Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration with Commerce Cloud: Why & how?

Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration with Commerce Cloud

These are indeed unpredictable times where a successful brand, in the eCommerce ecosystem, is not defined by how qualified or feature-driven their product/service is but by the rapidity with which it evolves, the seamlessness with which it integrates the ongoing market trends, and the level of personalization it has achieved in terms of customer experiences. 

Of course, you can’t achieve desired KPIs by staying married to old marketing strategies, which is why you need to implement new models that study your customers, their interests, their desires, and then help you fulfill all your business goals. And it all starts with  Salesforce Commerce and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration. 

What is Salesforce Marketing Cloud?

An offering from world’s #1 CRM platform, Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows you to personalize customer engagement throughout a customer’s journey- email, web, social, app, chat, and so on. Along with its several individual products such as several marketing products like audience studio, data studio, datorama, Google Analytics, Journey Builder, interaction studio, email Studio, mobile studio, advertising studio, and social studio, it empowers you with:

  • Gaining a holistic 360-degree view of your customers 
  • Leverage Salesforce Einstein AI to drive product searches, recommendations, and suggestions
  • Measure, manage, and optimize your marketing campaigns to boost growth and customer loyalty

All in all, it adds the smart to your marketing efforts so that you can make every interaction count. From cross-channel to personalized marketing, you can connect with your customers throughout the customer journey with automation and AI-powered capabilities. 

Why Salesforce Marketing Cloud for your SFCC store?

The modern buyer expectations can be summarized in this one phrase, ‘buy anywhere, from anywhere, and fulfill everywhere’. Shoppers today want connected and customized experiences. Regardless of the channel they choose, the device they shop from, and the area code they’re getting it shipped- customers expect an engaging and consistent experience everywhere- mobile, social, online, app, and in-store. 

To offer such an experience across the customer journey, you need to connect your sales, commerce, service, and marketing departments. And not just that, you also need to capture the data about your business and customers across every device, channel, medium, etc. 

Customer journeys can be built and personalized experience can be provided by engaging them and sending notifications on important milestones or promotions which we want to offer to our customers.

Most legacy commerce platforms fail to offer a desirable experience or this level of integration because they were not designed for such an inter-connected and innovative market. However, with omnichannel customer experience in the picture, you cannot do without a unified view of your customers and business. And this is why Salesforce Marketing Cloud makes all the sense for your SFCC store. 

What challenges can Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration solve?

If you run your online retail business on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform, you’re already aware of seamless shopping experiences and the omnichannel capabilities it creates for your customers. So, why must you integrate it with Salesforce Marketing Cloud? The following are some challenges that a Salesforce Commerce and Marketing Cloud integration can solve for your eCommerce system. 

#1: Reduce cart abandonment rates

SFCC and SFMC integration helps in setting up triggers throughout the customer journey, especially when a customer abandons their cart. You can even execute behavioral-influenced emails to boost conversion numbers and reduce cart abandonment rate. 

#2: Drive personalized marketing recommendations

Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud integrations allow you to gain insights into the customer behavior throughout their journey. You can use available details to drive personalized marketing recommendations based on a customer’s interest, geographical location, previous purchases, wishlisted products, etc. This way, you send your customers with marketing materials that they are interested in. 

#3: Boost customer loyalty and retention

SFCC and SFMC integration allows you to set up trigger points throughout the entire journey at specific points in response to the commerce activities. With your Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud integrated you can send our behavioral-influenced emails, for example, when a customer concludes a purchase or leaves their cart during checkout. 

#4: Pushing shipping and order confirmation emails

Customers like to receive real-time information of their orders, right from when they are processed till they are delivered. Integrating SFCC and SFMC allows you to give a complete insight about order updates and delivery. This includes follow-up emails about order confirmation, processing, shipping, and out for delivery. 

#5: Offer connected customer experiences

With Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud integrated, you can leverage customer data to tailor every interaction and deliver customized messages across devices and channels. As Marketing Cloud listens to customer interests and actions, it uses that information to assist a customer through their commerce journey. You can even measure, optimize, and realign marketing performance as per business goals. 

And as both platforms are an offering from Salesforce, you get to build a complete Salesforce ecosystem to fuel customer experiences and business growth.

How to integrate Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud?

This section covers integrating SFMC to SFCC. The business use cases that Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration can be implemented to include abandoned carts, coupon redemption, order on behalf, transactional emails, order history or cancel order, personalized marketing solutions, and so on. There are several ways to achieve any of the above-mentioned use cases:

#1: Integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Commerce Cloud via REST APIs & web services SOAP APIs

REST APIs allow you to gain an expansive access to Marketing Cloud capabilities and can be used to implement functionality for contacts, content builder, journey builder, mobile connect, mobilepush, triggered sends, and campaigns.

You can also implement SFMC API integration to SFCC leveraging APIs and effectively manage authentication, endpoints, credentials, and circuit breakers. You need to create ‘API credentials’ for Salesforce Marketing Cloud and create ‘Service’ in Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Read more about Marketing Cloud API integration here

#2: Generating TXT or CSV files and uploading them to Marketing Cloud FTP

You can import data into Email Studio. You can either choose to be emailed the log file in a .TXT or .CSV format or simply download it. Follow these steps to upload a file to the Marketing Cloud FTP. 

#3: Using a Marketing Cloud Connector

You can always use a Marketing Cloud Connector to integrate SFCC and SFMC; however, you need to do so via GitHub repositories. Also, it is better to get integration experts on board if you choose Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration practice since they can assist you with any setup and configuration requirements. 

#4: Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud Connect to integrate SFCC and SFMC

Marketing Cloud Connect allows you to integrate SFMC with SFCC. It allows you to bring your marketing data and customer details from all touchpoints in one place, gain a single view of your customers, and leverage personalized marketing strategies. However, as a prerequisite, it is essential to have two users for Commerce Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration: 

  • Marketing cloud API user 
  • Salesforce tracking user

While Commerce Cloud tracks user data, the SFTP setup in the Marketing Cloud automatically imports the data file at regular intervals. You can implement code to segment the target audience based on their interests and buying behavior. Depending on their actions, your integrated system will automatically send trigger emails to customers. 

#5: Integrating SFCC and SFMC with integration reference implementations

Reference implementations execute actions in one cloud based on the activity in the another to-be-integrated cloud. All you have to do is employ the contact record ID for cross-cloud integrations. The contact key (or the cross-channel customer ID) for Marketing Cloud is in the Contact Builder. As for Commerce Cloud, this customer ID is system-generated for a customer. Read more about this methodology here

Ensuring a successful Salesforce Commerce Cloud & Salesforce Marketing Cloud integration

This is just a brief overview of how you can integrate SFCC and SFMC. As a Salesforce Ridge Partner, we can help you seamlessly integrate the two most powerful offerings from Salesforce. There are chances that this might be a cost and time investment, especially if you’re dependent on other external systems. Our certified experts can help you with any questions regarding this, including post-integration assistance. Of course, the robustness, security, and operational caliber of the integrated platform will not be compromised at all.

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