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Retailer Aldo Improve 1-to-1 communications with customers through Salesforce

Retailer Aldo Improve 1-to-1 communications with customers through Salesforce

Salesforce Success Story


Aldo Bensadoun opened his own store in downtown Montreal in 1972 with the audacious goal of becoming the "brand that cares," following in the footsteps of his shoe salesman father and cobbler grandfather who later owned businesses.

Since then, Bensadoun has expanded Aldo into a global footwear chain with more than 2,000 locations across more than 100 nations, carrying on the massively successful tradition of style and craftsmanship started by his family. The founding principles of Bensadoun have persisted as well; "love" is listed among its official corporate values.


Aldo looked for a Salesforce solution to reach 200 million customers and prospects worldwide with the same level of compassion and care he gave to his first clients. Aldo now offers a personalized experience that follows customers whether they are in the store, online, or calling customer service by combining previously siloed customer data. The goal is to make shopping with Aldo for customers quicker, simpler, and more enjoyable.

"We need to be able to do that across not just channels, but also all forms of communication, whether it's social media, online, or in a person-to-person relationship," said Patrik Frisk, CEO of Aldo. "For us to communicate and to translate our core values of love, integrity, and respect with the customer, we need to be able to do that across not just channels, but also all forms of communication."


Demonstrating Aldo’s core values: respect, integrity, and love

The word "love" seems to be very out of place in the corporate jargon of the twenty-first century. However, Aldo is not the only company with a heart-forward approach to business relationships. "We make your customers love you," is one of Salesforce's taglines, making the two businesses natural allies.

Love permeates everything Aldo does, from how staff members interact with one another to how they treat customers, according to Frisk.

Love drives Aldo's leadership to provide employees with the resources they need to succeed, according to Amy Stern, global vice president of human resources. Sharing knowledge and... the tools we offer to our colleagues is one of the ways we show love here internally, Stern said. We can equip them with the knowledge they need to excel in their jobs and provide our customers with much deeper service. It enables them to prioritize the needs of our customers.

For instance, Salesforce provides customer data to the mobile devices used by sales associates in Aldo stores so that they can provide better customer service and informs call center agents so that they can handle calls 20% faster. That demonstrates respect for their time and love for Aldo's customers.

No matter where they are, they expect us to know who they are, their habits, and their preferences, according to chief information officer Lance Martel. “I think it's not about technology. It's about experiences.”

Aldo's website and marketing cloud both use predictive intelligence to suggest additional pairs of shoes in the same style or a complementary handbag. When you walk into a store after seeing a pair of shoes on Aldo's website, the Aldo app will let the salesperson know what you want so you can try them on more quickly. Aldo's A-list app utilizes the Salesforce Platform and AppExchange to manage and track interactions with top-tier customers, showcase particular shoes or prereleases, and provide exclusive benefits to their most loyal patrons.

According to Martel, having the right information enables Aldo associates to make recommendations that seem generous and personalized rather than impersonal upselling.

Fewer sales emails, 70% more revenue

The typical Aldo customer purchases a few pairs of shoes each year, whereas the company's top clients purchase about nine pairs annually. Sending out weekly sales emails is obviously excessive considering that, at best, that's still less than one pair per month.

"I believe that in general, we sent way too much. Erwin Hinteregger, Chief Marketing Officer, stated that we have reduced it by roughly 50%.

Aldo sends emails, but they are better tailored to each recipient's preferences, which has resulted in a 131% increase in email conversion over the previous year.

"It's important that we learn more about each individual customer so that we can provide them with the products and content they need. At the end of the day, isn't that really the Holy Grail? It really is a one-to-one relationship now, Hinteregger said.

Vice President of CRM and Analytics at Aldo, Ian Richards, stated that Aldo strives for that 1-to-1 connection across all communication platforms.

“We really try to send the customer the right information that might be most relevant to that customer at that particular time. Whether it's an email, push, or SMS, across all of our platforms, it's really about being customer-centric and truly personalized,” said Ian Richards, Vice President of CRM and Analytics.


By putting Aldo's customers at the center of the company's universe and focusing on demonstrating love and respect for them, the company upgraded to Marketing Cloud and generated a ROI of $100 million over four years.

How the retail industry has changed is very interesting, said Frisk. A few decades ago, all you needed to succeed was "beautiful footwear—the right product, in other words—and great staff that we are able to service the consumer."

Aldo had to adapt because fast-fashion chains and practical online retailers changed the retail environment and provided customers with more options.

“For Aldo, that meant that we needed to really think long and hard about how we stayed competitive,” Frisk said. “It wasn't just about collecting data. It was about personalizing that data. … And that's what Salesforce has enabled us to do.”