Three months after acquiring enterprise cloud solution provider Demandware for $2.8 billion, CRM giant Salesforce has unveiled the new Commerce Cloud offering, a suite designed to provide personalized, consistent experiences for shoppers via e-Commerce, mobile, social and in-store.
If there was ever a significant way for Salesforce to expand its footprint within retail, this offering appears to be it. The rebranded Commerce Cloud, which now integrates Salesforce’s CRM capabilities with Demandware’s core commerce offerings, enables retail businesses to manage shopping experiences across all aspects of the consumer lifecycle, including setting up online storefronts or in-store tablets and kiosks.
“Some retailers have invested in heavily in their POS and store systems, while some have invested more heavily in their e-Commerce systems,” said Shelley Bransten, SVP of Retail for Salesforce. “I think the interesting thing is if you talk to shoppers, they don’t even think about the difference — they just think commerce. They would never know that retailers actually have separate systems for stores and e-Commerce. What we’re seeing already, and what we’ll see more of, is that retailers will continue to move toward this idea of a unified commerce platform that is agnostic about e-Commerce or physical store commerce.”
As part of the release, the Commerce Cloud will include Apple Pay integration for mobile web, enabling shoppers to use one-touch checkout for their purchases. Additionally, the platform will integrate predictive analytics via its Einstein artificial intelligence platform, with data-gathering capabilities and features that include:
Predictive Sort, which will infuse personalized sort and search results based on likelihood to engage; and
Commerce Insights that will help retailers understand product purchase correlation to power smarter merchandising and store planning.
“There’s not a meeting that I’m in with retailers where they’re not saying ‘We need to actually bring our data together at the moment of need to service the shopper,’” Bransten said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “They have the data, but it’s sitting in all these different places. I think what really will help the retailer is this idea of a unified platform — whether it’s a service journey, a marketing journey or a commerce journey. Having the data in a platform that is digestible in a way that makes it seamless across all those channels is a huge value-add for our customers.”
Retail clients such as Design Within Reach and Suitsupply had already shared relationships with both Salesforce and Demandware, and now leverage the Commerce Cloud to power their shopping experiences. With the promise of commerce unification, Salesforce may now have better opportunities to attract smaller, consumer-focused retailers beyond Demandware’s 350+ retailer client base, which consists of larger brands such as Cole Haan, Michaels, Tory Burch and Under Armour.
“The great news is that we all have the same vision,” said Alan Bunce, VP of Product Marketing and Customer Marketing at Demandware. “We all have the same perspective on what we’re trying to accomplish and what we’re trying to help our customers accomplish. In that sense, we’ve embraced and thrived in the complementarity of our respective visions, and it means that we can immediately skip to step two and step three of where we can go with this rather than try to ground each other in a new point of view.”