What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud and what can you do with it?

Welcome back to another dive into the Salesforce Clouds! If you’re new to our Head in the Clouds series, you can take a look at the full list of Clouds we’ve covered.

Communication with customers is important for every business. Effective communication comes from understanding your customers well (listening to their needs) and building a good relationship with them (meeting their needs). As a customer relationship management (CRM) system, Salesforce allows businesses to communicate with customers, and vice versa, at any time over any channel and device, through its digital commerce solutions.

In this blog you will learn what Commerce Cloud offers and what exactly you can do with it.

What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Commerce Cloud is a key part of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform which provides world-leading B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) ecommerce solutions. Created in July 2016, Commerce Cloud enables users to create intelligent and customised unified purchasing experiences across different channels, including mobile, social, web and store, helping brands launch sooner, grow faster, and reach more customers.

After that brief introduction to Commerce Cloud, let’s take a quick pause to define some terminology.

Quick glossary

Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Created in July 2016, when Salesforce acquired Demandware. The Demandware technology has grown and evolved to become foundational to Salesforce’s B2C Commerce offering.

Demandware: The old name of Salesforce Commerce Cloud – a software company aquired by Salesforce.

CloudCraze: Acquired by Salesforce in 2018, which is now the Salesforce B2B Commerce product.

Customer 360 Platform: Salesforce’s integrated CRM platform, allowing every team of the company to manage and develop its role in the customer journey.

Genie: Also known as Salesforce Data Cloud. A customer data platform that works with Customer 360, bringing real-time data power to Customer 360.

B2B2C commerce: Business-to-business-to-consumer, is an ecommerce model where businesses access customers through a third party e.g., Amazon, The App Store. Learn more with this Trailhead Module.

D2C commerce: Direct-to-consumer commerce, when a brand sells their product directly to the end user via digital channels without third party involvement. Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers ecommerce solutions to quickly create D2C sites.

Salesforce storefront: the user-facing website where your buyers can browse products, place orders, and manage their accounts. These sites are built using Salesforce Experience Cloud – learn more about Experience Cloud and digital experiences in this blog.

Headless commerce – you might have seen this term being used in Salesforce blogs: “In its simplest form, headless commerce is a type of ecommerce architecture involving a separation of the front end and back end of an ecommerce application.” Headless commerce was a response to reports that ecommerce vendors were falling behind user experience and design trends since vendors were beholden to ecommerce platforms updating their back-end systems.

With these terms in mind, Salesforce’s online learning platform, Trailhead describes the power of Commerce Cloud:

“Design and execute your own commerce strategy at your own pace, according to your particular needs.”

From Get Started with Commerce Cloud

Now we are clear about some key terms and their definitions, let’s examine what they mean in real business environments!

What can you do using Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is built on the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. You can use Commerce Cloud to offer the best ecommerce experience to your customers with native online shopping sites!

Here are some real-life applications of Commerce Cloud:

  • Create B2B and B2C stores using best-in-class templates to get you started
  • Specify profiles and permissions for who can access your store, this can include self-registration
  • Use Commerce Einstein AI to automate tasks and personalise the experience
  • Build customisable reports to examine your data on the #1 CRM software – Salesforce 
  • Link your commerce operations with other Salesforce products, like Experience Cloud and Health Cloud to have a 360 view of your customers and business

💡 Top tip: Watch the free demo to learn more about Commerce Cloud!

Why should you use Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s value proposition is that you can grow your business faster. Not only does it promise a fast time to value but it highlights the agility that the platform offers in response to the fast-paced ecommerce climate. Commerce Cloud also promises to increase sales and reduce the cost of order placement by up to 26%, which ultimately maximises your profit! Thanks to Salesforce Genie, you are getting real-time data that allows you to deliver personalised experiences to each customer throughout their journey, which helps you to deliver success!

Some benefits of using Commerce Cloud summarised:

  • Unify your commerce operations by leveraging Salesforce CRM as your single source of truth for your commerce site, order management, partnership ecosystem, service offering and more
  • Quickly launch best-in-class stores with no-code needed
  • Provide the very best customer experience using Commerce Einstein’s AI and Salesforce Genie’s real-time data insights
  • Leverage all of the above benefits to ultimately maximise your profit and reduce your lost sales

Salesforce Commerce Cloud and ProvenWorks in action

Import B2B line items easily with SimpleImport

Working with online orders manually can be challenging, especially when faced with complex orders that include rows and rows of products. These longer manual jobs are not only time consuming but also increase the chance of human error. Empower users to upload these large orders via a spreadsheet, importing these line items directly into Salesforce quickly and easily.

Reduce cart abandonment with fast address verification

When it comes to ecommerce, one of the biggest challenges is cart abandonment at checkout. Create a powerful user experience with our Address Verification Flow Component that verifies address data at the point of entry in 5 keystrokes or less.

ProvenWorks team shares career advice with university students 

Ruth, Marketing Manager at ProvenWorks, stands with her co-speakers in front of a room of university students

If you thought that ProvenWorks is only a software vendor focused on the bottom line, you’d be wrong!

