Rack Room Shoes Steps Up Its Customer Engagement with Salesforce.com

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Charlotte, N.C.–based shoe retailer Rack Room Shoes, together with its sister company, Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse, operates some 500 locations across the country. The company, owned by German firm the Deichmann Group, bills itself as “the family footwear retailer of choice” and carries a wide selection of national brands in the dress, casual, and athletic categories.

Until recently, the two retailers (Rack Room acquired Off Broadway in 2002) managed their email marketing efforts through a third-party vendor that sent a standard, one-size-fits-all email to all customers. But as the companies grew, this approach became both more costly and less effective, especially considering that the vendor’s siloed model made it harder to measure email marketing and slowed down the manual delivery of time-sensitive marketing messages.

“The approach was rather unsophisticated in terms of our communication with our customers; [it was] mostly ‘batch and blast,’ not a lot of personalized information, not a lot of segmentation strategy,” says Scott Baldt, senior director of omnichannel at Rack Room Shoes. “We were sending a lot of communications to consumers without regard to [their] level of activity in the program, likelihood to respond to the communication to begin with.”

To help bring consumer engagement data, campaigns, and personnel—from both companies—onto a single CRM platform, Rack Room turned to Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud. The move paid off in a big way: Both Rack Room and Off Broadway have seen the revenue from their digital campaigns take off since the deployment

With Salesforce Marketing Cloud, the two brands increased store traffic via incentivized in-store rewards programs and added other digital channels such as text messages to their consumer outreach strategies. And their marketing teams have increased productivity by bringing digital marketing in-house, automating campaigns, and integrating data and analytics.

“One of the things that we’ve been able to do utilizing the platform is insert more relevant information even into our campaign messages. The rewards program, like many, is a points-based program where you can earn discounts to be applied on future purchases based on current purchasing behavior. In the past, in our marketing communications, we had no reference to whether [customers] had an available reward, whether they were close to earning a reward,” Baldt says. “Those are the types of things that we’ve been able to insert into our campaign messaging to help drive performance. That’s been a real strong factor.”

And by automating their email and text campaigns, both stores’ marketing teams now have more time to assess customer data and come up with more strategic, data-driven campaigns. “Our ultimate desire is to really make these journey-based communications a much bigger part of our communications strategy,” Baldt says, “rather than general marketing messaging that retailers tend to send that really only hits a small percentage of the appropriate audience.”

The results with Salesforce Marketing Cloud have been impressive: Rack Room Shoes has seen an online revenue increase of 161 percent for email and 451 percent for SMS; Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse has seen an online revenue increase of 44 percent for email and 291 percent for SMS.

“Our long-term goal is to really gain a better understanding of which data points are more likely to predict positive impact on performance across all of our spaces,” Baldt says. “Right now email, SMS, and push notifications are what we’re using the platform to help drive. Next steps are how do we better activate our customer data in our social spaces and with our digital marketing teams as well.”

The Payoff

Since implementing Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Rack Room Shoes and Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse have seen the following results:

  • an online revenue increase of 161 percent for email and 451 percent for SMS for Rack Room Shoes; and
  • an online revenue increase of 44 percent for email and 291 percent for SMS for Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse.

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