Your Guide to Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Understanding customer behavior is a critical skill in a world where the variety of goods is mind-blowing and the competition is intense. So, any tool, app or piece of software that helps to understand your customers better and gives you insights into their shopping habits becomes a valuable instrument. Is Salesforce one of these instruments? Why is there so much hype over it? What’s so unique about Salesforce? We set out to find out. In this Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) review from Skelia, we’ll help you understand what Salesforce really is about, so you could decide if it’s the right fit for your business needs.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud computing company and a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) product of the same name. In 2016, Salesforce purchased a successful company Demandware for no less than $2.8B. Without diving into the Demandware reviews, we’ll just say that it’s a very successful e-commerce cloud-based platform for retailers and manufacturers. After becoming a member of the Salesforce Cloud family, the newcomer has brought a whole new meaning to the e-commerce capabilities of the company.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a SaaS customer relationship manager targeted at e-commerce companies. It combines Salesforce Sales, Marketing and Service into a seamless and attractive customer experience management (CEM) system. This makes Salesforce a major player in the e-commerce field for businesses of any size and industry.
Another great feature of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the connected customer. The platform leverages the possibilities of our omni-connected world, following the customer everywhere – in stores, via apps, emails, social media, call centers. All to study his or her behavior, gather information and provide exact matches to the person’s needs and wishes. The variety of world-renowned brands and household names that use Salesforce Commerce Cloud is quite impressive: Adidas, Puma, Columbia, GoPro, Panasonic, Pandora, Michelin – the list goes on. Salesforce CRM has become so popular that its market share has reached a remarkable 51% and its adoption expands to Australia and New Zealand.
What’s So Special About Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
Let’s dig deeper and find out exactly why these and other companies trust the e-commerce platform.
Salesforce helps companies understand their customers, create an emotional connection with them and measure customer satisfaction, seamlessly carrying out all the commercial operations and data analysis in the background. SFCC brings together digital commerce, POS, store operations, order management and predictive intelligence – the icing on the cake. All this powerful functionality shares a single view of customers, orders, products, prices as well as promotion and personalization.
We’ve organized a more detailed SFCC review in three functional categories for your convenience.
Salesforce Commercial Cloud Digital
- Commerce Storefront is an e-commerce website with customizable features, mobile-friendly design, multilingual and multicurrency support. Open API and pre-built integrations are included.
- Merchandising and Marketing offers management of all catalogs, prices, products across your categories and websites. It also allows launching campaigns and promotions. But the best part is personalized customer recommendations powered by Artificial Intelligence.
- Digital Experience Management provides content management and native targeting based on customer behavior, location and traffic channel plus full-stack SEO.
- Multisite Management and Localization are unique websites for every country with specific content that ideally matches the cultural differences and particular needs of customers in every part of the globe.
- Digital Commerce Extensions are APIs for third-party applications and extensions for Instagram, Facebook and other social media. They also offer an in-store endless isle that helps customers find or compare items even if they aren’t in stock.
SFCC Order Management
- Enterprise Inventory, thanks to which all channels – selling and service – accurately represent the available inventory regardless of its location.
- Distributed Order Management of the entire order life cycle that allows processing invoices, payments and taxes as well as asset allocation rules for different types of orders.
- Store Fulfillment are real-time and mobile-optimized tools for quick in-store request handling.
- Customer Service offers easy and unified order intervention and modification by customer service representatives from mobile, web or store channels.
- Complete Order Data shows the order processing stages of any unit, from its generation to delivery.
Einstein, Salesforce AI
- Product Recommendations provide a personalized shopping experience that can be switched on at the customer’s request. Einstein will offer products based on the user’s interests, no matter if the customer is registered or anonymous.
- Predictive Sort offers automatic personalization of product lists in every category depending on the shopper’s browsing and buying behavior. No more scrolling through dozens of pages – the most interesting things are at the top.
- Commerce Insights into product-specific sales: items frequently bought together, key products in the inventory/category, basket analysis, etc.
- Search Dictionaries are essential. Einstein gathers all the website searches and offers a synonymic row of keywords. So, when a customer looks for a “crimson dress,” the AI will provide a list of “red,” “burgundy,” “ruby” and many other dresses instead of “No matches found.”
Pros & Cons
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is agile, scalable, highly customizable and frequently updated. This AI-powered CRM provides a multi-channel 360-degree view of your customer. But SFCC does have some peculiarities that may not fit your business.
Salesforce uses a revenue share model – the company calls it “shared success” – which may be not suitable for everyone. This commercial model is attractive for businesses with strong profit margins that allow them to pay the platform fee. But high-volume low-margin retailers do not benefit from these payment rules. The same issue concerns B2B organizations with tighter margins.
Another point is the SaaS nature of the platform. It is highly compelling for the majority of B2C retailers. However, if your business has a specific audience or niche products, the feature roadmap of SFCC may not be for you.
Why You Need a Salesforce Professional?
All this information brings us to the most significant challenge: with its enormous capabilities, own architecture and programming language, SFCC requires a professional approach. To successfully leverage the platform, you’ll need to find professional SFCC consultants and developers.
Salesforce professionals help:
- To analyze your business and understand if SFCC is your best choice. If it is, the professional will tell you what SFCC functionality will increase your business’s efficiency.
- To deploy and integrate the platform into your business processes, provide maintenance and user support.
- To add or customize specific features for your business.
Of course, you can deal with Salesforce CRM on your own, but this will take weeks of thorough research, reading and communication with the support. In the end, you may be able to deploy only the basic functionality of the platform, missing out on other essential features that need to be coded. Not to mention that you could have spent all that time on more relevant tasks.
Salesforce developers possess specific knowledge of this particular platform and the best ones are recognized by Salesforce through professional certification. Skelia is lucky to have a team of experts who have successfully passed the SFCC certification and helped more than ten international companies with Demandware/SFCC implementation and customization. So, if you have any questions on Salesforce Commerce Cloud, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.
Update: recently we were recognized as a top Salesforce Commerce Cloud Company on DesignRush.