How to build a successful eCommerce product launch strategy: Salomon’s roadmap to success
To better understand how to build a successful eCommerce product launch strategy, we met with Marta Sitkowska, Global eCommerce Merchandising Manager, and Thibault Bourret, E-Visual Merchandiser EMEA at Salomon.
Both Marta and Thibault sit within the global eCommerce team; Marta drives the merchandising strategy for salomon.com, coordinating its implementation at a regional level. While Thibaut manages their branded sites across 15 European countries, covering sales events, marketing activations, and projects.
With more than 800 employees in Annecy at their head office, Salomon is sold across the world from North America and Japan to China and Europe. And like many retailers, they launch the majority of their collections online.
Here’s what Marta and Thibault had to say about Salomon’s eCommerce product launch strategy, plus their best advice for other eCommerce professionals.
How do you prepare for the launch of each new collection?
Marta: “There are several stages. Before each collection launch, I start by preparing a global sales promotion calendar which I share with each region to adapt for their local markets. We define the key messages, the necessary activations, and everything that’ll help develop the reputation of our brand. We also create a roadmap that defines the key moments of each collection.
Once the calendar has been created, our merchandising team creates a toolbox for each launch, including the assets, visual content (video, photo, etc.), the editorial line (which is unique for each campaign), and the entire digital experience (dedicated site, homepage, landing page, list pages, product pages, etc.). It’s important to put the product at the center of every new launch.”
Thibault: “Our product catalog is very varied, so we have to make sure each product is well represented. For example, the specific product highlights and benefits are different for every product. During the launch, there are always challenges, such as supply chain management due to shortages or late products. This requires great agility which means we constantly have to adjust our activation schedules.
Another very important stage is validation. Our goal is to launch campaigns as smoothly as possible, so our users should see no changes to the site and no error or maintenance messages. This stage is essential and on an ongoing basis.”
Marta: “The final check following launch needs to be systematic to provide a best-in-class experience. This is a good practice that we apply to every product launch.”
What advice would you give your peers when launching new products or new collections?
Thibault: “Anticipate and be agile. You can plan everything, but there will always be unforeseen events. You have to have a mindset of continuous optimization and adjustment because every campaign is different. So, I recommend analyzing and taking a step back; the learnings will help you adapt better in the future.”
Once launched, how do you analyze the performance of your campaigns?
Marta: “We’ve been using Contentsquare for three years and onboard each new team member to the platform immediately. We use monthly and seasonal reports, and we always keep an eye on the Contentsquare dashboards. This means we’re able to monitor all of our collections, measuring key metrics such as engagement and conversion rate across all pages.
By analyzing the data, we can understand the performance of our campaigns which informs which AB tests we prioritize. We can then test and closely analyze the performance of each optimization. Staying focused on data makes it possible to detect points of friction in our navigation, which helps to justify the changes in conversions we might be seeing on the site.
Thibault: “On the European side, we need to personalize the experiences because different countries have different purchasing habits. This is where Contentsquare helps us a lot. We track engagement differences by country to build a more personalized and culturally-aligned content experience. For example, we know that we can push cross-country skiing in Finland in December but not in Spain where we’ll promote hiking products instead.”
How does Contentsquare help you prioritize your roadmap?
Marta: “Contentsquare allows us to be very visual in our analyses. It makes our data much easier to communicate with our teams—especially with snapshots and dashboards.
Contentsquare makes it possible to open up data to all teams, including those who are not necessarily familiar with data. It also helps us align on our next steps as a team because we can prioritize and make decisions thanks to data.” Marta Sitkowska, Global eCommerce Merchandising Manager at Salomon
Thibault: “At Salomon, we avoid making decisions without data. Data helps us in all of our actions. And we always seek to go further. Our analytics teams are working on the implementation of the new merchandising analysis module with the help of Contentsquare. We will therefore be able to have even more data on this merchandising part, which gives us a new degree of granularity that we’ve not had before.”
Want more tips for your eCommerce product launch strategy? Get Insights from 11 digital innovators on the future of digital CX in our Retailers on Retail report.