City Beach has partnered with Salesforce to support its digital transformation journey and as a result has increased overall conversion by 7%, with a 13% increase for customers using search and 16% increase for mobile customers.

Like other businesses, City Beach witnessed consumers shifting to a digital first mentality when it came to shopping during Covid, with more research and transactions being done online, but the digital transformation project was already in the works pre-pandemic.

“We recognised online was a growing channel for us even before people were forced to shop through digital channels,” City Beach head of ecommerce Nick Palmer told Retailbiz in a recent interview.

“But once we were reporting December numbers in traditionally quieter months such as April and May during Covid, it become apparent that our transformation journey was critical and that we had to embrace the changes in consumer behaviour.

“The biggest challenge for us was trying to hold onto existing systems, coupled with not knowing how long the pandemic would last and how much consumers would continue to shop online.”

City Beach chose to partner with Salesforce in January 2021 as it met the retailer’s key criteria, particularly when it came to international expansion. 

“We wanted to expand internationally but we didn’t want to manage different sites. We wanted one central place to manage products, pricing and promotions, with content that would feed into our three sites – Australia, New Zealand and US,” Palmer said.

“Having our own platform was difficult and we weren’t able to take ownership of our merchandising capabilities, which is super important when you have hundreds or thousands of product SKUs in a single category. We were just showing products in order from new to old with no AI functionality.”

By leveraging new AI capabilities, City Beach staff can now provide targeted product recommendations based on a customer’s previous purchases, as well as suggest products based on stock depth.

“Salesforce enables us to be more agile – get things done quicker in a cost-effective way.”