AgriLife Uses Salesforce to Move Forward With A Digital-First Strategy
With over 2,000 courses, resources and merchandise offered through its online environment, Texas A&M AgriLife knew it needed a strong digital presence that was not only easy to use for their team but also allowed for a seamless experience for online learners. The organization’s online marketplace offers courses on everything from early childhood education to hobby farms and horses.
In 2018, AgriLife had seven different online retail platforms that learners had to navigate, depending on the educational merchandise they were looking for.
AgriLife turned to Salesforce to help deliver a unified customer experience across multiple storefronts, with a single sign-on for online learners. They were also able to combine the organization’s several platforms into one unified commerce solution and deliver real-time data to both third-party sellers and internal teams about performance.
2,000courses, resources and merchandise offered
600,000learners engaged since storefront implementation
1 Millioncourse enrollments since implementation
Transitioning To Data-Informed Decisions
Before Salesforce, AgriLife offered more than a thousand products without any concrete data on what was being sold or how often. This led to uncapitalized chances to optimize products or execute on sales opportunities. They could only make educated guesses as to what courses and products were going to perform the best, and which warranted further resources from the school.
“Prior to Salesforce, we were going off information from different sources or what had worked in the past,” said Caitlyn Calvert, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Digital Learning. “We now have incredible data sets that help us tell our story and advocate for AgriLife.”
AgriLife also wanted an easy way to offer related products in one easy-to-find spot but was having no luck finding the right solution for its goals.
“When you think about the models and opportunities presented to people on other websites, like Amazon, what customers experience on those sites is what they want to experience everywhere,” Caitlyn said.
AgriLife wanted to offer bundles, seasonal sales, and other competitive packages to their online learners but did not have an easy way to do this with their previous marketplace providers. With Salesforce, they found a flexible, cohesive solution to meet their customers where they are.
Salesforce allows us to be flexible and provide our customers with the experience they expect” Megan Homeyer, E-Commerce Administrator
A Flexible Platform That Grows With AgriLife Services
“Our vision included a seamless user experience that would allow learners to engage with all education products that AgriLife has to offer, now and into the future.” Caitlyn said.
Creating a single sign-on (SSO) integration was a foundational element for learners, allowing them to transition between an ecommerce environment and their learning platform without any barriers.
“Technology is a crucial part of our success moving forward,” said Megan Homeyer, E-Commerce Administrator. “Salesforce allows us to be flexible and provide our customers with the experience they expect.”
Another noticeable change since switching to Commerce Cloud is the real-time sales and product data. With easily accessible reporting, the team can share insights with leadership on the impact of the courses and online environment.
Before Salesforce, it took up to a month for specialists in the field to see a report on the products they offered. These reports took three to four people to create at minimum and were usually outdated by the time they arrived. Now specialists can request a report and get real-time data the same day.
“It’s really given our team autonomy,” Caitlyn said. “Now when they log into their account, they have access to real-time data immediately.”
AgriLife was drawn to Salesforce not only for what it can do today, but for the potential future applications of the platform.
Educating The Next Generation Digitally and Seamlessly
Since implementation, AgriLife has seen over 600,000 learners engage with their new storefront, and over a million course enrollments. Additionally, over 120,000 entirely new learners moved through their online education space.
“Salesforce has been a tremendous help in improving efficiencies and automating processes,” Megan said. “SSO integration has been a game changer.”
Salesforce has enabled AgriLife to deliver a single, unified storefront to meet the needs of the countless groups of online learners. It’s also helped the team strategize effectively for the future, using accurate and real-time data to deliver the courses and experiences learners want, when they want them.
“Before, there was no strategy,” Caitlyn explained. “Now we’re able to set specific success metrics and see what they should look like when they are met. We’re able to look at learner trends and see what time of year certain products perform better.”
More about Texas A&M AgriLife Services
As the largest comprehensive agriculture program nationally, Texas A&M AgriLife brings together a college and four state agencies focused on agriculture and life sciences within The Texas A&M University System.
With over 5,000 employees and a presence in every county across the state, Texas A&M AgriLife is uniquely positioned to improve lives, environments, and the Texas economy through education, research, extension and service. See more about AgriLife here: https://agrilife.tamu.edu/