Salesforce announced new innovations across its Commerce Cloud platform that enable companies to bring artificial intelligence, visual search, inventory availability services and more to an entirely new generation of commerce experiences.
Today, discovering and shopping for products doesn’t happen exclusively on ecommerce sites, and brands need agile and flexible ways to stay ahead of where shoppers research or transact next. The latest advancements in Commerce Cloud empower companies to embed innovative commerce experiences into every customer touchpoint – through voice, in mobile or social apps, in store, in marketplaces and even in connected products.
“Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables us to leverage the power of voice search and connect with anyone looking for the right outfit, wherever he is,” said Vincent Panzanella, vice president of marketing & communications, Perry Ellis. “With Salesforce, Perry Ellis launched the ‘Ask Perry Ellis’ Skill, a voice activated personal stylist powered by Amazon Alexa to provide fashion assistance and connect the shopper to the right outfit at the right time. This was possible with Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform APIs and developer tools that we’ve been able to use to reach consumers and offer tailored style suggestions within their day‑to‑day life.”
Customer Behavior is Transforming Commerce
Today’s consumers want to access and buy the products, services and experiences they desire, anytime and anywhere. They have fitness monitors and digital personal assistants, and they stay connected to and engage with brands through social media, marketing emails, chatbots and customer service experiences. And they expect to learn about and purchase the product or experience they are looking for in those moments.
Companies want to create a smart, easy commerce experience for every channel, but most do not have a central commerce platform that gives them the agility and flexibility to deliver. Salesforce and Deloitte research shows that, on average, retailers use 39 disparate systems to manage customer engagement, including point of sale, mobile, call center, email marketing, social media, and more. Because all of these roads to making a purchase ultimately bring the shopper back to an ecommerce site, brands risk losing a consumer they’ve managed to engage on one channel because they’re asking them to transact on another.
The expanded Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform consists of a powerful set of APIs, platform services and developer tools that empower companies to embed intelligent commerce experiences into every touchpoint to drive growth. Now, companies will be able to:
Extend Einstein AI-powered commerce and image search everywhere
- New Einstein Recommendations API: This will allow merchants to quickly integrate Einstein-powered product recommendations beyond their ecommerce site. With intelligent recommendations in mobile apps, clienteling devices and across marketing and customer service channels, merchants can power personalized and consistent experiences no matter how or where shoppers interact with the brand.
- New Einstein Visual Search: Now shoppers will be able to “snap and search” for products using images, not text. Shoppers can search based on photos or screenshots from their mobile phone, which will return the same product or most relevant option available based on the image uploaded.
Activate inventory in real time across every channel
New High-scale Inventory Availability Service: This new platform service enables companies to activate in-store and fulfillment center inventory across digital channels at massive scale–all in real time. This means companies can launch programs like browse by store or buy online, pick-up in store as well as support high-volume requests required for spike periods like flash sales and holidays.
Innovate commerce experiences faster
- New On-demand Developer Sandboxes: Provide added agility so development teams can deliver innovation to the business faster. Developer Sandboxes can be spun up in minutes, improving productivity and giving developers more consistency within their test and deployment process.
- New Commerce API Explorer: This new one-stop-shop for all Commerce APIs in a single portal and easy-to-use user interface allows developers to design and test new experiences more efficiently.
- New Commerce Cloud Developer Trailhead Trail: With this new free online learning resource, developers can educate themselves on the core elements of developing on the Commerce Cloud platform.
Salesforce Customers Deliver Dynamic Commerce Experiences
“Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables us to move faster and engage with our customers in more flexible ways,” said Steve Carlotti, executive vice president of marketing, The Michaels Companies, Inc. “With Salesforce, Michaels has launched new branded ecommerce sites, unified our in-store and online experience, and integrated user generated content from social media. We are also bringing together commerce, service and marketing to drive more effective audience engagement and ensure that every customer communication is timely and relevant.”
