Whether he’s relaxing with a cool drink or hosting a creativity session with his team, Martijn van der Zee knows a good idea - and the importance of executing on it. We talked to the Digital Director at Rituals Cosmetics about how he’s blazing a trail in the retail sector by harnessing multiple channels and compelling content.    


What makes the Rituals brand unique?

We want to help people turn small moments into meaningful moments by tapping into old traditions and rituals. Everyone leads such busy lives and taking a moment to slow down is important. We encourage these moments by creating products for the care of your body and home based on scents linked to each ritual – the Ritual of Sakura with the Japanese fragrance of cherry blossom to the Ritual of Hammam with the fragrance of rosemary and eucalyptus. We even have water islands in our stores, so people can experience the scents and products first hand.


How do you ensure you reach customers beyond the store?

We want to try to bring the water island experience to our customers regardless of whether they can touch or smell the products. That can be quite a challenge for me as digital director! As part of our content strategy, we produce a lot of how-to videos and articles on topics as diverse as facial reflexology, and yoga. This is a great way to connect with current and future customers, especially on social media.

Our mobile app also offers free guided meditations, which have proved really popular.

These are just some examples of how digital can add value to a brand. You can’t exist as a retailer any more without a digital presence or an omni-channel strategy.



How are you enriching the Rituals ecommerce offering?

I believe it’s important to differentiate on both a functional and emotional level. Let’s take the Rituals website as an example. Offering next day delivery is a differentiator on a functional level while our online magazine ticks the emotional box.

With Commerce Cloud, we can continue to enrich both of these streams with new features that improve the customer experience as well as our commercials. When we launched click and collect in London, we saw an immediate uptake in web sales. Around 8% of UK web visitors now use this feature.


What does the Salesforce community mean to you?

The galaxy of Salesforce is just as important as to me as the platform. I am a member of the Salesforce Customer Advisory Board, which means I get to provide feedback on new features and integrations. I was really excited by the arrival of Trailhead – it helps my team understand the potential of Salesforce and to share that with stakeholders across the business.

For me, Salesforce is a way of working and a way of achieving both company and personal goals. It’s been a best friend throughout my career.


How do you keep innovating as a Trailblazer?

I love coming up with new ideas and bringing them to life. Some people spend all their time dreaming and not delivering; to be a Trailblazer, you have to find a balance between the two. I know when I’ve come up with a good idea as it’s reflected in the faces of my team.

With Salesforce, I can execute on an idea within a matter of weeks instead of months. It helps us to be first and to be special. But you need to ensure that you run the tools and not let the tools run you.


What advice would you give to other Trailblazers?

Being a Trailblazer is not always easy; so don’t try to do it alone. It’s important to build up a great team and a great suite of tools to support your ambitions. I love working with creative and skilled people and take time to unlock their potential. Every three months, we have an off-site creativity session in an inspiring location in Amsterdam – it might be by the river or in a converted loft. There’s no agenda or any computers – it's about the ideas in our heads. We often continue our dreaming over a beer or two. I even take my ideas home to the shower, which is where I have my best light bulb moments  – especially when I am using Rituals products!


See how Rituals Cosmetics creates phenomenal growth across digital and physical channels in the full case study.