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Salesforce Commerce Cloud 101: An introductory guide

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

There is no doubt that online retail has taken the world by storm. By the end of 2021, there will be more than 2.6 billion online shoppers worldwide- a staggering 1/3th of the entire world’s population. Considering the growing online customer base and the rapid development of the eCommerce market, more and more retailers require solutions that help them stay ahead of customer expectations, maintain a fast pace with the changing eCommerce sector, and deliver a personalized experience at all times. 

SFCC Salesforce Commerce Cloud fulfills all such demands. This highly scalable cloud-based SaaS eCommerce platform helps retailers access the best-in-class features and user-centric functionalities to provide customers with a seamless customer service experience online and in stores. In addition, it allows you to scale your business, explore new markets, expand beyond geographical boundaries, and present your brand in the best light on a global level. In all its simplicity, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and its innovative attributes not just help retailers to flourish and thrive but take their business to the next level.

What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Known as Demandware before its acquisition, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) is a software-as-a-service or SaaS eCommerce platform that unifies the way retailers engage with their customers across any channel and device- social, web, store, and mobile. Its suite of features, helpful tools, and eCommerce solutions revolutionizes how brands connect with their customers at every stage of their buying journey. And not just that, it creates a seamless transitioning experience from one channel to the other so that a brand is supported across every medium and engagement touchpoints.

All in all, Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform transforms brand-customer relationships by streamlining user purchasing processes, personalizing shopping experiences, and creating on-the-go mobile buying moments. 

With the rapid shifts in a consumer’s buying habits and behavior along with the technology used to make new purchases, brands are in desperate need of a one-size-fits-it-all platform with an omnichannel familiarity that helps them establish a superior control over a customer’s buying decisions via prompt customer service and data analytics. And Salesforce Commerce Cloud helps achieve such goals.

Using Salesforce’s cloud-based SaaS eCommerce platform, retailers can incorporate multiple channels and touchpoints to their sales and marketing distribution to stay competitive, offer comfortable and easy mobile shopping eCommerce solutions, and pitch products to a global audience. 

What are SFCC Salesforce Commerce Cloud Features?

Salesforce Commerce Cloud, a Salesforce Digital 360 component, offers a plethora of features and functionality for managing a physical and online business, delivering personalized omnichannel shopping experiences, and allowing merchants to make predictive analysis-driven business decisions.

The SFCC platform provides open commerce API (OCAPI) consisting of three components:

  • Shop API: Enables frontend website interactions like browsing products or completing purchases 
  • Data API: It is used to access backend system resources like customer lists or product inventory 
  • Meta API: Allows access to details about the resources and documents provided by open commerce API like the custom attributes 

The following are the main features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform:

Commerce Cloud Digital:

It includes several out-of-the-box tools, frameworks, and features required to develop responsive eCommerce solutions for social, web, mobile, online, and store. Commerce Cloud Digital allows you to launch your online store on social media for your vast audience, build optimized and conversion-oriented mobile stores that reduce cart abandonment rates, and code branded apps for your customers.

Storefront architecture:

Quickly build user-friendly SaaS eCommerce solutions within no time using Commerce Cloud’s advanced framework. You can employ the pre-designed wireframes, available tools, and performance-driven integrations to customize, scale, and maintain your online store as per your business needs.

Salesforce Einstein AI:

Salesforce-embedded Einstein AI collects user data throughout their journey, analyzes it against a pre-established set of parameters, builds various data models for testing, and trains the system on huge data sets. Augmenting the power of artificial intelligence, NLP, predictive analysis, and machine learning, Einstein AI provides predictions and recommendations based on the previous customer behavior like browsed products, frequent user search queries, and buying interests. Features like search directories, predictive sort, product recommendations, and commerce insights help merchants to forge conversion-driven marketing strategies and serve their customers with relevant cloud-based eCommerce solutions.

Endless Aisle and Order Management:

As per its ‘buy, service, and fulfill anywhere’ ideology, Commerce Cloud allows you to manage customer orders, both physical, web, app, or social, right from the time they’re placed to the time they’re delivered. In addition, it helps brands fulfill order requests from global customers, automate payment processes, and manage returns and cancellations.

Endless Aisle allows physical retail owners to offer infinite product choices and integrate digital commerce in their stores. Customers can access an entire product inventory across several channels and locations digitally, which ultimately, encourages frequent user purchases and eliminates product sales due to no stock availability.

Content Management:

Build long-term relationships with your customers by delivering engaging content suited to the product buying phenomenon. Using Commerce Cloud, you can provide your customers with relevant learning materials at every stage of their buying journey.

Commerce Cloud integrations:

Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s LINK technology allows merchants to leverage certified third-party integrations. As a result, they can choose from hundreds of easily integrated pre-built innovations like payment gateway, virtual fitting rooms, email marketing, tax calculation based on region, etc., without depending much on the IT team. Employing these unique customizations, brands can deliver personalized shopping experiences across several geographies.

A multi-tenant cloud-based eCommerce platform:

SFCC or Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a centrally scalable, easily maintainable, heavily reliable cloud-based eCommerce platform with a single codebase. This cloud architecture allows multiple users to share resources in their allocated space resulting in fewer bug fixes, a stable software structure, minor service operation disruptions, and better data security. In addition, this model allows retailers to deliver and implement new features seamlessly, accelerate growth, and maintain pace with the changing retail shopping environment.

