Each day brings fresh rounds of measures from governments across the globe to combat and suppress the coronavirus pandemic, coordinated and led by the World Health Organization. Flights have been cancelled; borders have been closed. Schools have been suspended; even the world’s top football leagues have been put on hold.
In these unprecedented times, tech companies have entered into the global discussion on how to respond to this era of crisis. In China, Alibaba Cloud is providing express solutions for retail businesses suffering from a drop in sales as shop doors close. The ecommerce platform is offering to launch a B2C platform for retailers in five days and a B2B2C platform in under 25 days, via a bundle of products, databases, multimedia, and security tools to quickly launch an ecommerce business.
Elsewhere, in the UK, food takeaway firms are in discussions with the government to provide elderly care packages for those who are in self-isolation. One particular delivery service, Just Eat, with 30,000 delivery riders, has introduced a new contactless service. This allows a customer to request via the app that the rider leaves the food on your doorstep — removing direct contact and practising social distancing.
Just Eat is actually a user of Salesforce, where it manages its customer information, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides a powerful arsenal of functionality that can help to contribute to tackling the pandemic.
Express site setup
Firstly, Salesforce Commerce Cloud consultancies may want to keep pace with Alibaba Cloud and provide speedy website setups for retailers yet to expand into ecommerce. A series of unfortunate events — stagnating sales in the retail industry, large-scale shifts towards online shopping, and now a pandemic where millions of people across the world either have restricted access to physical stores, or are actively avoiding contact with large groups of people, from supermarket aisles to shop queues — has led to the increasing necessity for companies to spread online into ecommerce.
It’s worth noting that the Salesforce Commerce Cloud infrastructure is powerful; its functionality makes it capable of almost anything. Its boundaries are essentially limited to your own creativity, and as such the timeline for a comprehensive installation would be well beyond 5-30 days. Yet an express setup may be a small-scale operation, covering the basics of an ecommerce site, providing room for scale later on — with the proper care and attention that is required for a top-class website.
Secondly, with companies already on the platform, there are functions that can be applied swiftly in the fight against the pandemic. For example, relevant products can be offered for free with every purchase, such as free hand sanitizer, or a leaflet that describes all World Health Organization recommendations. Although, considering the news reports across the world of product stockpiling, restricting products like hand sanitizers to one per customer would be responsible.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows you to bundle products together at discounted prices which you can offer to specific groups of people, or to specific regions. For example, if you’re a provider of food and drink, offer discounts to targeted groups, such as medical staff, as a show of solidarity with those at the frontlines of the epidemic.
Alternatively, you can focus on specific locations, such as those geographic areas that are being hit the hardest by lockdowns and quarantines. Strategies you can implement include discounts to people living in these areas to help relieve levels of stress and anxiety. If delivery is made impossible, another strategy is to offer free delivery at a later date on products ordered in a quarantined area.
Then there is the option of providing a contactless delivery option for orders where the delivery person will leave your product at your doorstep, and wait until you have picked it up before leaving, ensuring a contact-free experience and maintaining social distance to help prevent the possible spread of the virus.
Those that work in ecommerce thrive on sparking creative ideas and — working closely with dev teams — have a tendency to birth them into the world. We have already seen the industry react with innovative ideas. And, along with those working with artificial intelligence, ecommerce has a powerful platform to build fresh solutions — not only during the age of coronavirus, but any potential disruption to everyday life — with Salesforce Commerce Cloud providing powerful tools to build them.
PS: UV is one of the world’s leading Salesforce Commerce Cloud (Demandware) specialists. Contact us to see how we can work together.