality products and customer trust. And now, with Salesforce, we have the technology to support our international growth and limitless ambitions,” concluded Al Sumait.


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