Launched back in the late 1990s, Skis.com takes care of winter sports enthusiasts by providing them skis, quipments, and education across the US.
When it comes to its ecommerce strategy, they know what their customers want by knowing what each of them needs. With artificial intelligence and automatic product recommendations – thanks to Salesforce Commerce Cloud – Skis.com tailors customers’ digital experiences to the individual level.
“By learning about consumer preferences, companies can significantly increase their ability to stay relevant and competitive,” according to a recent report. “Most importantly, companies that harness the power of advanced analytics to drive their recommendation engines will not only find, but also thread, the needle in the continually growing haystack of consumer data.”
This is fitting for Skis.com, which brings innovation to its ski and snowboard gear. They brought in Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s AI-infused product recommendation with A/B testing enabled. They witnessed boosts in orders per session, conversions, and average order value.
Giving customers what they want
Companies that realize the core importance of personalization to their customers are the ones getting the most out of their digital strategies. Skis.com is one of these. For example, when it comes to product recommendations, customers now expect to have a shopping journey that is tailored to their wants, needs, and preferences. Journeys that last a couple of clicks away from purchase because the brand lays out an individual road just for them.
And if you think about it for a second, that’s a big deal for a company like Skis.com because, in general, they sell big-ticket items: skis, snowboards, boots. But they also need to cater for people who are very likely to buy a bundle of goods: skis, poles, clothing, hats. And for each customer these bundles are going to be specific to their own needs.
In order to cater for these wants, Skis.com adopted Salesforce Commerce Cloud and its Einstein product recommendation. Einstein contains cutting-edge data science that is capable of suggesting products for not only known customers but anonymous online shoppers too. “We know skis are not a simple purchase,” said Andy Schepper, COO of Skis.com. “And if we don’t provide our shoppers with an easier, more informed experience, they may simply seek out the lowest price elsewhere. We needed a system to provide relevance for each consumer, so we are making personalized connections for them.”
Take for example the following. An online shopper adds skiing pants to their basket. They will be offered with alternatives automatically, as well as be offered accompanying items like jackets and gloves. These recommendations take place automatically with each time a customer clicks on a product. And giving the broad size of its catalog saves a huge amount of time not only for the customer but also the brand when it comes to guessing and analyzing which products customers would likely want with others.
With Einstein, which is baked right into the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform, it models shopper activity in real time in order to predict the most relevant products to cater towards each digital shopper. And Einstein knows how to learn new skills; with each visitor click and interaction, Einstein becomes smarter as it tweaks and refines recommendations.
Skis.com has actually been a loyal customer of Salesforce, having been on the Commerce Cloud platform for 9 years now. “The Commerce Cloud already has all of our product information, browser behavior, and transactions and operates the storefront where the recommendations are shown,” said Scott Touchette, the director of technology at Skis.com. “It just made sense to adopt the recommendation engine too. This capability was a natural evolution of what we were already doing with the Commerce Cloud.”
If we look at the numbers that are connected to the switch to Salesforce, then this partnership has certainly paid off. Salesforce Commerce Cloud and its built-in companion of Einstein has helped Skis.com record an increase of more than 7% overall revenue per visitor. “The results exceeded our expectations,” added Andy, “plus the system was simple to run and operate. It just works.”