Salesforce Live India: How puma.com is nodal point of the brand’s digital strategy

Jackson Fernandez, Head of e-Commerce, PUMA India, & Sridhar Hariharasubramainan, Director, Solution Engineering, Salesforce, on how the brand built a mobile-first experience with Salesforce

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 11, 2020 4:56 PM
Salesforce puma

Salesforce Live: India witnessed thought leaders from across the industries discuss innovative ideas for new ways of working and engaging sessions with customers across industries. 

The event organised on Thursday saw the presence of Jackson Fernandez, Head of e-Commerce, PUMA India, who spoke about how PUMA India built a robust, and mobile first experience for their digitally-savvy and fitness conscious consumers with Salesforce. 

Fernandez took part in a one-on-one conversation with Sridhar Hariharasubramainan, Director, Solution Engineering, Salesforce.

Sridhar commenced the conversation with a quick overview of commerce cloud, followed by a walkthrough of the PUMA website, which has been built on Salesforce commerce cloud. “Today's market is highly disrupted, and there has been a massive shift towards e-commerce further accelerated by the pandemic.”

According to Sridhar, there are multiple channels available for people to buy and browse and research and new business models are emerging. “All this sounds great for retailers but the challenge is that today's shopping process is extremely nonlinear. However, we look at this as an opportunity where retailers can now embed commerce at every single touchpoint and interaction with their consumers a better experience for the shoppers. Here, Salesforce commerce cloud is an ideal platform that addresses that huge opportunity in front of retailers.”

He informed that Salesforce also has customers not just in retail but in various industry segments, which have really taken on to e-commerce in a big way. One such trailblazer is Puma that went live on Salesforce commerce cloud, recently. “One of the key criteria to select Salesforce Cloud was the performance of the infrastructure,” Sridhar informed.

Taking the conversation forward, Sridhar welcomed Jackson Fernandez and quizzed him on how Puma India’s website fits in the brand’s overall growth plans for India and the business strategy.

According to Fernandez, Puma India is the largest sportstyle and sportswear brand in India and as a leader it is very important to know where customers are. “Traditionally, we have been an offline player because of our strength in the offline channel with 370+ stores and a strong distribution network. But some years back when we realized that our consumers were moving online for their buying decisions, we made significant investments on our marketplace business, which has seen tremendous success over the years.”

“There have been some learnings as well. One of the biggest learnings has been that we should not consider online as a transaction only channel. But we need to actually walk back into the buying funnel, and think about how we can build the brand perception online. This is where puma.com actually plays a very critical part because on puma.com, we can actually determine the customer experience in a significant manner.”  He informed that puma.com is extremely strategic. It is the nodal point of our entire digital strategy.

“Hence, I think from an infrastructure point, flexibility, scalability and robustness are the parameters that are needed to handle the kind of audience that a leader like us witnesses in terms of traffic. So, essentially, our strategy is two-fold. There is a marketplace play and a puma.com play, which is a kind of symbiotic relationship having a perfect balance with marketplaces, bringing in the traffic, the audience,” informed the e-commerce head.   

Sridhar then asked on some of the key considerations to have when visiting a website and how did Puma chose Salesforce commerce cloud.

Fernandez said that there were two aspects - one being a local and the global perspective and other angle was the ecosystem play. “Salesforce platform enabled us to quickly latch on to the solutions and go to market faster,” informed Fernandez.

The Director of Salesforce then as asked about some key takeaways and lessons learned from online website building and implementation.

“It was extremely smooth transitioning. We had to solve for the local marketplace, local payment gateway integrations, there were also integrations to the downstream system that is peculiar to India, and certain requirements that were very specific.”  

Sridhar wrapped up the conversation by asking about Puma’s future plans.  

Fernandez said, “There is a new challenge to solve every day and our challenges keep moving. We have to find innovative ways of solving it. Personalization is a big area that we want to focus on, make the entire transaction journey more and more seamless and intuitive for the customers and focus on the CRM bit.”

He concluded by saying, “I think the key is to have within the team the DNA to experiment, be curious and try new things. We will also strive in the similar direction.”

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