TECHNOLOGY

Fanatics uses the cloud to create customized shopper experiences

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys across retail channels.

The online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise enables customers to make purchases online, in-store, via smartphones and in stadiums during sporting events. This complex model forced Fanatics to rethink how it could empower its customer service agents and supervisors to deliver more personalized experiences regardless of the channels its customers visit.

By leveraging the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud suite, the company is modernizing its call centers, and adding solutions that will transform how it engages with its customers across channels. In addition, the infrastructure is breaking down legacy customer service silos to create a unified, omnichannel experience that combines Web, social and contact center.

To bolster this new model, Fanatics used Oracle’s cloud to launch its Athletes Solutions Kiosk, a tool designed to resolve fans’ questions, drive consistent engagement across channels, and provide a more personalized and friendly customer experience. The cloud also supports Fanatics’ Jersey Assurance program, which features a free replacement jersey if the active pro player switches teams within 90 days of purchase. The cloud’s analytics also monitor customer behavior across channels and devices, helping Fanatics create tailored, engaging and seamless fan experiences.

“We wanted to make sure that whenever [customers] contacted us, whether it’s through voice, chat or email, that we would be able to give them a really world-class experience,” said Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, VP, fan experience, Fanatics. “We had a very talented group of people, but they were working independently in silos and we knew that had to change. With Oracle, we have been able to bring our team together and deliver a tailored experience so that whenever or however fans contact us, it feels like they are communicating with a friend.”

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Amazon Key expands nationwide—and gets more locks

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon’s smart home program is expanding.

Amazon is rolling out some of the main features of its “smart entry” program, Amazon Key, to Prime members nationwide, including keyless entry, remote lock and unlock and guest access. But the program’s primary feature — in-home deliveries — will continue to be available only to members in 37 select cities and surrounding areas. (The delivery feature uses a smart lock to allow Amazon to make deliveries inside a customer’s front door.)

Amazon has also added a new feature to Amazon Key: entry and exit video clips that allow customers to view motion video clips of a person entering or leaving their home when the door is locked or unlocked. It also has expanded the selection of smart locks customers can choose, adding five new compatible locks for a total of eight.

“Customers have told us that they love how easy it is to use Amazon Key for keyless entry and door monitoring from anywhere with the Amazon Key App,” said Rohit Shrivastava, general manager, Amazon Key. “It’s a great service for busy families; you no longer have to worry about giving keys to service providers like house cleaners, instead you can give them their own code right from your Amazon Key App.”

In addition to in-home delivery, Amazon Key can be used for other purposes, the company pointed out. Instead of having to leave a physical key under a door mat, customers can lock and unlock their door from anywhere using the Amazon Key App with the touch of a button. Customers also have the added security of providing codes to guests for home access, managing their guest list, and assigning when and for how long a guest has access.

Amazon Key customers can also use their app to view a live stream of their door anytime, use two-way audio, and receive notifications when their door is locked or unlocked.

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Site-wide conversion up at Hickory Farms after redesign

BY Marianne Wilson

A redesign of its website has yielded significant benefits for Hickory Farms.

The specialty food-gifting retailer worked with Lyons Consulting Group, part of the Capgemini Group, to re-design the user experience for Hickory Farms’ e-commerce site, built on Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud. Lyons Consulting also implemented Salesforce Marketing Cloud and integrated it with the commerce platform. Hickory Farms’ new online shopping experience resulted in a 10% year-over-year increase in site-wide conversion in year one.

Hickory Farms wanted to improve the quality of its customer data and create a more agile process for developing and deploying email campaigns. Lyons Consulting worked with the brand to define its business environment, and made recommendations for leveraging data in Marketing Cloud and the types of consumer journeys that should be implemented. Lyons then implemented Marketing Cloud, integrating it with Commerce Cloud and the company’s CRM.

The integration between Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud enables Hickory Farms to successfully trigger consumer journeys and automated email sends based on previous customer behavior, and report on critical transactional data. Email inbox placement on the new marketing platform is at 94%, almost 10% above industry standard, according to Lyons Consulting.

“With its vast knowledge of Commerce Cloud and its retail and marketing expertise, LYONSCG [Lyons Consulting] was able to approach this project from both a technology and a marketing perspective, and this made all the difference,” said Judy Ransford, chief marketing officer at Hickory Farms.

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