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Guide | November 25, 2020

Updated & In-depth Review on Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud

Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud has been around for quite a while and stands out for the phenomenal capabilities that it brings to users. However, its wide range of powerful features has also made enterprises question if the system is truly necessary for their growing organization.

In this article, we are going into detail about Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud by breaking down the systems by their core features and pricing structure, so retailers get the hang of it for the most accurate decision on whether to use it or not. Let’s dive in right now!

1. Introduction to Salesforce Commerce Cloud

First and foremost, it is necessary to understand that Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based platform provided as a fully-hosted SaaS. This means everything around dealing with its technology and managing associated services is handled by the Salesforce team and not any clients or partners. The solution, therefore, is ideal for merchants who don’t want to handle server maintenance and software updates. Even though the price is not as adequate as other non-cloud solutions, clients are guaranteed quality by an Service-level agreement (SLA) offered by Salesforce and further benefits from not having to worry about hosting an internal team of Salesforce developers.

Since the ecosystem is technically dealt with by the Salesforce experts, the one minor drawback is that it limits your freedom in customization and implementation of functions. However, with a generous and up-to-date range of features available, this does not stop Salesforce Commerce Cloud from being one of the almost scalable eCommerce service providers in the world. It offers a complete eCommerce ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs to handle the day-to-day operation of their business by connecting all practices such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Order Fulfillment, and Community Management. 

2. Core Features of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud

The enormous capability of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud is empowered by various spot-on and powerful features that are unique to its users only. Let’s explore what it has to offer now.

a. AI-based Insights

The potential power of AI has long been recognized in the business world. And Salesforce is one of the earliest pioneers in adopting Artificial Intelligence into their CRM as they launched the very first AI tool, Salesforce Einstein, in September 2016. It gathers data from the humongous pool of shoppers to provide predictive analytics, natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, and machine learning to Salesforce customers. These practices aim to enable the best shopping experience for customers and eventually benefit merchants with outstanding sale results.

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Salesforce launched their very first AI tool, Salesforce Einstein, in September 2016

AI of Salesforce provides Product Recommendations, Predictive Sort, Commerce Insights, and Search Dictionary to help businesses not wonder whether they are making the right decisions since the on-point data gives you the answers. And one unique thing about Salesforce AI is that they collect data to learn from it and become smarter. This results in more accurate insights and personalization over time, meaning more accurate purchasing decisions and less manual merchandising tasks.

For example, an eCommerce fashion business serves millions of customers across the globe, who all have different preferences over what they wear according to location, occasion, weather, budget, etc. In order to deliver personalized experiences to every individual, it could take forever to manually organize what products (pictures and content) to display on their shopping homepage. However, with help of AI, the Salesforce system can automatically modify their product categories and search results in accordance with the shopper’s behavior collected.

b. Merchandising & Catalog Management

This is definitely one of the biggest selling points for Salesforce Commerce Cloud. And it also explains why the solutions are often in favor of business in the fashion and lifestyle sector. Salesforce provides a variety of features to make their merchandising practice stand out, but here are some of the most notable ones to take into consideration:

  • AI-based Merchandising: As mentioned before, artificial intelligence-powered tools for product recommendations and predictive sort automatically enable a customized homepage and sort search results based on shopper interest data without the need to manually organize.
  • Complex Product Support: One product belongs to one certain catalog but can be organized into many different categories. This raises a serious problem if the business promotes thousands or millions of products with inadequate tools to control the products’ complex sectioning. Therefore, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has stepped up the game to provide features such as Product Types and Product Variations to set up complex information types of the products. Meanwhile, Variation Slicing by Category, Product Variation Scenarios, etc. enable products to be categorized by administrators’ needs.
  • Advanced Visual Merchandising: Visual Merchandising is an art and the arts can only be formed if the artists can actually carry them out. On Salesforce Commerce Cloud, administrators can easily edit any merchandising pages to their intentions just with drag and drop categories pages.
  • Tasks Schedule: The Job sections on the Administrative view can help set up the schedule you need. This feature is especially useful when it comes to setting up complicated processes that combine multiple tasks, or when you need to perform particular tasks on time but don’t have internet access. For example, the publishing of new products at the very start of Black Friday.
  • Enhanced Promotion: A promotion contains a rule that defines the type of promotion, conditions, and discounts, and can be extended with custom attributes to support your business requirements. All promotions (product, shipping, and order) are created the same way but have different rule specifications. Therefore, conflicts can arise when multiple promotions are run at the same time. Therefore, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has set up Compatibility and Ranking to prevent such undesirable combinations.

c. Omnichannel Optimization

Salesforce Commerce Cloud doesn’t only gain its reputation from streamlining all internal processes like Marketing and Customer Services, but is also remarkable for centralizing all sales channels including physical stores, eCommerce, mobile, and social media platforms. The solution first monitors and bridges consumer interaction as consumers switch from channel to channel to help ensure that, no matter when or how the buyer resumes the discussion, retailers have the information they need to help them start up exactly where they left off. Such accurate insights allow for dynamic customer segments, merchandising rules, and AI-powered recommendations. This helps increase touchpoints with customers across channels and persuade them to buy the product.

For the next step, the Order Management feature empowers merchants to unify the order processes and be fully connected to retail operations. The solution first enables live inventory updates, inventory and fulfillment optimization with algorithms, etc. for smooth order management. Then Salesforce Commerce Cloud unifies all key information and connects them to other retail systems. Moreover, it also gives administrators full access to the data and customization, enabling them to react in time to any situations that may arise.

d. Internationalization

This is another strength of Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The solution empowers administrators to modify and manage their multiple storefronts from one single back-end. For example, imagine your eCommerce website owns a separate storefront for each country, which each need different languages and currencies. Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s back-end lists all countries’ systems in its one core by name like UK, US, China, etc. You can easily make adjustments to any country’s site by selecting them with just one click.

