Tucked away in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland is the Grosses Engelhorn, a mountain that stretches 2,782 meters. Albert Einstein spent a lot of his earlier adult years living in Switzerland. So what are the chances that the German clothing chain engelhorn uses Einstein artificial intelligence for Salesforce Commerce Cloud to boost its digital conversions?
Being a big store, it would be easy to think that online visitors may get lost in the infinite – to quote the Danish existentialist Kierkegaard – with the anxiety of choosing from endless choices. The department chain operates 700 brands and around 35,000 products that traverse everything from fashion and luxury goods to sportswear.
For brands that offer expansive products and services, tailoring these to shoppers in the right way is a challenge because so much choice can … well we’ve already spoken to Kierkegaard about that.
The critical commerce factor is that engelhorn (yes with the lowercase ‘e’) provides each customer their own digital experience in which they are offered the products that they’re most interested in.
But how do you do this effectively while at the same time expanding between 20-30% each year?
A little help from my AI friends
When engelhorn’s director of online merchandising, Kristin Hesse, first came across Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s AI-powered product recommendations she realized that they were just the capabilities that were needed.
They had been working with Salesforce Commerce Cloud for 8 years. “Salesforce informs you about the latest innovations and brand-new tools,” said Kristin. “There’s always the opportunity to communicate with other Salesforce customers to share knowledge and experience. It’s a partnership. The company talks very openly and shares information, and when you share, you gain much more than you lose.”
Just 4 weeks
Implementing Salesforce’s Einstein artificial intelligence was incredibly simple for engelhorn – in fact, its merchandising team was able to understand and implement personalized product recommendations after just 4 weeks.
With the additional work of developers, product and order feeds were activated, before creatives put in placement, layout, and usability of the AI recommendations. Now engelhorn can optimize which recommendations are given with flexible product sliders, so that content slots can simply be personalized.
“The implementation was very fast and quite easy,” said Kristin. But the company went further and implemented their own rules into how they would recommend aspects of their catalog – for example showing expensive recommendations only with expensive products.
“Every customer is an individual,” added Kristin. “A huge factor for us was that the recommendations should be tailored for each customer and fit the product category and price segment.”
As a result of artificial intelligence-led personalization strategy, engelhorn has seen a 2.5% increase in conversions rates as well as a 1.5% increase in AOV and 4% in revenue per visitor.
Einstein adds his knowledge to other areas
With the capabilities of Einstein fully understood, engelhorn sought to put the elever man to more work in broader aspects of the business. So they implemented Einstein Predictive Soft, which can personalize the category grid pages so that it displays products in a specific type of order.
“We’ve seen our add-to-cart rates go up by more than 1%,” added Kristin. “We’re still at the beginning but figuring out how to use Einstein more and more. Someday, we may totally stop manually adding sorting rules.”
Automating tasks is the bread and butter of Einstein, which frees up time for engelhorn teams by eliminating many of the manual and monotonous tasks. “We were so used to telling our system exactly what to do,” said Kristin. “We had a challenge in trusting Einstein to do its own thing. We kept arguing that we needed more rules to feed Einstein, but we didn’t, and we can see that it really works. We are totally convinced that the less you tell it to do, the better.”
The partnership of engelhorn and Salesforce Commerce Cloud has not only elevated the revenue and branding of the company but also the quality of work. The ability to focus on more pressing customer-facing issues instead of keeping an eye on the maintenance of their tech stack. In other words, less time on technical work and more time on innovating the digital customer experience.
“The way things are implemented and presented by Salesforce,” added Kristin, “gives you a huge opportunity to grow and gain more insights and knowledge. You always have the opportunity to try something new.”