Astound Commerce uses partnership palette to drive digital makeover for Revolution Beauty

Revolution Beauty, a fast growing beauty brand, has partnered with digital agency, Astound Commerce, to launch a new ecommerce solution to support its rapidly scaling business and direct-to-consumer (DTC) offering.

Launched in 2014, Revolution Beauty is a British company that creates cosmetics, skincare, and haircare products for a diverse customer base. Its position centres around creating high-quality products, based on customer feedback, faster than other brands and at affordable prices. Originally conceived as an online-only business, Revolution Beauty now also sells its products through a number of digital and retail partners including Boots and Superdrug stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Ulta in the US and in outlets across Germany, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

Central to Revolution Beauty’s success is a product and marketing strategy that focuses on innovation promoted via social media, influencer marketing and user generated content (UGC). With the beauty industry undergoing a rapid, digitally led transformation, it was critical the beauty brand provided an enhanced online customer experience, something the legacy site couldn’t support.

The previous site was custom-made and completely outsourced, creating difficulties when Revolution Beauty wanted to launch a new brand or increase the cadence of product drops, consequently failing to meet accelerated consumer demand. The brand also wanted a platform that would enable it to scale and allow the internal team to take ownership. Leading into the busy peak trading period season, Revolution Beauty preselected Salesforce Commerce Cloud as its platform of choice.

Through its engagement with Astound Commerce, Revolution Beauty implemented MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™ to create enhanced, connected experiences for customers throughout their journey, such as efficient order fulfilment and refunding. Revolution Beauty was able to unlock and unify data across systems, including its customer contact centre platform, Robin HQ, Netsuite and Salesforce Commerce Cloud, using API-led connectivity with Anypoint Platform.

Leveraging MuleSoft, Revolution Beauty was also able to launch its new ecommerce platform in just five months, as opposed to the anticipated eight months using custom code. With all its key systems integrated using APIs, Revolution Beauty could then easily create a single view of the customer across its regional ecommerce sites, serving the United Kingdom, United States and more, enabling its remotely-located customer service staff to provide an improved customer experience wherever a customer shops.

With up to 30 new products being released each week, each with multiple SKUs, the new ecommerce platform needed to be frequently updated. Astound Commerce leveraged Anypoint Platform to simplify the product image upload process by connecting Salesforce Commerce Cloud with its Image Relay asset management tool. This allowed the entire process to be automated by ensuring product images uploaded to the asset management systems are pushed out and assigned to the correct SKU in the correct order. The streamlined process eliminated manual uploading, enabling Revolution Beauty to dynamically build its brand presence online at speed, in addition to reduced errors and increased team productivity.

“At Revolution Beauty, our work starts and stops with delivering amazing experiences for our customers,” said Steve Griffiths, Head of Digital Development, Revolution Beauty. “Astound Commerce helped us understand the integration challenges we were facing and put MuleSoft and its API-led approach at the heart of our strategy to help us create connected experiences, faster. Since our new site went live, we have seen immediate results, thanks to Astound’s insight and consultancy.”

The company is now averaging two platform releases a month, in comparison to previously averaging one update per quarter on the legacy platform, showcasing how the three-way partnership has helped expedite the delivery of its digital roadmap, explains Griffiths:

“It’s great having that flexibility in-house. Even as a small team, we can now bring about changes and add new features and functionalities very quickly. We’ll chop and change things over the next few years, but we’re not tied into any one system anymore, giving us the freedom to develop the business as our needs change. We now have the platform to really start to grow and implement new, innovative services that will be key to delivering the online experiences that delight our customers and keep them coming back.”

To support Revolution Beauty’s customer acquisition and retention goals, Astound Commerce implemented Yotpo for customer reviews and Swell for its new loyalty programme.  This allowed the beauty brand to move away from a traditional ‘points for payment’ loyalty programme, and instead offer customers the chance to earn rewards for referring friends and interacting with the brand socially, which not only boosted customer engagement but also played strongly to its socially native customers. Commerce Cloud has also enabled Revolution Beauty to easily connect progressive payment services, such as Klarna and Apple Pay.

Since its launch in August 2019, the site has processed on average 1,100 orders per day, increasing 600% during the 2019 Black Friday and Christmas peak trading period.  The scalability of the platform was further tested by the COVID-19 lockdown, with traffic to the site increasing by 200% year on year (YoY) in April 2020.

Alongside implementation of Revolution Beauty’s digital roadmap, Astound Commerce also provides long-term strategic support, regularly reviewing data from the website to evaluate its strengths and identify growth areas, cementing Astound’s role as a long-term digital transformation partner.

We love the insight sessions from Astound, as they help us to sense-check our priorities and ensure we are focused on the right things to optimise the experience for our customers,” said Sally Minto, digital director, Revolution Beauty.

Terry Hunter, managing director, Astound Commerce UK: “Revolution Beauty is not just a leading homegrown British brand, but – as its name suggests – it’s at the forefront of revolutionising the way shoppers browse, try and buy beauty, pushing the envelope on product innovation within the category.  With innovation at the heart of its product offer, it was critical its online commerce platform lived up to this same standard of digital excellence, and is set-up to achieve ongoing, long-term success.  We look forward to continuing our work with the team at Revolution Beauty and supporting them on their digital journey.”

“Consumers are becoming increasingly reliant on digital channels in today’s retail environment, and their expectations for connected customer experiences are rising accordingly,” said Ian Fairclough, VP, EMEA customer success, MuleSoft. “In fact, more than two-thirds of global consumers would consider changing a service provider due to disconnected experiences. With Astound Commerce, MuleSoft and Commerce Cloud, Revolution Beauty is delivering on its commitment to providing more connected shopping experiences by integrating their systems and data end-to-end. With a single view of the customer, the retailer can unlock new ways to increase customer acquisition, retention and spend.”

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