Card Factory and Astound put a 21st-century digital spin on card and gift retail
Greeting cards have remained a stable retail sector for decades, with each generation discovering the deep personal connections and positive emotional impacts cards provide. The industry, of course, has evolved with time: today, personalized cards and e-cards are dominant trends. The industry market research firm IBISWorld reports increasing interest in cards and ancillary products, including e-cards, among all demographics.
Card Factory, the UK’s leading specialist retailer of greeting cards, dressings, and gifts, has been a dominant player in the national brick-and-mortar space for years. But the company understands retail is undergoing a major secular change, one that could have an especially profound effect on the card sector. Increasing competition from pure play greeting card businesses and the accelerating digital expectations of consumers convinced Card Factory’s leadership to revamp its business model with a focus on ecommerce growth and an expansion of its premium and personalized product lines.
Card Factory’s ecommerce trade was dependent on a legacy platform that lacked the basic functionality needed to meet the growing digital demands of the company’s customers. Among other issues, shoppers couldn’t build multi-item baskets, customer service teams lacked the tools necessary for rapid and effective response, and the company’s ecommerce team couldn’t make quick website changes or create product bundles. As a result, the customer experience was less than optimal, and needed website changes were both time consuming and difficult to implement.
Card Factory wanted to enhance the digital profile of its personalized merchandise, given that these products account for 60 percent of the company’s current online sales and are central to its future ecommerce growth. The scope of the project demanded a partner with a long track record in assessing and effectively addressing complex digital challenges; the company ultimately tapped Astound Commerce, a global leader in the development and implementation of effective ecommerce solutions, as its partner.
Astound’s extensive research into Card Factory’s customer experience stream revealed that a customized integration between Salesforce Service Cloud (SFSC) and Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) would best enhance the brand’s ability to provide excellent customer service, a superior user experience, increased sales, and increased ecommerce revenues.
With a complete end-to-end digital strategy, Astound enhanced the mobile experience, improved site content, and optimized the customer journey, driving a fivefold increase in site traffic, a 19 percent reduction in bounce rate, and a 40 percent increase in conversion rates.
To achieve this, Astound fully implemented commerce and service processes to accelerate integration between SFSC and SFCC; team members also synced order data, order headers, and two-way account data, allowing the seamless retrieval and updating of order and customer details from SFCC.
The team also established milestones that escalated priority for unresolved cases and dispatched notifications for action to managers; deployed Web Chat, enabling the automatic creation of cases via web forms when customer service is closed; streamlined approval processes for refunds, cancellations, and returns; and facilitated custom reports detailing case progression. And to enable real-time communication and brainstorming among customer service agents, Astound implemented Chatter in SFSC.
“Digital transformation sits at the heart of our long-term growth strategy, so it was imperative we had the right infrastructure—and the right digital commerce agency—in place to support us, both now and in the future. The Astound team has worked collaboratively with us at every stage of the digital transformation project, consulting on best practice and quickly and efficiently managing any complexities that have arisen.”
—Sharon Prior, CIO, Card Factory
Working together, Card Factory and Astound created a new, powerful, and resilient ecommerce site. The seamless implementation of SFSC and SFCC now gives employees a unified view of each shopper, greatly improving customer service. The implementation of services aligned to case creation, management, and reporting provides service teams with the advanced tools and flexibility required for quick and effective resolution of customer problems with a significant reduction in response times. Salesforce Chatter has allowed agents to communicate and collaborate on cases, delivering both comprehensive solutions to customers and greater connectivity and job satisfaction among agents.
The collective impact of these improvements has allowed Card Factory to deploy an expanded and varied product line, while the enhanced functionality and expanded scalability of the site is driving increased customer retention and loyalty.