Every day, clients and potential clients ask us the same question:
Which ecommerce platform is best for my company, with my company’s unique and particular needs?
And the answer always starts with the same two words: “It depends”. Is your budget about $1 (USD, just to be clear) and you need it live in about 30 minutes? Try WordPress.com! The variations are endless.
One common situation we deal with are retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. You know, products like food-in-boxes and almost everything you’d see in a supermarket or big retail chain. Let’s say that you sell, hmm, chocolates available in every high-quality food market in the world (hypothetically). But such a store wants to go online so they can sell their products not only to people in a 22-mile radius around their store but the whole entire country!
The answer to the above question is still “It depends” and your particular, unique, special, one-of-a-kind case may suggest wildly different conclusions. And one of the most common recommendations, for lots of retail and CPG companies we speak with, is Salesforce Commerce Cloud. SFCC, indeed, seems to be made for retail and CPG companies.
How so? In a few ways, it is ideal for retail stores that want to sell online. Let’s go through some of the reasons.
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud includes all state-of-the-art functionality you expect from a not only best-in-class but best-in-world ecommerce platform. From granular analytics to seamless scalability and the ability to add in any modern feature needed — you got it.
- SFCC includes all advanced functionality you’re not even thinking about. Haven’t yet planned out a coupon strategy? Or a promotions strategy? Or a data strategy? (And so forth.) Don’t worry — it’s all there by default already.
- Integration with various 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) systems. In other words, you may want to ship widgets as soon as they’re ordered, or know how many you have in stock or not so you can make sure you don’t sell any widgets that you don’t have, and so forth. Integrating with the major 3rd Party Logistics providers: SFCC easily helps you manage this.
- Integrates with various POS (Point-of-Sales) systems. You may also have a physical store in which clients are also buying products through you. Don’t worry — Salesforce Commerce Cloud can integrate with those, too.
- Integrates with various ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) systems, including all the leading providers. You want to make sure the factory will have enough materials in the pipeline to account for a spike in orders you’re about to get via your SFCC site. Don’t worry, of course SFCC does that as well.
- Is it clear by now that part of the power of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is how it was made to integrate with all the key systems to support every part of the commerce cycle beyond just the ecommerce front-end? Notably, SFCC was built in a way so that it can easily integrate with any system.
- But Salesforce Commerce Cloud isn’t built only for incorporating key integration business process platforms, but also with all the needed players to run an ecommerce site. Want analytics from Google 360, or even just Google Analytics, or Tag Manager? Done. Want to integrate with Paypal? It’s ready to go. Have a Bazaarvoice strategy ready? SFCC is ready to go!
- Salesforce Commerce Cloud also allows you to customize how clients can pick up the product, including ways you didn’t even know were possible. They can find a store by the geographical radius. They can choose a store to pick an item up in person. They can have different products delivered to different addresses. They can review their order history to send to an address they previously used. And so forth!
- One of SFCC’s secret sauces is Einstein. No, not Albert the Mad Scientist, but an AI technology we will feature in future articles. In short, it figures out awesome analytics about your site and uses it to its advantage. Take recommended products, for example: best-in-class “related product” suggestions. That’s what — non-Albert — Einstein does.
- It won’t be a surprise to anyone to learn that Salesforce Commerce Cloud also can be easily integrated with Salesforce Marketing Cloud. SFMC is a whole other beast, but if you want to go all the way in with Salesforce, and use their system for very customized marketing targeting, then it’s easy to integrate. (This isn’t as obvious as it sounds: I’ve personally worked with more than one company whose right hand was unable to talk to its left hand.) And if you can’t get enough Einstein in your life, SFMC uses it as well.
- To ensure your ecommerce platform gets the most sales needed, you will have to test, test test — that’s the heart of modern marketing! — and guess what? Salesforce Commerce Cloud was built with A/B testing in mind from the start. So much so that we wrote an article all about that already.
- One of our favorite features of SFCC for retail platforms is how it allows you to create very different user experiences — almost different sites! — based on any criteria you can imagine. You want to show different flows or different anything to users based on their country or their buying history or your demographic profile of them? Done! We’ve also written about this in the past as well.
Conclusion: Salesforce Commerce Cloud certainly isn’t for everyone and not for every type of client that may want a retail or consumer packaged goods ecommerce site. But it is the bazooka of retail ecommerce platforms. If you want a hammer, get a hammer. If you want a machine gun, get a machine gun. But if you want the bazooka, get Salesforce Commerce Cloud. (We do not advocate the use of weapons, and no animals were harmed in the making of this article.)