Moreover, the solution also supports Product Management for each store, and administrators can flexibly edit the information of selected items like price, availability, and description, depending on each store’s needs. One other strong point of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is that it allows separate modification of payment options and billing complexities aligned with the store selected.

e. Advanced Analytics Report

Analytics at its best offers remarkable trends and concrete data that can be converted into effective marketing campaigns and the precise presentation and actions of your customers. Given its core business ecosystem feature, today’s leaders are using advanced analytics to get ahead and keep their position at the forefront. Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes with its own analytics which ensures that you don’t have to pay extra for analytic extensions. Let’s take a look at the main analytical reports of this renowned platform.

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Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes with its own analytics which ensures that you don’t have to pay extra for analytic extensions

  • Conversion Reports: On this panel, you can keep track of what percentage of visitors actually make purchases. The data is divided into two main forms including (1) cart conversion (demonstrates the rate of shoppers putting items in their carts against the total visitors) and (2) checkout conversion (the percentage of shoppers actually checking out against the total number of website visitors).
  • Purchase Reports: These data empower e-shop owners to get a grip on their orders and revenue at any given moment. Moreover, the reports will also provide the numbers of ordered products, the average orders, and average revenue.
  • Catalog Reports: On this panel, shop owners can check out which products are sold the most in quantity and which ones bring the most revenue of all.
  • Traffic Reports: The data provided in these reports involves all information on how your website attracts specific audiences by measuring the most visited pages, total visits, visit duration, and the website’s top referrers.
  • Customer Reports: These reports include the number of new customers visited, the number of first-time buyers, etc.
    Search and Navigation Reports: This section provides the owner with an overview of which keywords the potential visitors are searching for and where they are making these searches.
  • A/B Testing Reports: Improving user experience requires constant testing to find out which options will be the most suitable for certain audiences. Therefore, the A/B testing reports here help you compare and analyze group segmentation and differences in conversion rates.

Besides those default data panels, Salesforce Commerce Cloud empowers administrators to customize their reports by using the Cross Filter feature to include or exclude records in report results based on related objects and their fields with or without conditions. By doing this, you can flexibly choose to see which kinds of data are the most vital to your business goals and perform in-depth data analysis according to your preferences.

f. 24/7 Customer Support

Salesforce Commerce Cloud understands the importance of 24/7 support as its products serve clients worldwide. Their Global Support team acts following the urgency level of the issues involved and phone support is available only when Level 1 issues occur. However, a 24/7 call is only applied to Premier Accounts by entering Premier Support Passcode when calling the Premier support line. Meanwhile, Standard accounts can contact the support team via phone numbers during designated business hours.

For customers in the US with hearing and speech impairments, the Salesforce support team also provides designated lines. Premier phone support is available for non Severity 1 issues as well, and Standard phone support is for Level 1 issues only.

g. Other significant features

All features above are the most noticeable of all. But it does not mean Salesforce Commerce Cloud is limited only to such capabilities. The platform provides a complete solution for all departments like sales, marketing, customer service, etc. so the solution offers so much more, including:

  • Flexibility around SEO
  • Control over redirects (rule-based and page-level)
  • Highly configurable in the back end (able to manage things like URL conventions and underlying logic from the admin)
  • More advanced native search features than Magento
  • Advanced customer segmentation
  • Comprehensive email management
  • Lots of platform-level integrations supported by Salesforce Commerce Cloud

3. Pricing Structure of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud

Many of the Salesforce solutions including Commerce Cloud have long been a premium platform that is only affordable for large and upper-mid-scale enterprises. However, the provider has recently made changes to its pricing structure to give more companies access to the solutions. The prices are varied due to the business scales and additional features required for the websites. And according to Paul Rogers, the price model for Salesforce Commerce Cloud can be closest to the following estimations: 

  • Starter: Approximately 1% Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) for one single store with 2 price books maximum
  • Growth: 1-2% GMV for retailers with up to 5 stores and 10 price books
  • Unlimited: Pricing reduces as you grow or for higher GMV retailers, but still closer to 2%

The GMV percentage is modified annually in line with the evaluation of the forecasted growth commitments. This helps Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s pricing to be more relevant to more enterprises of many levels. And to make it even more appealing, the Commerce Cloud package even includes other signature features from Salesforce within the licensing cost, including Salesforce AI Einstein. This feature does not only collect information and generate reports, but actually learns from shoppers’ behaviors to automatically give recommendations on searches, products close to their preference and more.

4. Final Thoughts

The SaaS market is more than just one option – Salesforce Commerce Cloud. However, when mentioning true SaaS solutions for retailers, Salesforce is always the top-notch option. Leveraging the powerful scalability of cloud-based platforms, SalesforceB2C Commerce Cloud offers guaranteed all-round services, in which enterprises can trust that the quality and operational efficiency of their systems are in safe hands. It enables merchants to simplify all operations and infrastructure to synchronize customer experience. And smart Einstein AI, plus all the other amazing features mentioned, have made SalesforceB2C Commerce Cloud live up to its name for best-in-class service.

Ceaselessly granting all clients powerful eCommerce solutions, SmartOSC leverages long-standing eCommerce experience of 12 years to offer full-course Salesforce Commerce Cloud services including Consultation, Product Development, AppExchange Installation, External System Integration. Contact us now for world-class Salesforce Commerce Cloud integration and optimization for your scaling enterprises or take a look at how we helped other reputable names nail their ultimate business goals.

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