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Dreamforce 2021 - TAG Heuer goes all in on Salesforce to deliver D2C e-commerce

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez September 22, 2021
Luxury Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer is once again adapting to the modern world and has shifted from a total wholesale strategy, to D2C with Salesforce.

Image of a TAG Heuer watch
(Image by Maurício Souza Mau from Pixabay )

TAG Heuer is known worldwide for its high-end, ‘avant-garde' watches. The Swiss watchmaker has been in business for more than 100 years, having been founded in 1860 by Eduoard Heuer, and is now owned by luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. 

But the age of the business does not mean that TAG Heuer is not continuing to adapt, particularly in terms of how it engages with its customers. Shortly prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's leadership decided that it needed to shift away from solely wholesale and adopt a direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach to sales, owning more of the relationship with its buyers. 

However, this meant implementing a range of digital platforms, which would enable e-commerce buying and in-store retail sales systems. TAG Heuer's Chief Information Officer, Pascal Guilbert, explained this week at Dreamforce 2021 that the company has rolled out and integrated a range of Salesforce's cloud products, which has resulted in an eight-fold increase in D2C revenues. 

Guilbert said: 

Historically, the business model of Tag Heuer was the same as the other Swiss watchmakers, we were selling to retailers and we didn't really have contact with the end consumer that was actually buying the watch. 

Two to three years ago, when our new leadership joined the company, they wanted to revise this strategy and make sure that the customer is really at the centre of the company. And therefore we wanted to rebalance the business model between the wholesale, which will still be a big pillar of the way we sell watches, but having more emphasis on business to consumer with ecommerce, and our own boutiques. It's something that we had historically, but at a very small scale.

Guilbert explained that because the company had historically had a wholesale approach, its IT landscape reflected that. He added: 

Now, because we wanted to put the customer at the centre, and we really wanted [the customer] to be able to have a strong attachment to the brand, the first step was to put in place the basics. The basics of the customer relationship, [meaning] a good CRM. And we choose Salesforce Service Cloud to be able to play this role as the key repository of the customer data. 

Better customer engagement

At the same time as rolling out Salesforce Service Cloud, TAG Heuer also implemented Salesforce Marketing Cloud to be able to manage the digital relationship it has with customers. Guilbert said: 

We made sure that we integrated them properly. The integration between the components is what makes them really powerful. So that was the first step really putting in place these basics. 

Following on from this, TAG Heuer needed to get its e-commerce platform in place, for which it chose Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Guilbert explained: 

We had just a small ecommerce website, delivering for five markets. So it wasn't big. And we wanted to really push this quite far. We decided to put in Salesforce Commerce Cloud, with a number of services around to manage the fraud, to manage the payments, all these different services that we need to be able to provide proper ecommerce solutions. 

And this was really successful, we launched this 18 months ago, just before the pandemic. We were quite lucky on this, and it was something that enabled us to multiply the revenue on ecommerce eight times since then. And we multiplied the number of markets that we can deliver to from five, to 50. It's a tremendous success. 

With CRM and e-commerce in place, TAG Heuer wanted to further leverage the ecosystem it was developing and push the platform out into its boutiques. Guilbert said: 

So we put in place, very quickly - in three months - the client application that is now used by our retail staff directly, and is plugged in with Salesforce. We are able to provide the phone order capabilities, and for this we reused all the technical enablers that we put in place for ecommerce and reuse them to be able to provide it for our customer agent. 

[Then we] actually started extending this for further use cases, for example, aftersales. So this year we used Salesforce Community Cloud on Salesforce Service Cloud to be able to offer new solutions for our end customers and our retailers to declare, for example, new repairs. And to follow up the progress of their repairs. So we are really leveraging all of this ecosystem to provide the best customer experience that we can. 

Integration is key

Guilbert said that TAG Heuer is also starting to think differently about integration. Where the company had relied previously on more traditional ETL tools, it is now adopting MuleSoft (owned by Salesforce) more broadly to enable a ‘real API architecture'. He said: 

I think the power of the architecture that we have now in place is really the speed. Because we have all the technical enablers in place and are properly integrated, to be able to offer quite quickly,  cross-channel functionalities. For example, we are working on customer satisfaction features, where we design them so that they can be used in retail, customer care, or ecommerce. That's something that we can do because we have this landscape in place - so it's really agility and velocity in the way we can deliver features that gives us the most benefit.

Finally, summing up what has enabled D2C for TAG Heuer, Guilbert said: 

Technically, when you put in place all the different building blocks, integrate them properly, position them functionally, one between the other, that's where you can technically provide value in an omni-channel way. 

Second, is from a people perspective. It's important that we have integrated teams between the business, the IT people, the partners - so being really together from a team perspective and putting in place also the right ways of working. Along this technical transformation journey, we also completely changed the way we work together, putting in place agility at scale.  

We now have teams for retail, digital, CRM that are all working in an agile way, synchronised. And finally, something that is also extremely important, is the data quality. It took us two years to really clean the data on our CRM, and it's something that we should not forget, because without data quality, you can't add value. 

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