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MECCA enhances the customer experience online and offline to make every touchpoint seamless

MECCA was founded to bring Australians the best in global beauty, including emerging makeup brands, niche fragrances, and cutting-edge skin care products that help customers look, feel and be their best. Opening its doors in 1997 in Melbourne’s South Yarra, MECCA now offers five unique retail concepts: Mecca Cosmetica, Mecca Maxima, MECCA, and, most recently, The retailer offers customers products from more than 150 brands.

MECCA aims to provide an exceptional and consistent experience across all these touchpoints and that’s why it’s transforming with Salesforce. It wants to bring the best of the in-store experience to the digital world and provide a more connected journey.

“We recognise that customer journeys are not linear. They cut across many different channels and for any given customer, no one journey is the same as another,” said Elena Little, Head of Digital Product for MECCA. “Salesforce supports our vision to build connected and seamless journeys across all touch points, so whenever you interact with MECCA you get a consistent experience.”

MECCA has a loyal and engaged customer base who expect a really personalised experience. One of MECCA’s goals in transforming has been to better harness customer data to tailor each interaction, whether it’s an email, a conversation with the Customer Care team, or a visit to the store or website.

“MECCA offers a uniquely high-touch experience which sets us apart from most competitors in the market and we saw a big opportunity to amplify that experience online and in-store using digital,” said Michael Hobsbawn, Chief Technology Officer at MECCA.

MuleSoft has been a key enabler. The integration platform has helped MECCA to connect online and in-store records for a 360-degree view of the customer, ultimately allowing the retailer to recognise the customer at any point in their journey and cater to their individual needs and preferences.

MuleSoft has also enabled integration of other previously siloed systems to facilitate near-real time updates of inventory, pricing, and product details from Salesforce Commerce Cloud to MECCA’s website and app. In the past, these updates took up to 24 hours.

“Like many organisations, we went through a period of rapid growth where we invested more in our front-end than our back-end and we had a hybrid application stack that was stitched together with point-to-point solutions,” said Hobsbawn. “Implementing MuleSoft helped to sew everything together —including retail, online, inventory, and ERP— in a way that’s stabalised our application set and allowed data to flow from one application to another.”

MECCA has since used MuleSoft to develop around 20 to 30 reusable APIs which help to simplify and speed up development.

“It’s fair to say that MuleSoft and the layer of APIs we put in place helped to accelerate the foundational stage of our transformation and stand up new products quickly,” said Hobsbawn.

Bringing the art of MECCA’s in-store service to the digital world means continually elevating the online experience and inspiring customers with features like personalised product recommendations. MECCA has set out to achieve this by rearchitecting its ecommerce platform and moving to a headless commerce with Commerce Cloud. This will separate the front-end and back-end of MECCA’s ecommerce platform, making it easier to customise and enrich the customer experience. In addition, any changes made to the back-end can be easily applied to both the website and mobile app to ensure a consistent experience.

“Rearchitecting our site and aligning ourselves with the strategic path that Salesforce is on with Commerce Cloud will create a lot of efficiencies and help us build the foundational capabilities needed to grow internationally. For example, if and when we decide to open in new territories, it will be easier to spin up new websites,” said Little.

MECCA plans to use Marketing Cloud in tandem with Commerce Cloud to improve engagement across all its digital touchpoints. For example, Interaction Studio will help MECCA gain deeper insights into customers’ behaviour on its website which it can use to deliver more meaningful experiences.

Lauren Shepherd, Head of CRM and Loyalty at MECCA, shared that the retailer also plans to use Marketing Cloud to engage customers with omnichannel journeys, encompassing touchpoints like push notifications and display ads.

“Our team structure has changed to be less channel-focused and more journey-focused. Now our end-to-end journeys are being designed around customer needs and cut across different channels,” said Shepherd. “Salesforce is opening up a breadth of opportunities, which help us build and refine journeys based on information like churn risk and propensity to repurchase.”

“One opportunity we see is around repeat purchases. If a customer has a favourite foundation or mascara, their journey should be so easy and intuitive that it’s almost a click-of-button to find it and buy it,” said Little.

Tableau will support these activities as MECCA’s main source of insight into the customer. For instance, with Tableau, MECCA can track and respond to changes in customer behaviour across different life stages. It can also track the performance of Beauty Loop campaigns and manage inventory to ensure there are always enough rewards in the right stores for customers to redeem.

As part of MECCA’s digital transformation, it went through a process of discovery to understand customers’ pain points. One of those pain points is that customers demanded more personal service. For example, if a MECCA Beauty Loop rewards program member called up, they expected MECCA to know who they were and make them feel valued.

In the past, the Customer Care team used manual processes and worked across multiple platforms which made this level of service harder to provide. These challenges were exacerbated during the pandemic with stores closed and the Customer Care team tripling in size.

“We wanted to stop the swivel chair as much as possible and provide the team with all the tools and information they needed in one place,” said Emma Stapleton, Head of Customer Support at MECCA. “We made the decision to use Service Cloud because of its ease of use and because we knew that improving the experience for our team would lead to a better experience for our customers.”

Customer care specialists now use Service Cloud to manage enquiries received by email and Live Chat. MECCA has also introduced Miss MECCA, a chatbot powered by Einstein Bots which is there to support customers 24/7. A key benefit of Miss MECCA is that it can triage incoming chats and automatically raise a case for more complex issues. This gives customer care specialists more time to handle the rest in real-time, resulting in a 75% reduction in chat abandonment rates.

MECCA has also adopted Social Studio which has streamlined social media management and enabled the Community Management team to route issues directly to Customer Care. The planned deployment of Service Cloud Voice will improve service further by consolidating the Customer Care team’s phone systems and enabling it to adopt a ‘follow the sun’ support model.

“We want to provide a localised service wherever possible, but an answered call is ultimately better than an unanswered call and with Service Cloud Voice, we can offer support from the time we open in New Zealand to the time we close in Western Australia,” said Stapleton.

To help drive its transformation, MECCA partnered with Salesforce Professional Services and Deloitte Digital. Each partner has brought differing perspectives, experiences, and knowledge of international best practices which has helped shape MECCA’s roadmap.

By working with Salesforce Professional Services and meeting with different product teams, MECCA has also been able to align itself to Salesforce’s product roadmap.

“Through our partnership with Salesforce, we have been able to confidently take advantage of new products and move forward in our headless commerce journey which is pushing new boundaries in Australia’s retail landscape,” said Ryan Simmons, Digital Solutions Architect at MECCA.

Salesforce and Deloitte Digital have also helped to accelerate MECCA’s transformation journey with the initial rollout of all Salesforce solutions taking just 12 weeks. MECCA is now focused on evolving and optimising the use of these solutions to continually enhance the customer experience.

“One of the great successes of our transformation to date has been keeping our customers at the centre of everything we do. We’re continuing to amplify that to serve customers better and provide them with products and content that’s really relevant to their needs” said Hobsbawn.

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