The rising customer expectations in the backdrop of the changing digital landscape calls for delivering unique and personalized shopping experiences by businesses. To stay relevant and competitive in the tech-savvy marketplace, it is essential to build better customer experiences with a unified commerce platform. And, the cloud-based service – Salesforce Commerce Cloud helps businesses deliver personalized and enhanced shopping experiences over any channel or device.
In this blog, we will provide you with an overview of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, its core capabilities, B2B and B2C commerce and the need for different Commerce Cloud products.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Being highly scalable, Salesforce Commerce Cloud – the cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-commerce solution from Salesforce offers best-in-class features and functionality, perfected over the years to provide enhanced e-commerce experiences. It is an essential part of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform, focusing on delivering e-commerce solutions to B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) customers.
With the acquisition of Demandware in 2016 – an industry leader in e-commerce sites and solutions for customers, and CloudCraze in 2018 – a leader in e-commerce solutions to the B2B space, Salesforce has optimized its Commerce Cloud offering a range of e-commerce solutions, spanning across both B2C and B2B segments. If offers its Commerce Cloud solutions to all types of businesses – keen on selling their products and services online.
Commerce Cloud products and Capabilities
Salesforce Commerce Cloud includes two capabilities
- B2C Commerce
- B2B Commerce
Businesses harness the power of B2C commerce and B2B commerce together – regardless of who they cater to – retail customers or wholesale customers by deploying the services of a Salesforce development company who help them implement their e-commerce strategies and achieve their business goals.
Next, we will come to the overview of B2C Commerce.
Overview of B2C Commerce
Mobile and websites form a prominent part of customers’ online experience. Brands need to create and coordinate these online experiences and facilitate transactions across digital channels and devices. B2C commerce lets you do just the same. With features such as online storefronts, shopping cart, and checkout functionalities, B2C commerce provides full customization – enabling brands to launch and manage responsive e-commerce websites, either for web or mobile platforms. Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), an out-of-the-box framework of B2C Commerce helps to combine the best practices in website design, merchandising and technical architecture. Using SFRA, you can build mobile-first websites that are as unique as your brands.
How retailers get benefited from B2C Commerce?
- Retailers with multiple brands operating across different countries can launch sites for various brands and different geographies, all managed in a single place – Commerce Cloud.
- By integrating e-commerce sites with marketing and services, brands can interact with shoppers over various channels such as email, social media and stores in a more personalized and relevant manner.
- Using e-commerce in store, through kiosks or store associate application, retailers can provide online shoppers with enhanced service and access to more inventory than what is made available to them.
- Worldwide, in 2017, 540 million unique shoppers made online purchases from websites powered by Commerce Cloud. Also, sales through Commerce Cloud amounted to US$21 billion.
B2C Commerce powered by Einstein
With B2C Commerce solution embedded with Einstein, based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), the journey to purchase is smarter and faster. Using their commerce data, marketers and merchandisers can make smarter decisions providing personalization across customer buying journeys.
The five key capabilities of B2C Commerce powered by Einstein intelligence are
- Einstein Product Recommendations,
- Einstein Predictive Sort,
- Einstein Commerce Insights,
- Einstein Search Dictionaries, and
- Einstein Search Recommendations
In addition, the new capability – Einstein Labs is a collaborative where marketers and merchants can test Einstein features and share their experience with Commerce Cloud product team.
Now, we will deal with an overview of B2B Commerce.
Overview of B2B Commerce
After online retail shopping, B2B is an important market segment for businesses where they buy online from their business customers. B2B Commerce is an e-commerce platform specifically designed for companies for their online purchases. Whether you are purchasing specific parts for your machinery or buying the winter merchandise for your store, purchases are an integral part of businesses too. B2B Commerce is explicitly designed to facilitate B2B buying relationships.
Many companies are plagued by obsolete technology which fails to capture orders and manage post-order processes efficiently. B2B Commerce provides a seamless multi channel relationship with your business buyers. The sales reps have a 360-degree customer view empowering them to provide 1:1 personalized buying experience.
Some of the world’s most significant consumer goods and manufacturing businesses entities are powered by B2B Commerce. Since these sites have to be designed for large carts and enable purchases of hundreds and thousands of items, B2B Commerce includes specific functionalities to process such business requirements.
- Authenticated sites with logins for each visitor.
- Shopping carts capable of accommodating hundreds or thousands SKUs every order
- Enable two-click re-orders for regular, large orders – fast and easy
- Custom storefront themes for unique look and feel with every account
- Custom product catalogues for exclusive as well as a selected subset of products
- Negotiated/ contract pricing by account, by customer segment
- Complex shipping functionalities facilitating delivery to multiple locations and dates
- Facilitate multiple payment modes – credit card, purchase order, and ACH
Is there a need for different products for B2B and B2C commerce under Commerce Cloud?
Yes, different solutions for B2B and B2C commerce cater to the niche customer requirements of that segment. While the ultimate goal is to provide great e-commerce experiences, B2C shoppers and B2B buyers’ use and functionality needs of the sites are different from each other. Certified commerce cloud developers are skilled in the development of e-commerce sites specific to your customer needs.
B2C e-commerce sites are designed for online shopping with the purpose to attract more guest shoppers to the site. Once on their site, the shoppers have been shown the most relevant products and quickly facilitate adding to cart and payment options to complete the transaction. The sites must be capable of scaling up for big sales or holidays when millions of shoppers do online shopping, and all at a time.
However, B2B e-commerce sites for business users are quite different. They need to cater to a smaller set of known customers who make regular or large purchases. B2B sites must facilitate the smooth processing of large customer orders in addition to providing for the reorder of the right products quickly. B2B Commerce is developed natively on the Salesforce Lightning Platform and integrates with Sales, Service, Marketing, and Communities of Salesforce.
When we think of online buying, more often than not, we associate the concept with online shopping, i.e. B2C commerce. But, business-to-business (B2B) commerce is equally an integral part of the bigger picture of the e-commerce world. Besides, building unique relationships and buying capabilities with their customers – retail or business, companies have to offer excellent e-commerce experience, which can be realised through Salesforce Commerce Cloud.