Pepe Jeans India Limited

Creating a successful ecommerce business is a marathon, not a sprint. You need a solution that can be built on over time. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is designed for the long haul.”

Manish Kapoor | Managing Director & CEO, Pepe Jeans India Limited
 
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Pepe Jeans fashions seamless D2C interactions using Salesforce

Winding through London’s Notting Hill district is the famous Portobello Road whose vintage clothing market draws throngs of fashion lovers every week. It was here back in 1973 that an iconic denim brand was born.

“Pepe Jeans London was the brainchild of three Indian-origin brothers who wanted to create some of the most exciting denim-led fashion on the planet,” says Manish Kapoor, Managing Director & CEO, Pepe Jeans India Limited. “Today, the brand is known for its authenticity and limitless creativity.”

In 1989, Pepe Jeans expanded into India, becoming one of the country’s most popular premium denim and lifestyle brands.

“We’re now a Rs 1,100 crore consumer sales business in India, with 250+ standalone stores, 700 department store counters, 700-800 multi-brand counters, and a presence across all leading ecommerce platforms,” says Kapoor.

Weaving personal customer connections through D2C commerce

For about 30 years, the Indian subsidiary of Pepe Jeans relied largely on partners and intermediaries to reach consumers. But now, with the aim of building a truly customer-centric business, the brand is going down the D2C route. 

“We want to cultivate a personal relationship with consumers, and communicate directly with them,” says Kapoor. “So, in 2021, we launched our own website - pepejeans.in.”

The catalyst for this decision came even before COVID-19 when consumer behaviours began to change.

“More consumers were shopping online, and we wanted to be present for them there,” says Kapoor.

To deliver great ecommerce experiences, pepejeans.in had to be supported by a robust solution. The company had two choices – deploy a basic ecommerce solution that would be up and running as soon as possible; or invest time and resources in a more scalable, stable, and future-proof platform.

“Creating a successful ecommerce business is a marathon, not a sprint,” says Kapoor. “You need a platform that can be built on over time to keep up with changing customer needs. That’s why we chose Salesforce Commerce Cloud – because it’s designed for the long haul.”

Pepping up shopping experiences through engaging and user-friendly ecommerce

Today, Pepe Jeans uses Commerce Cloud to deliver seamless ecommerce experiences. Customers visiting the brand’s website can easily filter products, find what they need, fill their carts, and enjoy a quick checkout process. They’re also shown useful outfit recommendations based on about 30 pre-defined styles curated on Salesforce. 

At the backend, teams can track exactly where drop-offs occur, and proactively fix any related issues. The result is a smooth purchasing funnel with only 1.4% of carts abandoned.

“The India Pepe Jeans website is one of the fastest and most responsive across Pepe Jeans’ global operations,” says Priyaranjan Manay, Head of Marketing, Pepe Jeans India Limited. “Pages load within three seconds for a first-time visitor and 1.6 seconds for a second-time visitor. Our SEO is also doing well with a score of 92.” 

Although the Pepe Jeans site is new, the volume of fresh sales being driven through it are almost on par with offline sales volumes. And as more consumers flock to the site, the company has decreased its reliance on online marketplaces to drive sales. 

“In the last 60 days, we’ve been able to lower the discounts offered to marketplaces by five percentage points, thus reducing costs,” says Kapoor. 

Meanwhile, developer-friendly tools make it easy to innovate on the site.

“One of the best things about using Salesforce is that website changes can be made super-fast,” says Manay. “Every week, we’re rolling out new creatives and pages – sometimes even changing the entire UI with ease.” 

But the company’s vision isn’t just to create a great website – it’s also to build a strong and engaged community around their brand. Using Salesforce, the team has integrated the website with social channels to amplify the brand’s reach and engagement. They’ve also partnered with Indian celebrities and influencers to curate various ‘looks’ using Pepe Jeans outfits on social media. If a consumer ‘likes’ any of these looks, they’re immediately redirected to the Pepe Jeans website to find out more.

“Our goal is to build a strong social connect with consumers,” says Kapoor. “We want to go beyond sales and foster long-term customer relationships.”

 

Stitching together customer data for quick decision-making

With vast volumes of customer data now available on Salesforce, Pepe Jeans can understand and engage with consumers better. The brand can also track consumer behaviour on the website, and gauge responses to products faster. These insights can then be incorporated into product design. 

Meanwhile, rich reports and dashboards on Salesforce help leadership teams take informed action to improve the customer journey. 

“At the click of a button, we can view website traffic, bounce rates, conversions, and other key insights which help us make quicker, better decisions,” says Manay.

Zipping through implementation

While the industry typically takes 9-12 months for an implementation of this nature, Pepe Jeans had its ecommerce site up-and-running in a record 100 days – thanks to excellent teamwork.

“We set up a cross-functional implementation team of 14 people,” says Kapoor. “And we asked them to think as consumers rather than employees. What would they want from a website such as Pepe Jeans? Once they were able to articulate those needs, they were able to build incredible customer experiences using Salesforce.”

Supporting them at every stage was implementation partner, Metyis.

“Metyis was a solid partner,” says Manay. “Since they’d already collaborated with our global business, they knew how to help us get the best value out of Salesforce. Working with them was seamless.”

Today, feedback on the website from global teams is very encouraging. Many of the lessons learned by the India team are being used across other markets. 

Meanwhile, Indian employees are proud to have a local brand website. Not only does it give them a sense of ownership, but it also prompts them to think about how to digitise other business activities.

Designing a successful future

Going forward, Pepe Jeans wants to be the #1 denim-centric fashion lifestyle brand in India.

“We’re looking to grow at a 20% CAGR over the next three years,” says Kapoor. “We’re also increasing our technology investments from 15% to 50%.”

These investments will help drive several customer-centric innovations, ranging from virtual try-ons to online product customisations. 

The company also plans to expand its use of Salesforce. Einstein Recommendations will help teams use data on 60,000+ customers to personalise product recommendations. And Salesforce Marketing Cloud will help deepen customer engagement through data-driven digital marketing. 

“In the past two years, our ecommerce revenue has grown from 8% to 28%,” says Kapoor. “In the next three years, we want it to touch 45%. Of that revenue, at least one-fourth should come from our website.” 

The company also wants to make customer journeys frictionless, not just on its website, but across its physical stores, online marketplaces, and other touchpoints. 

“For us, digitisation isn’t just about building an online presence,” says Kapoor. “It’s about achieving a single, unified view of the customer across online and offline channels. So, when the customer walks into our store, we should be able to tell them, ‘These are the items you left in your shopping cart online. Would you like to look at and purchase them, in-store?’ That’s the kind of unified experience we want to deliver with Salesforce.”

 

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