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Get Started with Commerce Cloud

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explain what Commerce Cloud is.
  • Describe the core capabilities that are part of Commerce Cloud.
  • Explain the difference between Salesforce B2B Commerce and Salesforce B2C Commerce.
  • Explain how Salesforce B2B2C Commerce adds value for B2B merchants.
  • Describe how customers use Commerce Cloud.

What Is Commerce Cloud?

Commerce Cloud is a key part of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform and offers ecommerce solutions for B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) customers. That means that organizations purchase Commerce Cloud to provide the best ecommerce websites to their customers who are shopping online—whether they are consumers buying the latest fashion or businesses making a large wholesale purchase.

Commerce Cloud was created in July 2016, when Salesforce acquired Demandware, an industry leader in ecommerce sites and solutions designed with the shopper in mind. The Demandware technology has grown and evolved to become the Salesforce B2C Commerce product.

In 2018, Commerce Cloud expanded beyond B2C ecommerce with the acquisition of CloudCraze, a leader in ecommerce designed for organizations selling to business customers. What was CloudCraze is now the Salesforce B2B Commerce product.

Now Commerce Cloud spans across B2C and B2B and includes a direct-to-consumer (D2C) product option, to offer leading ecommerce solutions for all types of companies looking to sell products and services online.

What Are the Commerce Cloud Products and Capabilities?

Commerce Cloud features three core capabilities: B2B Commerce, B2B2C Commerce, and B2C Commerce.

Combined, they help our customers design and implement their commerce strategies at their own pace, according to their own particular needs.

B2B Commerce

Consumers aren’t the only ones buying online. Businesses need to make purchases too. For example, a wholesaler can place an order of merchandise to stock multiple stores for an entire season, or a factory can purchase replacement parts for a specific type of machine. B2B Commerce powers sites for many of the world’s largest companies that span manufacturing, consumer goods, technology, healthcare, and more.

These sites are designed for extremely large carts and purchases consisting of hundreds or thousands of items. They include B2B-specific functionality such as:

  • Authenticated sites, including logins for each visitor
  • Shopping carts that can accommodate hundreds of items per order
  • Two-click reorders to make large, frequent orders fast and easy
  • Custom storefront themes for a unique look and feel for each account
  • Specific product catalogs by account for a selected subset of products
  • Negotiated/contract pricing by account or by customer segment
  • Complex shipping functionality allowing for multiple delivery dates and locations
  • Multiple payment types like credit card, purchase order, and ACH

B2B Commerce is built natively on the Salesforce Lightning Platform. This means that our customers, their distributors, and ultimately their buyers seamlessly combine B2B Commerce and their Salesforce CRM data for a complete view of the customer or account. For example, a seller’s account manager can manage B2B Commerce plus CRM data such as orders, carts, cases, and opportunities both for individual customers and in aggregate. Business buyers using the ecommerce sites can access their data directly from their web portals for easy account and order management.

B2B2C Commerce

B2B2C Commerce, also built on the Customer 360 Platform, helps B2B merchants sell direct to consumer quickly and easily, even if it’s for the first time. You’ll get the following benefits with B2B2C Commerce., and keep the focus on your B2B commerce buyers, with these amazing benefits.

  • Deliver quick time to value: Launch a powerfully simple commerce site with easy to use drag and drop tools on a trusted and scalable platform.
  • Drive intelligent experiences: Create personalized shopping experiences with drag and drop Commerce Einstein Recommendations and Search.
  • Unify your operations: Create a single source of truth with one shared data model across B2B, B2C, Order Management and an ecosystem of partners.
  • