Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Making the Retail Industry Future-Ready
Imagine it’s 2019. You have just returned from a business trip and your family wants to go out shopping – clothes, essentials, and everything they need. You would prepare a list of all the things you need, take your car out of the garage, and go to a retail store in the vicinity. No masks and no fear of being in a crowded aisle, right?
Fast-forward to 2020, we were suddenly in the midst of a pandemic and everything changed. We got confined to our homes. All kinds of retail stores had to shut down. The brick-and-mortar retailers who depended only on foot traffic saw their businesses dry up. With no shopping trips possible and being at home, we all looked online to get the essentials delivered. That’s where things changed dramatically for the world’s retail industry. While online retail was evolving already, many retailers had still not anticipated such a sudden change in their business. So, the retailers who could muster the survival resources joined the online bandwagon, which turned out to be their most valuable investments.
The Retail Industry Before the Pandemic
The retail industry was working in a hybrid environment before the pandemic. While there were retailers that only had physical stores, the forward-thinking ones had already jumped online. We can see retailers in four major archetypes at large:
- First, there are the monster ecosystems like Amazon and Alibaba. These, as you know, were the chief disruptors of online retail.
- Second, there are branded retailers with a great consumer appeal. They are not big enough to sustain the technology flight, so they choose to sell through the larger ecosystems like Amazon.
- The third archetype has companies that are big enough to compete with the big ecosystems. For instance, Walmart and Target. These companies have a gigantic offline presence and also the capabilities to stand tall against massive ecosystems.
- The fourth archetype has local retailers with no online presence. These were the ones that suffered the most or even came to closures during the pandemic.
The Current Scenario in the Retail Industry
Currently, the retail industry is experiencing a rebound. The pent-up consumer demand for goods that consumers could not order during the pandemic or resisted to order is driving huge demands and revenue for retailers. However, all this now works with a twist. The pandemic taught retailers some crucial lessons. They got to learn what they need to survive a crisis and how to thrive again. And one of the most crucial among them is to expand eCommerce options.
The companies that understood it during the pandemic phase moved their retail operations online. This is where they got their hands on platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Although several retail brands including Adidas, L’Oreal, Benetton, Columbia, Ralph Lauren, and more have been using Salesforce Commerce Cloud for years, this cloud-based eCommerce platform holds the future of online retail with its wide coverage of features that are meant to sustain online businesses.
Powered by innovative technology that connects businesses and consumers, Commerce Cloud processes $21 billion[i] in gross merchandise value each year and supports more than half a billion shopper site visits each month across the globe. Commerce Cloud is highly scalable and can adapt to suit the needs of B2C and B2B sellers of any size.
The Features and Benefits of Salesforce Commerce Cloud:
- Endless Aisle: It allows physical retail locations to provide limitless product choice and eliminate lost sales by providing digital commerce into the store. With access to digital inventory, customers can leverage unlimited purchase opportunities. This eliminates lost sales for the retailer due to store stock availability.
- Order Management: Order management helps brands sell wherever their customers shop and fulfill the order on any channel with the ability to sell in-store products online, ship smarter with advanced algorithms for routing, manage order lifecycles, and encode orders consistently.
- Predictive Intelligence: Customers expect personalized experiences more than ever. Commerce Cloud brings in personalization capabilities with the help of Einstein. Einstein AI gives the best product recommendations at all touchpoints, creates 1:1 predictions for every single buyer in real-time, and improves conversions with data-driven insights. In addition, Commerce Cloud makes it easy for customers to buy from anywhere including social media, mobile, web, or in the store.
- Internationalization of Stores: Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables organizations to manage many storefronts at different locations across the world with a sole back-end platform. By leveraging Commerce Cloud, you can easily manage multiple intricacies like billing, pricing, product availability along with product data sets for different stores.
- Mobile Experience: Having a mobile-intuitive eCommerce store is one of the most important things to run successfully. Salesforce Commerce Cloud lays a great emphasis on the mobile-first approach. It does not only make things easier for shoppers but also makes everything from reporting to inventory management effortless. Especially after the pandemic when mobile shopping has increased, it can prove to be a boon for businesses. Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s mobile commerce features include –
- Innovative conversion experiences
- One-to-one product recommendations
- Personalized searches
- Social channels and online community integration
- Flexibility to Scale: Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a flexible architecture that empowers businesses to launch feature-rich websites quickly by accelerating the speed of implementation. It also enables businesses to enter new markets and regions, helping them to get new brands, languages, and currencies on board.
- Customer Support: Salesforce Commerce Cloud also provides the capabilities for 24/7 customer support. If there are any coding errors or purchase concerns, Salesforce’s support team is available to help.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a feature-rich and scalable platform. From merchandising to multiple store management, endless aisle to point-of-sale solutions (POS), retailers can greatly benefit from its wide coverage of features. Salesforce Commerce Cloud has helped various businesses start their eCommerce stores and seamlessly manage shopping experiences across all touchpoints. The fact that it is entirely cloud-based makes it a safe platform and offers great support to retailers to sell their products online in situations when there are mobility restrictions.
Need assistance to begin your eCommerce journey with Salesforce Commerce Cloud? Just drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.