“Salesforce enables us with the tools we need to personalize customer engagement,” said Matt Day, digital marketing & ecommerce manager for Spalding. “We re-launched Spalding.com with Commerce Cloud’s Storefront Reference Architecture and launched U Design, an experience that enables customers to laser-engrave their favorite NBA team logos and personal text on the products, resulting in immediate, exponential improvement in ecommerce conversion. With Commerce Cloud, we can deepen our relationships with our customers by connecting them to products, information and unique experiences.”
Commerce Cloud connected to the world’s #1 CRM platform, giving brands a single view of the customer and ability to build great experiences across marketing, commerce, and service. Brands are also empowered to quickly create and scale trusted apps with Heroku, integrate data with Mulesoft, and leverage the Salesforce DX developer experience framework for high-performance agile application development.
“Digital commerce no longer starts with just a shopping cart,” said Mike Micucci, CEO of Commerce Cloud at Salesforce. “With Salesforce Commerce Cloud, companies have a trusted partner who can help them meet their customers wherever they are and deliver commerce everywhere through a platform full of AI-powered commerce services, APIs and a robust partner ecosystem.”
Salesforce Partners Use the Commerce Cloud Platform to Help Companies Deploy and Optimize Commerce Experiences
Salesforce has more than 100 consulting partners across the world that support integration and ecosystem efforts for building unique customer experiences powered by Commerce Cloud, including: Deloitte Digital, Accenture, Capgemini’s LYONSCG, Publicis.Sapient, OSF Commerce, Astound and PixelMEDIA. It also has over 250 pre-integrated partner applications that extend platform functionality, including:
- Amplience: Amplience helps content and technology teams unleash their creativity and productivity with an API-first solution that integrates with Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
- Radius8: Radius8 enables Salesforce Commerce Cloud retailers to localize their websites based on hyperlocal trends such as popularity, weather, and events, giving consumers a more engaging online experiences based on local context.
- Olapic: Olapic leverages Commerce Cloud to enable brands to tap into a variety of visual content – from consumer and influencer content to short-form videos – and incorporate it across their websites to create engaging, personalized consumer shopping journeys while delivering actionable data and performance.
- PredictSpring: PredictSpring enables Commerce Cloud retailers and brands in and out of the store with its mobile commerce solutions, including consumer shopping apps, and store Clienteling and Modern POS apps.
- ChannelAdvisor: ChannelAdvisor leverages Commerce Cloud to enable brands and retailers to unlock their selling potential through marketplaces, digital marketing, paid search, comparison shopping, flex feeds, social, rich media, and demand forecasting.
- Mobify: The Mobify Platform integrates with Commerce Cloud to enable retailers to build fast, engaging Progressive Web Apps separate from the backend, empowering retailers to begin digital transformations with the mobile shopper experience — all while ensuring backend updates don’t impact the front-end.
About Commerce Cloud
Salesforce Commerce Cloud empowers retailers to unify customer experiences across all points of commerce, including mobile, web, social and store. From shopping to fulfillment to customer service, the Commerce Cloud delivers personalized shopping experiences that consistently delight customers. With embedded artificial intelligence powered by Commerce Cloud Einstein, retailers can drive increased engagement, conversion, revenue and loyalty. Commerce Cloud customers sold approximately $21 billion worth of merchandise (“gross merchandise value”) through more than 3,000 websites in 50+ countries through the Commerce Cloud in 2017.
- Commerce Cloud Einstein Recommendations API is currently in Beta. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
- Commerce Cloud Einstein Visual Search is currently in Pilot and will be generally available in the second half of 2019. Pricing will be announced at that time.
- High-Scale Inventory Availability Service will be in Pilot in the first half of 2019.
- On-demand Developer Sandboxes are currently in Beta and will be generally available in the first half of 2019. Pricing will be announced at that time.
- The Commerce Cloud Open Commerce API (OCAPI) Explorer is generally available today.