Have you heard of Salesforce Commerce Cloud? If you have, you might be considering whether this software is the right fit for your business.
If you can relate, never fear, because you're in the right place. We're going to break down everything you need to know, right here in this review- Let's get cracking!
What's Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
In short, this program is a cloud-based commerce platform. Users can craft an intelligent buying experience for their customers while integrating all their sales channels (mobile users, social media platforms, your web store, your brick and mortar shop, etc.) so you can handle the entirety of your business all from one place!
With so many features and tools available, entrepreneurs can build brand loyalty and connect their commerce with all the following branches of their business:
- Customer service,
- Developing your community,
- Order fulfillment,
Just to name a few!
All in all, Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a complete solution for handling the day to day running of your e-commerce business. You can launch an online presence relatively quickly and grow your business by reaching out to a larger pool of customers.
With a plethora of sophisticated technology at your fingertips, you can craft fabulous shopping experiences for your customers. Needless to say, when utilized correctly, you'll enjoy a boost in profit (eventually- don't expect to get rich quick!)
As you delve deeper into Salesforce's resources, you'll see they offer tons of ways you can personalize your user experience and marketing campaigns to intrigue your target demographic. Years ago these were the kind of things only a data scientist could achieve!
How Does Salesforce Commerce Cloud Unify Consumer Experiences?
As we've just alluded to, you can connect the experience of your customer's across each and every touchpoint and sales channel you're using (both digital and physical).
This gives entrepreneurs a comprehensive view of how each of their customers engages with their brand. You can see everything from the point the customer discovered you, to when and how they purchased your products and/or services, to reviewing whether they continued to interact with your business.
The Benefits of Using Salesforce Commerce Cloud
An online business is only as strong as the data it acquires. This is why mobile access to your customer analytics is an absolute godsend.
By ‘data' we're referring to metrics like:
- Your consumer's full purchase history,
- The status of any outstanding orders,
- Any customer service issues,
- Notes about individual customers,
All this info enables your sales and marketing teams to craft a user-experience personalized to suit the needs of your ideal clients. The same's true of your marketing campaigns, when you know your customers inside out and back to front, you're able to launch ads that pique the interest of your target demographic- needless to say, both the quality of your user experience and your marketing campaigns go a long way in boosting conversion rates.
Plus, Salesforce Cloud Commerce also utilizes sophisticated AI technology, which is essential for achieving a more in-depth insight into the behavior of your consumers. All this data syncs in real-time across the cloud, so you and your team always have access to the most up-to-date info.
You can even categorize your customer's transactions using DMP tagging. This is another terrific feature for getting to grips with customer trends and behaviors. You can also section off your audience in line with any of the following:
This is especially handy when it comes to personalizing your email marketing campaigns. You can craft the content based on their previous purchases and set them to send automatically. The same's true of ‘abandoned cart emails.' These work wonders for securing sales that potentially would have been lost.
You can also use this customer info to understand where your audience like to engage with your brand the most. It doesn't matter whether it's through live chat, SMS messaging, your social media profiles, or your e-commerce site- once you've got to grips with what your audience prefers you can utilize it to your advantage!
Other Salesforce Commerce Cloud Features
You'll be pleased to hear; you're free to extend Salesforce's core functionalities. Users can peruse an extensive list of trusted partners and download all manner of apps to craft a platform that complements your business model. With over 4,000 pre-integrated apps available in Salesforce's store, you'll have everything you need to get up and running!
In addition to everything we've already mentioned, you'll also have access to the following:
- If you're taking content marketing seriously, integrate Commerce Cloud with your existing content management system. The transition is pretty smooth, and you can monitor everything from the convenience of one place-win-win!
- Design and launch a mobile app promoting your business.
- Utilize their ‘Inventory Availability Service.' This provides stock levels across all your sales channels. So, you and your shoppers can see which products are available and where- how handy is that?!
- Optimize your sales funnel to get the best results. Boost conversion rates by utilizing Salesforce's ‘proven best practices.' This includes their: saved carts, pre-optimized checkout flows, and their payment accelerators.
- Don't have to neglect your mobile audience: Master the art of mobile commerce with all the features Salesforce offers. For example- responsive design, data-driven mobile UX, and one-touch payments. These are all amazing for ensuring a smooth sales process for your mobile users.
- You can permit your customer service team to process orders on behalf of your prospects (this is useful for customers who prefer making orders over-the-phone).
- You have access to a reliable order fulfillment service: all you need is the Commerce Cloud Order Management plugin, and you're good to go.
- Integrate digital commerce with traditional brick and mortar stores: your in-house sales assistants can ship products to a specific store location if a customer wants a product that's out of stock in the brick and mortar store they're currently shopping in. Just utilize the add-on- Commerce Cloud Endless Aisle to access this feature.
- Get split testing: Salesforce provides the tools to split test your web pages and marketing campaigns. This is the only way to understand whether what you're doing is actually working. Then over time, you can optimize your efforts to produce the best results.
- Make the most of organic traffic: to appear higher in search engine results, and drive traffic using SEO optimization; you can use Salesforce's tools to find prudent keywords your customers are already searching for. They make it easy to optimize your product pages, product categories, metadata, and images- needless to say, this works wonders for improving your overall reach.
- Utilize Salesforce's ‘Einstein Predictive Sort': enable digital shoppers to find exactly what they're searching for. With this feature, the search results are automatically tailored to suit the needs of each shopper. You can even program ‘predictive sort' to guess what your shopper might search for next, by enabling ‘type ahead' guidance.
