Desigual turns the internet into its flagship store with Salesforce
As the business that turned a pair of pants into a denim jacket, Desigual was born to be different and stand out from the conventional. Since launching in 1984 and opening its first store in 1986, this has been its maxim. Since then, the multinational has built two logistics centres in Spain and two support centres in the USA and China, where it ships more than 10 million garments a year to over 400 stores worldwide with the help of more than 2,700 employees.
However, growing pressures and competition in the retail sector led the company to undertake an extensive restructuring project, with digital transformation playing an essential role. In addition to renewing its products with new designs, patterns, materials, and design collaborations; store redesigns; a radical change of brand image in 2019, including a new logo; and targeting a younger client base, boosting online sales has become a primary objective for Desigual.
This shift to digital is also closely linked to a strategy of internationalisation, extending Desigual’s sales locations to more than 100 countries. Daniel Muñoz, IT & Supply Chain Director at Desigual, emphasised the importance of Desigual’s commitment to Salesforce, adding that it marks a ‘before and after’ in the business’s digital strategy, allowing it to work with franchisees worldwide and enabling online channels that already account for 31% of total sales.
Involvement and commitment: the journey from less to more
Desigual identified two fundamental criteria in its search for a new e-commerce platform: the new solution needed to be capable of adapting to the business’s growth and internationalisation strategy, and also offer enough stability to meet ambitious scalability targets. After evaluating numerous options, Desigual chose Commerce Cloud.
The project was developed in record time, according to Muñoz. After launching in Poland in April 2019, within a few months it had already been extended to the other 22 countries in which Salesforce sells directly.
Salesforce Professional Services played a key role in this process: “We had high-level advice at the right time to deliver the project so quickly, without the need for too much consultancy,” said Muñoz. In addition to the collaboration between Desigual and Salesforce, one reason for this rapid and successful implementation was the adoption of Storefront Reference Architecture, which combines best practices in site design, marketing, and technical architecture.
Results have also been quick, and impressive. In 2019, the company set a target of increasing online sales from 14% of total turnover to 60% in five years; today, it is already at around 31%.
The power of the cloud
Muñoz was particularly impressed with Salesforce’s power and scalability. “It is a ‘before and after’ in the management of our systems, which were powerful and sized for volume, but in-house and on-premise.”
Since the implementation of Commerce Cloud, the Desigual director noted that scalability has been automatic. “We have already had two Black Fridays, and we have progressed from having teams totally dedicated to resizing machines and services for Black Friday, to having a much more business-oriented approach.” Resources have been freed up and diverted to more value-added tasks, rather than monitoring the infrastructure’s performance and capacity.
Reaching a younger mobile market
Since Commerce Cloud’s deployment, European mobile conversion rates have increased by 30% and PC conversions by 58%. In Spain, conversion rates have risen by 66% on desktops and 71% on mobiles, with growth rates in Germany reaching 90%. All the data confirms that the strategy to increase online sales and capture a younger audience is working.
Olszewska praised Salesforce’s powerful, automated sorting algorithms, adding: “They have clearly increased conversion rates.” The algorithms promote best-selling products, giving them greater online storefront prominence with no manual intervention.
Desigual is also confident that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will benefit the project to develop segmentation and personalisation functions. The aim is for customers to receive more accurate product recommendations according to their preferences and buying habits, based on their browsing history.
Olszewska pointed out: “One of the great things about Salesforce is that it enables you to test so many of its innovations without any major investment or disruptive integration.”
Global capability, local customisation
Online customers are also seeing improvements in navigation and finding relevant content: using the ‘click & collect’ mode, they can see in real time if their nearest shop has a particular product available for immediate collection. Dependence on the logistics centre has also been eliminated and, according to Muñoz: “It is now possible to access the Desigual website in Spain and get a product located in a shop in Germany, for example.”
The result is that consumers are empowered, giving them more purchasing choice, and providing an attractive advantage over large supermarkets.
In terms of Commerce Cloud’s scalability tools, Muñoz places special emphasis on the ease with which the company has been able to customise international sites. As Muñoz explained: “Before implementing Salesforce, customising these sites was very difficult; in effect, we could do little more than just change the language.”
The situation has now changed substantially, with very high levels of personalisation and the possibility of third-party collaborations to facilitate check-outs and ease the process of working with franchises. “Commerce Cloud enables strong growth in international sales without a corresponding growth in workload,” noted Muñoz.
A philosophy of continuous improvement
Commerce Cloud is an ongoing, living project, with continuous improvements to optimise the customer experience enabled by the Salesforce Test and Learn function, which is included in the solution as standard.
All employees receive regular newsletters to inform them of improvements, new releases, and other updates to Commerce Cloud. This ongoing training enables staff to take full advantage of Salesforce’s scalability, flexibility, and process automation capabilities.