Customer Stories

How Sally Beauty succeeded during the COVID-19 crisis

Javiera Riedel
Javiera Riedel September 21, 2020
How Sally Beauty succeeded during the COVID-19 crisis

Sally Beauty is an American company specialized in beauty products that has more than 5,000 stores in 17 countries. In Latin America, it is present in Chile, Mexico, and Peru…

It entered the Chilean market in 2009 with the acquisition of InterSalon and today has 36 physical stores, in addition to a thriving ecommerce, which started in January 2019 when they chose to partner with VTEX to create their digital channel.

“In addition to the features that contribute to the growth of an e-commerce, VTEX’s great team that accompanies the customer in each stage is essential”.

Romina Mitar – E-commerce Manager South America en Sally Beauty

The alliance with VTEX has been successful, especially in highly demanding events such as CyberMonday, CyberDay, or Black Friday, among others. Sally Beauty’s ecommerce manager, Romina Mitar, highlights the local support, in addition to events, training, updates, and webinars that help to increase the capacity to manage the online store.

During the COVID-19 crisis, what were the results that Sally Beauty obtained?

We will tell you the details of this story shaped by changes in consumer habits.

Selling at Sally Beauty in COVID-19 times

The Covid-19 crisis has been an enormous challenge for ecommerce in Chile, and Sally Beauty was no exception, as it not only saw an increase in sales but also had to resolve the logistics difficulties imposed by the situation.

For Sally Beauty, changes in their customers’ buying habits meant an increase of almost 4,000% in units sold and 800% in total sales compared to the previous year. Afterward, they adjusted the comparison with the period of the crisis and registered a 15% increase in sales in May compared to April.

An interesting detail in Sally Beauty’s ecommerce performance during the crisis is that 60% of the buyers on the platform are new customers. There was also a change in the average ticket as a result of the change in the highest sales categories.

The number of transactions is so high that they believe that if all physical stores were open, ecommerce would represent 20% of sales; That is why they expect that, when the situation normalizes, the digital channel will represent at least 9% of the company’s sales.

It is not just a question of positive numbers in terms of sales, but of an effective adaptation to changes in consumer habits.

Changes in Sally Beauty’s customer experience

For Sally Beauty, the COVID-19 emergency has not only meant higher sales, but changes in the customer experience. They now have more customer service channels, such as WhatsApp, to provide advice on how to do nails, hair, and other treatments at home.

As for promotions and their impact, specific campaigns have been carried out involving prestigious brands, but they have also applied discounts on night sales, and had the Sally Sale, with good results.

All of this was possible thanks to the key decisions they made when creating their online store, but above all when choosing VTEX as the platform for their ecommerce, as it provides flexibility and scalability.

Would you like to know what was Sally Beauty’s most drastic and successful decision during the pandemic?

Here’s a preview:  it was a radical change in their delivery logistics.

“When everything returns to normal, we expect ecommerce to represent 9% of total sales, in the most pessimistic scenario.”

Romina Mitar – Ecommerce Manager South America de Sally Beauty

Sally Beauty implements efficient logistics in COVID-19 times

In view of the increase in ecommerce sales as a consequence of the crisis, difficulties in terms of logistics for shipping orders arose. In that sense, Sally Beauty had to make important decisions, because the delivery companies were taking up to 15 days to ship the products.

This led them to innovate and they started to use, for last-mile logistics, the company that made the distribution between stores, and the change was positive: in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, the shipping time decreased to two working days. One of the benefits of the company that is now in charge of orders is that it allows reverse logistics to solve problems in delivered orders. Another decision that they made and that benefits the customer is to offer free shipping for purchases over CHL 25,000 (USD 30).

Experience and technology to keep growing Sally Beauty

It is worth noting that the experience gained through their online store and the partnership with VTEX has enabled Sally Beauty to successfully face the emergency and changes in the habits of consumers, who now make most of their purchases through the digital channel.

Sally Beauty is a good example of an organization that has successfully adapted to the circumstances, empowering its digital channels for customer service, which is proven by the decision to improve delivery logistics, with the aim of ensuring the best possible user experience.

It is evident that the company managed to exceed expectations in the face of crisis because they made a good technological decision by choosing a flexible, scalable, and robust platform, which in addition simplified the integration with the company’s ERP.

Sally Beauty’s good results with VTEX

Sally Beauty’s digital channel continues to grow because they work together with VTEX and the agency to improve processes and apply new things, taking into account that ecommerce implies challenges that require constant learning.

As for the sales and customer journey indicators, their conversion rate increases every month. That progression is demonstrated by the fact that they went from 500 SKUs at the beginning of their digital channel to over 2 thousand SKUs, as part of the revisions to improve the consumer experience.

On the other hand, it is important to mention how the VTEX platform facilitated a seamless integration with the company’s ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics AX, which resulted in better administrative and operational management, because, among other things, it allows the creation of promotions on the ERP that are instantly available on the digital platform.

Sally Beauty’s experience is an example that other retail companies can follow, since crises impose substantial changes in the business model that could affect their customers’ experience. Keeping up with these changes should be a priority to maintain sales in times of crisis. 

Without a doubt, considering all that has happened in the midst of the situation and the decisions made, Sally Beauty is more prepared than ever to face similar situations in the future.

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