There seems to be a non-tiny chance that coronavirus may result in some serious societal change, especially if mass hysteria manages to lead towards deep transformations. At the very least, there will be a generation of kids who wash their hands very well (and apparently who blow their nose into their elbows).
But how will coronavirus influence Salesforce Commerce Cloud — or more broadly the Salesforce ecosystem?
Before we answer that, let’s talk about how UV is dealing with it. We already have a culture that, enforcing strong digital collaboration higiene (constant documentation, very transparent sharing, and so forth) as well as already encouraging most employees to work from home a few times per week, it’s been easy to encourage everyone to continue working from home. Our offices are already stocked with Purell along with a series of other preparatory steps we’ve taken for the last few years. Deep preparation is what happens when there are paranoid members of your team!
Within the Salesforce ecosystem, we’re already likely to see some changes. Salesforce, we heard, is encouraging all employees to work from home. And the Connections conference, scheduled for May 4-6, will now be held virtually instead. (If SXSW was canceled, what serious conference could possibly remain open?)
For Salesforce Commerce Cloud, however, there are a few likely changes:
A bet on Salesforce Commerce Cloud is something like a bet on ecommerce: it will grow or decline with it, albeit at different growth/decline rates. So the broader question is, how will this affect ecommerce overall?
Our best estimate here is that the “stay at home” environment will result in a temporary ecommerce boost, as people around the world increasingly stop going to stores and instead buy products sitting in their living rooms. So much so that someone more cynical than I could possibly suspect that a consortium of ecommerce sites could be behind this — but of course I would never think that! And if you thought that, you ought to strike all such cynical thoughts from your mind!
In the mid-term, the picture might be different. If this leads to a more recession-like economy, ecommerce might potentially slow down; although what would be most likely in that scenario is that since ecommerce is on such a steep growth path around the world, the physical, retail commerce will suffer the brunt of it. So ecommerce would still benefit.
And in a tough economy, interestingly, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an even better bet for companies. Why? The core, key cost is a % of revenue, and not fixed — so if you make more or less, Salesforce does as well. If your sales go down 5%, so do your costs. This is a dream in a recessionary environment, since high fixed costs while revenue plummets is a possibly fatal risk factor for all companies.
In the age of home shopping and a possible recession, Salesforce Commerce Cloud has a second great advantage: its incredible marketing tools built in. With more competition for eyeballs at home, and fewer sales happening, you need every bit of marketing and sales firepower you can get. And the amazing thing is, with SF Commerce Cloud, it’s all built-in already. It’s just a shame that too many companies pay for this firepower but don’t take advantage of it.
But that will change when market pressures force the change upon them. Perhaps a version of Churchill’s observation on the US applies, if indeed Churchill did say it, since Churchillian Drift is a real phenomenon: companies use the right marketing tools (like Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud!) only after they’ve exhausted trying every other option out there.
Since I’ve been thinking about Salesforce Marketing Cloud initiatives lately, I would add: maybe someone with a SF Commerce Cloud store should offer free Purell with every purchase over a certain size. That would make me want to purchase your product, and may even get you some press in the market. Feel free to run with the idea, dear reader, and all I ask in return is that you stop by the UV office and have a coffee with us next time you’re in New York, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, or Barcelona. And of course clean your hands with the Purell as soon as you come in.
But for now, wherever you are in the world, take care of yourself.
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) development teams. Contact us to see how we can work together.