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Is Salesforce Commerce Cloud for B2C or B2B?

Is Salesforce Commerce Cloud for B2C or B2B?

The short answer is that Salesforce Commerce Cloud does both B2C and B2B– but they are effectively separate projects, united by a common name. But doesn’t that sound rather anticlimactic? So if you’re not in too much of a hurry and want to learn the intricacies of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, let me attempt to tackle the question again with a bit of discretion.

I’ll set the scene: The tumbleweed rolls down the dirt path and strikes barbed wire. Inside the fenced-off land is an apple orchard, which is run by a hardworking farmer. That time of the year has come, and the apples are ripe for the picking. But how is she going to get this juicy fruit to market?

There are two possible business paths: take all those apples to the local market and sell small batches at a time to a steady stream of customers; alternatively, team up with a large outlet that can buy in bulk those apples at regular fixed times, and then sell them to customers.

The first business model is B2C, or a business-to-customer model, while the second business model is B2B, or a business-to-business model.

And if you’re engaged in the ecommerce world, then you’re likely wanting to showcase your products on your own website. Here is where ecommerce platforms can help you out, to big-up your brand and push your products.

One of the best platforms for ecommerce is Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and when it comes to which business model it caters to, it actually has room for both B2C and B2B — albeit under slightly different names. Let’s take a look.

Commerce Cloud is a core part of the Salesforce customer relationship management system, and its ecommerce solutions apply to B2C and B2B.

Cloud evolution

Barely four years have passed since the birth of Commerce Cloud – oh, how time truly flies! Back in 2016, Salesforce acquired Demandware, which was one of the industry leaders in ecommerce solutions and website design that targeted customers directly. Salesforce acquired the tech of Demandware, renamed the product as Salesforce Commerce Cloud, and continued to build upwards and outwards.

Two years later, this quantitative expansion took on a qualitative character when Salesforce acquired CloudCraze, again a leader in ecommerce design and solutions that targeted business customers.

Armed with two powerful, and very different ecommerce capabilities, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) had to become distinguishable from its new B2B buddy (formerly CloudCraze). So Salesforce transformed the former into Salesforce B2C Commerce, while CloudCraze was transformed into Salesforce B2B Commerce – two strong arms of the same ecommerce body.

So, in short, there are two separate products: a B2C product, formerly known as Demandware (and still called that by the developers and those who work with it), and a B2B product, formerly known as Cloud Craze (and still called that by the developers and those who work with it).

Salesforce B2C Commerce

Is Salesforce Commerce Cloud for B2C or B2B?Spread across multiple channels and devices, Salesforce B2C Commerce allows you to create and coordinate the online experiences of customers, featuring rich capabilities from online storefronts to checkout functionality.

For big brands and retailers, they tend to require more than one website. Say that you sell goods or services across multiple countries, or that your company has a collection of different brands. You’d ideally want a separate site for each brand, or for each geographic location. Salesforce B2C Commerce allows you to control multiple sites from a single place.

But what also makes B2C Commerce world class is that its capabilities stretch out to email, social media, and merges with physical store experiences. Because customers don’t just visit websites, they interact in these other spaces, too.

Salesforce B2C Commerce is used in more than 50 countries by thousands of websites. And online sales via B2C Commerce surpasses $21 billion. (That’s right — now you can lower your eyebrows.)

Salesforce B2B Commerce

Of course, it’s not just individuals and families that shop online. Businesses also buy online, and the math quickly gets more complex, because Salesforce B2B Commerce powers many of the world’s largest companies — across all sectors from manufacturing to healthcare. These B2B sites are created for huge, super-sized carts where purchases consist of hundreds of thousands of items (imagine how long and deep that physical cart would look. In fact, imagine how long a real Noah’s ark would look like).

But that’s not all. B2B Commerce works different to B2C Commerce and includes functionalities that are specifically designed for this type of business model. Besides providing shopping carts that can accommodate a godly amount of items (how about renaming these shopping “ships”?), this platform also allows for quick reorder functions for frequent orders, a customized storefront theme for each account, complex shipping functionality for multiple delivery dates and locations, multiple payment options, and negotiated pricing by account.

So there you have it. The two ecommerce arms of Salesforce: B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce. Simple!

The funniest part: integration in name only?

But it gets better! While Salesforce purchased these two companies and united them under the same name… there was little other integration. Salesforce, after all, is something like a P/E company that buys profitable businesses, slaps their name on, and that’s it. (I exaggerate… but slightly.) It’s taken SF years merely to get each of these to integrate with Sales Cloud, their core services. Eventually, there may be a deeper integration – but just not yet. And don’t hold your breath.

So, if you’re tempted to suspect that SFCC is really two separate products – we’d have to agree with your suspicion. We just hope that, while names usually lag behind reality, that in this case, the reality of a unified platform lags behind the nomenclature.

And there’s a funny post-script: the same pattern repeated itself with Marketing Cloud! Salesforce purchased Exact Target, and turned it into a B2C marketing offering, usually called “Salesforce Marketing Cloud” but moving towards “Salesforce B2C Marketing Cloud”; and they also purchased Pardot, turning it into their B2B marketing cloud, usually still called “Pardot” but no one will be surprised if it too is soon to be referred to as “Salesforce B2B Marketing Cloud.”

PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud (formerly Demandware) specialists. Contact us to see how we can work together.

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