People are at the heart of what we do and giving back is a big part of our culture. When it comes to universities, we’re always looking to build a close relationship, not only as a software vendor but also working with individual students and graduates, as well as more broadly with university career centres.

Denis and Ruth, our Sales Executive and Marketing Manager, were invited to two different universities in the UK to share their career advice with students and answer questions about careers in software.

Denis headed to the University of Aberystwyth

Denis was invited to the University of Aberystwyth to talk about careers within the Salesforce ecosystem to Computer Science undergraduate students. Denis shared her role at a Salesforce ISV partner and the roles and responsibilities of four major career paths in the ecosystem including Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce Developer. At the end of the talk, there was even time for a 1:1 mentor session for in-depth discussion to follow up on questions and discussion.

Ruth visited the University of Reading

Meanwhile, Ruth spoke at the University of Reading for their Careers in Marketing week. Ruth focused on marketing within software and the Salesforce ecosystem, talking about her daily and weekly responsibilities to help the students understand what to expect in the software industry. Ruth shared actionable tips for the most important parts of job searching – the CV and LinkedIn. She shared her recommendations on how to stand out from a crowd; let us know if you’re interested in learning more!

The future is waiting!

We’re privileged to have these opportunities to share our experience and help the future ecosystem early in their career journey. Not to mention it’s inspiring to see young talent thinking about their future and wanting to stand out.

We can’t wait to see how they will change the future!

Want to learn more?

5 reasons why you should use Salesforce CRM

If you are looking for a way to manage the relationship between your company and your customers across their lifecycle, Salesforce CRM could be the solution for you. 

But first, do you know exactly what Salesforce CRM is? Perhaps it’s worth defining a few key terms. 

What is Salesforce CRM?

CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management‘ system, a tool that helps businesses manage and nurture all relationships, both with existing and potential customers. 

A CRM replaces the obsolete ways to track client data, for example, using spreadsheets and databases, resulting in better efficiency, minimised error and centralised data. 

Salesforce is one of the world-leading providers of CRM technology. Apart from Salesforce, there are many other CRM solutions like Zoho and HubSpot, but why use Salesforce instead of others? 

Several points come to mind so let’s take a look! 

Why should you use Salesforce CRM?

1. Security

Data security is always one of the most crucial considerations of businesses purchasing new software. Salesforce treats data security as one of its key areas, stating that “Trust is our #1 value”. Having a comprehensive and world-class security system to protect your data and applications is vital. Salesforce Security offers a lot of features to enable users to work securely and privately, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), Trusted IP ranges and Salesforce Shield, making Salesforce CRM a reliable and secure CRM.

2. The Salesforce ecosystem

One of the reasons that Salesforce is so popular is that the Salesforce ecosystem is unique compared to other software. It has its own partner community to develop different apps (ISV partners) and help businesses implement Salesforce successfully (SI partners). ISV partners create solutions that expand the functionality of Salesforce, making them available to search on the Salesforce AppExchange (app store for Salesforce). 

Also, Salesforce itself offers add-on functions, for example, contact management tools and customer engagement tools. With the apps established by ISV partners and Salesforce’s own add-on features, you can build a CRM tailored specifically for your industry, your business and your way of working. 

💡 We’re a Salesforce ISV which means we create apps for Salesforce CRM and sell them on the Salesforce AppExchange. Take a look at our products!

3. Intelligent data reporting

Every business works with a lot of data from different sources, from accounting software to LinkedIn and Google Analytics. However, data is not useful until it is cleaned and analysed. With Salesforce’s Einstein Platform services, you can create customised AI-powered apps to generate intelligent reports to help you to grow your business and automate your processes. 

4. Customer-centric industry solutions

Salesforce provides you with a CRM where you can build a quality relationship with your stakeholders and track every moment of their journey from start to end. This is thanks to Salesforce’s Industry CRM solutions, known as “Clouds”. There are plenty of Clouds on Salesforce to meet different business objectives.

💡 Check out our ‘Head in the Clouds: What are the Salesforce Clouds?’ series to know more about which Cloud suits you the best. 

From government and manufacturing through to healthcare and education, Salesforce offers purpose-built industry-specific Clouds (versions of its CRM) to help you offer the best experience to your constituents, customers, patients, students or whoever you work with!

5. Educational resources

Salesforce CRM is suitable for any company of any size and industry. As long as you have a computer, you can use Salesforce! Even if your organisation is relatively small and has limited in-house IT expertise, you can use Salesforce “out of the box” or make adjustments on the administrative side to better suit your business.

💡 Salesforce offers a completely free learning platform called Trailhead, providing free modules and industry-recognised certifications to train you to be more familiar with the Salesforce ecosystem and to be capable of managing your CRM system.  

Why use Salesforce?

We have examined what a CRM is as well as what Salesforce CRM is specifically. We’ve also learned about the benefits of using Salesforce for managing your relationship with your clients and pointed you towards resources where you can find out more.

Learn more

Learn more about Salesforce CRM and its industry-specific solutions (“Clouds”) with our blog series: Heads in the Clouds: What are the Salesforce Clouds?