Salesforce Commerce Cloud & why leading brands choose it
It’s no secret that ecommerce has been doing pretty well during the pandemic. According to Statista, by 2025, ecommerce share is expected to grow further and reach up to a quarter of total retail sales worldwide. More brands are considering various ecommerce platforms as a part of their growth strategy. In this light, we believe the Salesforce Commerce Cloud deserves our red-carpet treatment. And for many good reasons.
But before this, a little preamble, if you don’t mind.
A brief history of brands
Once upon a time, there was a cat. The cat said meow, and a lightning struck him. The cat started wearing boots. And whenever other cats saw him, he was somewhat half-dancing, flashing his shiny boots.
– What’s wrong with you? – Other cats were nervous. – Brand is experience, – The cat replied, pointing at the little letters on his left boot: “Carabas”. The next day hundreds of pairs of boots were waltzing on every street. Their moves and dancing were different. So were the brands – Barabas, Carabasta..
And from that day on, the battle of brands - the battle for the best customer experience - never slows down. Brands treat their customers like cats – and by and by, customers have become super capricious and super demanding.
Towards more inclusive digital commerce
At some point in history, reality built one more layer on top of itself - the world went digital. And when cats in boots invaded the Internet (you saw those memes), ecommerce entered the scene.
Digital commerce sits at the crossroads of interests. Right, first, those capricious and ever-demanding customers/buyers, then, of course, in no way less capricious and demanding owners/brands. Well, is someone missing? Yeah, those creepy guys hunched over laptops – ah, developers. (Just trying to imagine a somewhat more inclusive world.)
To put our thesis simply: the best future ecommerce solution is the one offering more perks than headaches - to each of these three groups. Do you agree? In this light, we would like to focus on Salesforce ecommerce platform as a unique actor (generous and prolific provider of perks) in the live arena of the hard ecommerce competition.
What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
Salesforce Commerce Cloudis an industry-leading B2B2C ecommerce platform by Salesforce, which allows leading brands around the world to efficiently serve customers wherever they want to shop.
Salesforce for ecommerce enables brands to reach more buyers, launch their digital business promptly, and grow faster. In the 2021 holiday season alone, digital sales powered by SFDC Commerce Cloud grew 21% with more than 283 million online orders. Needless to say, all the cat-customers got their friendly and flawless personalized online experience.
Historically, for Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM – being to that extent involved in sales and marketing – it would be impossible to ignore the restless niche of ecommerce. Instead of reinventing the wheel, Salesforce acquired a high-potential industry-leading ecommerce B2C solution Demandware, and B2B – CloudCraze. Rebranding as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, SF started to flourish and expand the product with perspective to embed it in Salesforce extensive ecosystem. Naturally, to keep their precious customers inside SF environment.
Why do leading brands consider Salesforce for ecommerce?
- SFCC drives revenue growth
- Salesforce for ecommerce takes tech innovation seriously
- SF ecosystem significantly Improves relations with customers
- Commerce cloud dramatically reduce time to market
- Salesforce ecommerce platform offers far reaching and impressive product roadmap and future vision
- Brands already have pre-existing relationships within SF ecosystem
- Huge depth of Salesforce services to satisfy any capricious cat 🐱
- Easily operated migration process from legacy architecture as well as Salesforce Commerce Cloud implementation from scratch
What is so special about Salesforce ecommerce platform
What are the benefits of Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
- Omnichannel customer journey
- Efficient data processing, predictive analytics
- Flexibility to scale and high performance
- Headless Commerce
- Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture with out-of-the box ecommerce elements
- Ability to integrate different payment options
- Mobile-first approach
- Compatibility with other services
Omnichannelism / Unified Commerce
Those three words: Omnichannel customer journey! Remember we talked about how brands treat their customers as cats. They want to enable them with a seamless customer experience – a smooth path to an elevated bowl and back to bed.
The idea is simple as pie: wherever the customer is – either on social media, on messengers, on mobile or on a piece of old PC with Windows XP - they must have all the possible convenience to buy things they like, to order them in a blink of an eye.
This is a principal thing about Salesforce Commerce Cloud – being a part of Salesforce, it tends to bring together all the ways the brands are communicating with their customers via multiple channels. This all-in-one place attitude is one of the hot trends in ecommerce. A variety of services that are incompatible with one another makes people anxious and frustrated.
Having established sustainability as one its core values, Salesforce’s path towards omnichannelism seems to be natural and 100% strategically approved. Simplification and illumination of the complexity for shoppers - in ecommerce, where every second counts, is a must.
Data Processing and AI-powered Personalization, Predictive Analytics
Data, data, data – there’s never been more. To provide a flawless experience, you have to literally know more than everything about a customer. You need computation power, you need AI, you need data integration - broadly, outstanding data processing. And SFCC has it all, and more.
