Here at UV, we dig deep into Salesforce Commerce Cloud and analyze, individually, its core components, features and updates. But let’s step back for a moment to see the bigger picture. Why does a business even need an ecommerce platform? And what are the essential features that are found on SF Commerce Cloud?
Let’s watch the birth and evolution of a local cake shop. Pastries and sponge are your thing, so you decide to set up a small luxury shop. Customers come and go through the door, and there’s no need for a heavy online presence — just regular uploads of awesome new cakes to social media.
Business is good. You establish yourself over time and your customer base — like that tasty frosting — spreads out nicely. You’ve begun to take orders online. Yet higher demand creates greater pressure, particularly online.
Hosting your own site is fine when you’re operating on a small scale. But when you’re running a serious site, with a lot of content and products, it’s incredibly easy to get caught in the complex web that you’ve created. More and more of your time will be wasted fixing problems with memory, backups, site speed, update. Put simply, hosting your own site becomes a giant pain!
At this critical tipping point — to take your business to the next level — you should consider moving to an ecommerce platform, which is powerful and capable of not only managing complex sites but making them flourish.
And one of the prime ecommerce platforms out there today is Salesforce Commerce Cloud. Let’s go inside the platform.
Firstly, one great thing about SFCC is that it is very user friendly, with the reins of power being easily found from the menu options: the most important being Staging and Merchant Tools.
All the world’s a stage
The Staging menu sets the scene for how you want your site to look, and where you make changes. So whether you want to remodel your entire cake shop website, or simply make minor tweaks, it’s done here. But what’s great about this on SFCC is that changes go through a work flow of approval, working through the correct channels to ensure everything works properly, making a smooth transition and weeding out potential problems before it goes live. SFCC now has their own page templates for you to choose from, making your storefront even easier to redecorate.
Other ecommerce platforms simply don’t have this feature, and any changes — along with the possible bugs — automatically go live.
Select for success
The Merchant Tools menu is the bread and butter of the platform; the laboratory area where anything can be tested. Take A/B Testing for example. Maybe you want to roll out a series of new cake designs. Is there a market for divorce cakes? (I bet many people would celebrate their divorce!) Then you can make these new cakes available for a limited number of customers. After a few weeks you can review the results, and whether it’s worth rolling out your new line of divorce cakes or not!
Or maybe you want to reward your loyal customers who have always come to you for their birthday cakes. Easy! Just use the Merchant Tools to set up specific prices for specific customers.
You can also group products together through bundles or sets. If a customer looks at a t-shirt, you can show them how to complete the look with your other products. Or back to our cake shop, if a customer is looking at individual ingredients, show them the recipe (or set of ingredients) and set it at a discount when they buy them together.
You’re also able to customize the attributes of a product. A customer wants to see whether that cute little cupcake has a gluten-free version. Or wants to choose whether it comes in a box or in plastic wrapping. You can offer that much possibility through SF Commerce Cloud.
A final feature of SFCC is being able to join users from entrance to exit, seeing their journey inside your site and analyzing how they navigate it. Do they rage click? Do they avoid certain areas? This can bring you valuable insight into how your customers interact with your site.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is loaded with these cool features that can fundamentally advance your ecommerce, as well as lifting a lot of that weight off your shoulders.
Let the robots do the work
In the era of automation, you don’t need to constantly update holiday promotions and special offers on particular days. You can work on specific promotions ahead of time, and set it up for scheduled duplications, meaning you no longer need to wait up until midnight to manually push the Black Friday sales button. Go to bed! And it’ll automatically change.
And SFCC also works with Einstein in the lab — well, at least the Einstein Predictive Vision function — that figures out “other products you may like” with better accuracy and relevance. So you don’t have to manually attempt at grouping items together.
All these fundamentals of SFCC are “out of the box” — or to stretch our cake shop references further, “baked into the platform” — which essentially means they are included in the platform and are free to use. Other platforms use “plugins” which are features that you have to pay for individually, and can slow down the speed of your site.
Working with Salesforce Commerce Cloud is not for just putting the icing on the cake — full of interesting and colorful features. It is for baking with a whole new and improved recipe — with powerful functionalities that can transform your ecommerce. Now how does that taste?