- Go global: If you want to extend your reach, don't be afraid to sell in different countries. With Salesforce, you reduce the risks and costs associated with tackling international markets. Their secure and borderless infrastructure makes conquering a broader market worth it. Once more, you can easily customize your e-commerce store to complement the cultures, currencies, and languages necessary to market in foreign countries. To date, Salesforce supports the following languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian.
The Stats Speak for Themselves
Frankly, when it comes to whether Salesforce users are satisfied- the stats speak for themselves. In a recent customer survey, they found as many as 38% of Salesforce customers experienced a 38% increase in sales productivity since utilizing their software.
There's also a community of over 2.3 million people! The sheer number of Salesforce users speaks volumes to its functionality and quality. Plus, this community is a fantastic resource- you can share your experiences both in terms of how you're finding Salesforce's software and about the struggles you're facing more generally in your business.
How cool is it that you can seek the advice and guidance of millions of other entrepreneurs and web developers?!
The Downsides to Using Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Despite the copious benefits associated with Salesforce Commerce Cloud, like any other software, it's not without its pitfalls.
So, I took the liberty of scouring the internet to see what other users had to say about this product.
Unfortunately, time and again I saw the same complaint. Namely, that it takes a great deal of time and effort to figure out how to use the entirety of the software, this is especially true when it comes to customizing Salesforce's API to create your own features.
Once more, when users tried to get support for these problems, reports show customer service was somewhat slow, i.e., it took them ages to offer a helpful solution.
In light of this, entrepreneurs and their teams should be prepared to put the time aside to get to grips with this software. Unfortunately, time isn't a luxury most startups possess. Consequently, switching over to this software can result in a loss of sales while you and your team manage to get things up and running.
Some users even describe Salesforce as having their own ‘ecosystem.' The language surrounding this software is somewhat complicated. This also contributes to the amount of time it takes to get to grips with the software.
I've also seen complaints stating that building specific web pages can be a challenge. A lot of users want to develop and publish temporary pages to promote a sale- however, some claim trying to do this is more trouble than its worth.
Last but not least, there are a few grumbles about the cost. On the whole, it's more expensive than the products and services offered by competitors. Therefore, this program is better suited to companies turning over millions each quarter.
How Much Will the Salesforce Commerce Cloud Set Me Back?
Before we delve into the specifics, it's worth highlighting, the most popular version of this program is the ‘unified commerce'-here you'll have access to everything Salesforce has to offer.
However, they also offer the following two stand-alone products.
- Salesforce B2C Commerce
- Salesforce B2B Commerce
The price of all three of these options fluctuate based on the needs of the business. So, you'll have to contact Salesforce's sales team directly and get a quote. They'll work alongside you to tailor a package based on your gross merchandise value. They also take note of both the size of your company and the industry you're working in so that they can produce something that works best for your brand.
You might also be wandering'; ‘What exactly is Salesforce B2C Commerce?'
Well, as we've described throughout this review, this is still a cloud-based commerce solution, where you can access all your sales channels. However, this product package is geared towards businesses selling to individual consumers rather than corporations.
To give you a better idea of what you'll get with the B2C bundle, these are the kind of features you can expect:
- Resources to help manage your products, pricing, and catalogs
- Merchandising, marketing, and advertising tools (including campaign and content management systems)
- The ability to divide your customers into segments
- Site search
- Guided navigation
- Personalization powered by AI technology
- Integrations that connect you to your social media profiles
- Responsive design and one-touch payments for mobile users
- A fully functioning shopping cart and checkout system
- A full development platform including RESTful APIs
- The ability to scale your business globally
- A secure system
- The ability to manage multiple sales channels and store locations
- Help with SEO
- Tools to help target your ideal customers
- Facilities to split test your web pages
- A plethora of in-store extensions
- Access to the Commerce Cloud Endless Aisle
This leads us to the other obvious question; ‘What's Salesforce B2B Commerce?'. In short, it's the same program. However, it's more appropriate for businesses marketing and selling products and services to companies rather than individual consumers.
You should note: the quote Salesforce gives you for this package is based on your average order volume.
On the whole, you can expect to access to all the following with the B2B bundle:
- Catalog management tools
- Segment-specific pricing
- Resources to laser target your customers (to ensure your promotions reach the right people)
- A multi-account and contract ordering system
- The option for your sales team to order stock on your behalf
- You can set and use order templates
- Access numerous payment methods
- You can split shipments across several locations
- Site search
- Guided navigation
- Help with SEO
- Responsive design
- Real-time reports and analytics
- RESTful APIs
- Multisite management themes
- Access to a secure platform
- The ability to scale your business globally
- 360-engagement with Sales, Customer Service, Marketing and Community Clouds
Who Should Use Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
As we've alluded to in this review, Salesforce's primary customers are top-notch executives, who have both the money and the authority to buy this kind of software. Alternatively, this may also fall to the responsibility of those given the task of growing the businesses online presence.
This platform is terrific for entrepreneurs who have experience either coding or web development. Salesforce provides a plethora of templates and commerce APIs to craft a solution that fulfills the precise needs of your business.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is also a fabulous solution for anyone looking to launch and grow their business (and fast!). In next to no time, you can build a storefront using one of their many out-of-the-box website templates.
After all, one of the best things about Salesforce Commerce Cloud is how easy it is to customize the design of your e-commerce store. The ‘Page Designer' tool, is incredibly user-friendly, it's possible to have your web pages up and running in a matter of minutes without having to write any code yourself!
If you have any experience using Salesforce Commerce Cloud, we'd love to hear from you! Please, go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments box below. We always welcome lively discussion and love hearing from our readers. Speak soon!