When you’re a well-established brand with thousands of products and millions of customers, you may face challenges in maintaining engaging customer experiences, adapting to technological innovation, and improving business performance.
You can’t run your business the same way it’s always been run — filling bills on paper, managing inventory manually, spending days updating product content, or sharing catalogs with vendors by mail.
You must change to keep up with the continually evolving nature of our industry.
My name is Michael McNulty, and I joined Cuisinart in October 2017 as a senior ecommerce marketing manager. Founded in 1971, Cuisinart is a universally recognized brand selling high-quality, small kitchen appliances across America, Europe, and the Caribbean.
I oversaw the integration of Salsify at Cuisinart to help increase our online sales and improve our overall business efficiency.
Driving ecommerce business forward is no longer optional for brands. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from scaling a successful digital shelf program with Salsify Commerce Experience Management (CommerceXM).
Build an A-Team for Digital Transformation
Cuisinart sells over 2,500 products, including cookware, bakeware, outdoor grills, parts, accessories, and more. Our sales and marketing teams are responsible for working closely with retailers and distributors to bring products to consumers, and they manage a vast amount of data from multiple sources.
In my first days at Cuisinart, I realized that our sales and marketing teams long followed an outdated product-management process. Every day, they manually updated new products — which sometimes took even three to five days to get a new item set up for retailers.
To solve this problem, we gathered all of our assets into one central source of truth using Salsify to provide everyone a more efficient workflow. I set expectations early and shared my vision, letting them know that I wanted Salsify to be a one-stop-shop.
This approach has helped me build a strong organization over the last three years.
Everyone at my organization knows that we are growing, how we are growing, and what we intend to do next. This open communication and transparency are essential for maintaining trust with teams.
Also, essential: Keep your users updated and informed along the way. Treat them like a new community within your organization. No matter what it is — a new feature, a plan, or something changed, informing your A-team will help increase their satisfaction and ultimately grow your entire business.
Identify Your First Priority — and Continually Evolve
By centralizing our assets, our sales and marketing teams quickly reduced the number of repeated tasks, boosted performance, reached the top 20 retailers, and grew our ecommerce site.
We initially started the project with our top 20 retailers and their channels for our sales team. Now, we continually optimize these channels to ensure they’re always performing.
In 2019, we experimented with Salsify’s digital catalogs for our online channels. This choice was a great movement because these catalogs are online, customizable, and continually updated — anyone can view them.
The user experience (UI) is simple, beautiful, and easy to use. We trained our sales team to create digital catalogs or specific catalogs that retailers wanted to show.
Digital catalogs also offered other internal benefits for our sales and marketing teams. For example, when they need to announce new products, the teams can design and produce sales sheets without asking for help from the creative team.
Reach Out for Help When You Need It
Our sales team initially reported some syndication issues with Walmart and other retailers. I always reached out to Salsify’s support team and included our sales team in the request ticket to keep them updated in those situations.
Using instructions from Salsify, our sales team could go back to retailers and help them solve the problem they were experiencing.
The efficiencies the sales and marketing teams gained from Salsify influenced other departments in Cuisinart.
In 2019, the personal care team officially started with Salsify, and I believe that more people in our organization will see the need to adopt it as they see how it could help their departments.
Moving Forward: It’s All About Innovation
Looking to 2021 and beyond, our team is looking to integrate with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to get more accurate and up-to-date product data automatically. We also plan to make use of workflow assignments, data, and new images for new products from product marketing teams.
We plan to make Salsify the engine that provides all of our product data for the site through automatic updates. The beauty of Salsify is that it can do so much, and some of the littlest things have created the most significant impact for our business.
We once thought Salsify would just be a data-management system, but it turned out to be so much more. We’re really excited that Salsify can help us drive our ecommerce business forward.
Watch Salsify’s on-demand webinar, “Exec POV: How to Transition to a Digital-First Omnichannel Organization,” to learn how digital transformation could transform your brand.