Salesforce in ecommerce has AI-Personalization genius Einstein. Not the one who developed the theory of relativity, but also, let’s say, brainiac. According to SFCC trailblazers, their Einstein is able to skyrocket online store performance five-fold(!). How do you like it? At least, cats do.
Einstein generates shopping recommendations, analyzing the buyer behavior, with the help of AI prediction models. Einstein is gathering all the available data: consumer profiles, preferences, orders. As a result, Salesforce ecommerce platform works with data with surgical precision so that buyers can have a better, more mindful and sustainable experience as they navigate categories, browse catalogs, and make purchases.
Cloud Computing and Scalability
Cloud computing is essential and it makes SFCC what it is. From that point derive other beautiful things like agility, scalability and unified customers’ experience.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud based on cloud computing also means the platform is extremely fast and expandable: 30 000 000 inventory records, 200 000 products, 100 000 orders per day! Furthermore, the SFCC is safe from traffic fluctuations.
Cloud computing is hi-end tech, which makes your online store very well structured, and, moreover, very well secured. Since it is Saas (on contrary to the myriads of Paas and Iaas solutions) brands and merchants don’t have to maintain or upgrade a thing, but their own devices. Salesforce is taking everything upon itself.
All-inclusive Saas means easy to use by design. All you need is an internet connection. Cloud-first attitude also means cloud commerce development doesn’t require anything to be installed (neither in development or production modes) or usage of any unfamiliar sophisticated tools. More good news for developers - Salesforce has the most comprehensive commerce cloud documentation with every tiny piece of code explained.
Within the SFCC, there is a so-called headless ecommerce architecture solution. Basically, this means that Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a backend, functionality, data management and whatnot, while the developers/brands select the CMS and decide on the frontend that will suit the project.
Thus, brands can please their shoppers with any kind of interface, tailoring the visual side of the store according to their objectives and – aligning it to highbrow tastes of the audience - build a unique customer experience. Headless is possible due to the comprehensive Commerce Cloud API set. So that developers can launch any “head” (they are familiar with) on top of the SFCC backend.
Storefront Reference Architecture
One more great SFCC solution allows brand manufactures to “eliminate the complexity of storefront dev”. Commerce Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture offers over 200+ prebuilt wireframes designed by UX gurus according to today’s best practices.
These prebuilt ecommerce storefront designs don’t mean that your store is going to be indistinguishable from thousands of others. Quite the contrary: out-of-the-box framework contains all the necessary ecommerce elements (shopping carts, checkouts, icons, bars, buttons) to launch a unique personalized one-stop online shop in no time. Faster time to market, no problems with maintenance – can be built as easily as a kid builds a LEGO castle.
There is no need to talk much about the importance of a mobile-first attitude. The majority of shoppers interact with brands via smartphones: two out of three of all online store visits are from mobile. We’re in the moment. You’re probably also reading this on a mobile device.
Being on the frontline of customer experience (easy-to-use means more orders), ecommerce patiently observes cat-shopper’s behavior, and concludes that never before have they relied on their mobile devices as much as they do today. And the tendency will totally prevail the next five years.
SFCC helps brands to create engaging mobile experience, converting more buyers. Mobile ecommerce with Salesforce means unified experience (seamless coherence with social media), personalization (the most relevant products offerings, predictive sorting, and other AI-powered features), optimization (SFCC provides faster, smother shopping journeys).
So much depends on the digital payment. There's so much at stake. Here is your precious customer: with tears of happiness, they added a product to a cart, here, he or she pressed the Purchase button... And then... Oops, problems. No shopper would like this, nor would the retailer who is losing sales.
Well, good news is this is not about SFCC. Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows you to integrate any preferred payment service you like or the one you work with previously. Using click-and-go implementation, it can be seamlessly embedded it in the Commerce Cloud storefront.
Adding different payment methods means being on the same page with all your clients – the activation takes moments to complete, compliance is fully covered by SFCC. Localization? Goes without saying - languages, local payment services are well supported. And your customers get no hassle checkout.
Integration / Compatibility
To build a service as a proliferating ecosystem, extending and covering more of the user's experience, more of their daily routine, is the logic of big tech (Apple, Google). Ambitious perspective is about keeping a user within a given online environment the whole time. The most important aspect in this - to have all services seamlessly sewed. And so far Salesforce is doing well. Thus all the Customer Success Platform clouds, such as Sales, Marketing, Analytics and Service are strongly connected.
Learn more: Salesforce AppExchange: what is it and how to get there >
As far as you can judge, the SFCC platform is doing everything it can to make every cat in boots – and their obsession with brands – satisfied. On the other side of the coin, brands have all the cutting edge tools in the world to revitalize their relations with shoppers, offering them personalized no-hassle experience, significantly reducing time to market, and driving revenue growth.