Here is a gold-star example of how a brand went from a store-focused commerce strategy with a second-thought ecommerce extension to a digitalized and personalized strategy forged through months of pandemic pain.
Sonos, the audio leader – which also develops and manufactures wireless audio products – lost an incredible 90% of its sales across all of its retail locations soon after the outbreak of the pandemic.
Like most retailers and brands, the majority of their sales come from their stores – despite the years’ long forward march of ecommerce. Leaning into the pandemic, Sono’s ecommerce accounted for just 10% of its sales.
Such a situation – of a heavy one-sided approach to commerce – provoked alarm bells when stores began to shut their doors. They were forced into discovering a new way to connect with their customers. A way in which necessitated a reimagining of the digital experience.
In order to recover the losses felt from stores, Sonos planned and developed new digital experiences that blended traditional retail with aspects of entertainment – including their partnership with Disney’s new hit series The Mandalorian, currently being watched by – what feels like – the entire world. This meant that during October, those that bought certain speakers also received a 6-month subscription to the streaming service Disney+.
Even before the pandemic hit, Sonos had spent the last two years developing their digital strength in Salesforce Customer 360, a digital tool that ties together Salesforce apps and creates a unified view of each customer. Creating such a holistic view had been a priority for the audio company.
“Traditionally,” said Sonos’ D2C director Lindsay Whitworth, “the retail piece has been really important in the consideration cycle for customers. We’re a sound product. Many of our customers want to see it, hear it, listen to it.”
Their current tech stack now includes Salesforce Commerce Cloud, the premier ecommerce platform of choice for big and high-volume brands that require complex solutions for complex issues – like multivariate and A/B testing as well as multi-language and currency functionalities.
Sonos personalizes their marketing outreach and launched a D2C shop within only a couple of months. And the results have been loud and clear – unless you’re rolling with noise-canceling headphones.
Sales soared by 300% from last year.
Sonos’ customer-first approach was the reason for its major revenue growth. The move included the curation of radio content in order to ease the pains of their homebound customers – providing a preview of its quality sound products.
“From the beginning,” said Joe Dawson, head of Sonos Radio, “we wanted Sonos Radio to be a way for listeners to explore not just music culture, but radio culture, too.” The audio giant also launched a series of international channels that focus on travel abroad, with episodes told by locals.
The rolling out of Sonos Radio has been received well by its growing audience, offering them fresh experiences and enticing new customers.
Sales actually spiked an estimated 5-10 years in a single quarter, according to its CEO Patrick Spence, who said: “It was surprising to see our customers shift quite quickly and comfortably to buying our products online.”
It wasn’t just new customers that Sonos was after but new products. They rolled out Sonos Arc, a premium audio experience, in May as a direct response to their research that found fond listeners – who listen every day – have a preference for the same quality of speaker as professional have in the audio industry. The response? A strong sales performance of the higher level of audio product.
To broaden its Salesforce strength, Sonos personalized their marketing stories based on the data of their customers that was captured and analyzed on Salesforce Marketing Cloud. As an example, the music genres that were most popular helped Sonos launch highly effective personalized marketing campaigns via their channels.
Sonos has kept the customer as top priority. And with Salesforce solutions such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, they are able to provide more effective online experiences and build on their sales.