A highly customizable eCommerce platform:

It boasts various design templates, open-source commerce APIs, and development tools to allow developers with little to no coding experience code highly engaging customer-friendly eCommerce websites. In addition, since Commerce Cloud is now a part of Salesforce, merchants can integrate CRM and marketing-based SaaS services to your solution set. Also, they can merge customer data across all digital channels at a single location to derive valuable insights about customers at one platform.

A full-fledged Salesforce ecosystem:

World’ #1 CRM, Salesforce assists customers across marketing, sales, customer service, commerce, etc., sectors. It partners with premier business software platforms like Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud, all of which integrate seamlessly with Commerce Cloud to power customer journeys right from brand awareness to customer retention.

What are Salesforce Commerce Cloud benefits?

Commerce Cloud offers some of the most exceptional features for brands that wish to create, orchestrate, and deliver personalized digital experiences across several channels, including web, mobile, social, and in-store.

Drive sales with Commerce Cloud’s innovative technology:

Every online business wants a website that can support its growing customer base and scale as per the requirements. Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s powerful technology bridges the gap between brands and consumers. The platform’s scalable and agile capabilities support over half a billion individual shopping site visits each month globally. An offering from the world’s #1 eCommerce platform Salesforce, Commerce Cloud’s limitless versatility and flexibility suit the business needs of both B2B and B2C retailers.

Empowered with predictive intelligence, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform navigates a user’s actions, collects information, and rapidly analyzes it to derive actionable insights. When you know your customers better, you are bound to make more customer-centric decisions. Commerce Cloud, along with its Einstein Artificial Intelligence, help brands gain valuable insights about their customer, assist them throughout their customer journeys, extend personalized experiences that are seamlessly and effortlessly integrated across all channels and platforms.

Einstein performs some of the most predictive tasks for brands, like product recommendations based on browsing history, generate personalized suggestions for every consumer in real-time, employ data-driven insights to boost site conversions, and automate merchandising tasks to save time and effort.

Enhanced B2B eCommerce capabilities:

Commerce Cloud can extend a B2C shopping experience to a B2B brand. The omnichannel platform allows retailers to share product information, images, videos, and content across several channels, sites, and categories. Commerce Cloud then breaks it down as per user geography- a deviation from the previously prevalent B2B eCommerce setup. Using its tools, retailers can distribute similar content to their users belonging to different regions while customizing currencies, tax calculations, and page language as per their location. Therefore, Commerce Cloud removes all the insignificant barriers and complexity, bringing brands and customers together on a single eCommerce platform. 

Top of the line unified customer service and experience:

Since Commerce Cloud branches from Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM platform, it supports customer journeys across commerce, marketing, sales, communities, customer service, and more. More so, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud homes several premier enterprise software platforms like the Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Sales Cloud- all of which form a seamlessly integrated architecture to empower websites with every assistance they need through a customer’s eCommerce journey. From awareness and interest to action and retention, Commerce Cloud provides a unified customer experience. Such a powerful SaaS eCommerce platform not just sets up, manages, maintains, and grows your online business but supports your social and brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Even so, it allows retail stores to connect with mobile shoppers, offer discounts, sell in-store products to online customers, unify the in-store and digital inventory, and ship products to customers in real-time from any location to every location around the world.

A focus on a mobile-optimized store:

There is a rapid transition from shopping for products on our computers to browsing stores via mobile. More than 60% of retail visits worldwide are made through mobiles, which is why having a responsive mobile-optimized store is the need of the hour.

Commerce Cloud takes a mobile-first approach. From selling in-store to running a successful online store, it helps throughout the process. It optimizes your retail store for social and mobile selling, digitally manages product inventory for all the channels on a single cloud-based eCommerce solution, and ensures a seamless and hassle-free product experience for retailers and customers alike.

Endless Customizations:

Using Commerce Cloud, you can use the pre-defined templates to create a unique brand experience for your customers. For example, you can implement infinite customizations to your store from product pages and payment options to the checkout process. In addition, Salesforce is one of the first digital commerce solutions to include Apple Play for online purchases. Such specific Salesforce Commerce Cloud features create streamlined, straightforward, and effortless checkout moments for the customers. 

An all-in-one marketing platform:

From content creation to marketing, launching campaigns, running promotions, and testing them for optimized conversions without any technical assistance, Commerce Cloud can do it all.

The eCommerce platform allows you to optimize conversions as per a customer’s search intent. This way, you can recommend a user the most searched products or ones they browse the most; hence, increasing product sales and profitability margins.

Along with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud handles all your marketing efforts-from paid advertising to email campaigns, and social media marketing for every touchpoint and channel.

Conclusion

With customer satisfaction becoming an utmost priority for merchants, there is a severe need for eCommerce solutions that fulfill such demands, fosters positive brand-customer relationship, and secures a lead in the competitive eCommerce landscape.

The Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform is everything your retail business needs, and what it lacks or misses is accomplished with its seamless integration to the Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud. Manage multiple brand sites, explore new markets, open new eCommerce stores, and extend a unified customer experience with Salesforce Commerce Cloud. All you have to do is look for a trusted Salesforce Commerce Cloud partner who is well versed with the platform’s capabilities and can help you make the most out of it. 

Want to know more about what Salesforce Commerce Cloud can do for your brand?

With SFCC in action, your brand stays ahead of the curve, always.

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