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Digital Transformation

Shoe Carnival Steps Up Unified Shopping Experiences with Salesforce

Shoe Carnival logo

Footwear retailer Shoe Carnival attracted and retained loyal shoppers while growing its digital revenue by 174% in 2020 using Salesforce Customer 360 for Retail. 

The nearly 400-location retailer accelerated its omnichannel journey by bringing traditional store experiences online, personalizing marketing across all channels, automating connected customer service, and continuing to grow its buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) offering.

Why it’s important: Despite a difficult macro environment for retailers, Shoe Carnival noted in its recent earnings call that customers are shopping in its stores at record levels. The company also generated more profit for shareholders in 2021 than in the prior six years combined.

Driving the news: Shoe Carnival is deeply invested in driving personalized shopping experiences in its stores. While most retailers offer the same paper coupons and bulk discounts, Shoe Carnival takes a unique approach and is known for giving customers the chance to spin a carnival wheel in stores to receive a discount at checkout. 

When the pandemic forced nonessential retailers to shut their doors, Shoe Carnival brought that same engaging experience to life in the digital world with personalized marketing campaigns that seamlessly connected online and offline engagement. 

Shoe Carnival launched a “spin the virtual wheel” experience* where shoppers text “WHEEL” to an SMS short code and can play for a discount. Subsequent SMS offers then drove shoppers to the website and back in-store for repeat purchases.

Today, confirmation emails also now include AI-powered, personalized recommendations based on each shopper’s profile in Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform, providing a convenient way for customers to purchase related items.

Explore further: Customer 360 for Retail provides a single, connected platform helping retailers transform every aspect of their business, acquire and engage loyal customers, create compelling commerce experiences, and deliver consistent service to shoppers at every moment. Customer 360 for Retail linked online and store engagement for Shoe Carnival shoppers to help grow market share and revenue by: 

  • Easily scaling its digital platform as online revenue surged 3x when the pandemic closed storefronts in Q2 2020.
  • Delivering connected and consistent service with the addition of chatbots to shoecarnival.com. For Shoe Carnival, this decreased manual chat intervention by over 90%, reducing cost and boosting customer service agent productivity.
  • Enabling customer service agents to access customer history and loyalty status within Salesforce immediately without changing applications, improving agent effectiveness
  • Reducing friction in the BOPIS process as usage grew over 200% from 2019 to 2021.

The customer view: Deb Hannah, SVP Marketing at Shoe Carnival, said:

  • “The work we did with Salesforce to make sure that our infrastructure was sound is what enabled us literally, within the pandemic, to 3x our business over the period when our stores were closed.”
  • “We didn’t furlough employees early in the pandemic, which enabled us to quickly process the surge in online orders, and to later fulfill the huge growth in BOPIS.”
  • “Automated triggers, analytics, the ability to easily build new journeys and incorporate AI-powered recommendations – all of these marketing capabilities are key to making our engagements with customers more personalized.”

The Salesforce Perspective: “Retailers like Shoe Carnival are harnessing the full power of Customer 360 for Retail to seamlessly personalize engagement across touchpoints,” said Rob Garf, VP and GM, Retail at Salesforce. “The ability to operationalize data and insights to enable targeted marketing campaigns, drive relevant product recommendations, and deliver consistent service is fundamental to attracting and retaining loyal shoppers.”

What’s next: In addition to leveraging Salesforce’s marketing analytics capabilities for actionable insights and shopper engagement, Shoe Carnival will expand its Shoe Perks loyalty program with a Salesforce solution to further drive shopper loyalty.

Explore further:

  • Check out Shoe Carnival’s omnichannel retail experience here
  • Learn more about Customer 360 for Retail here.
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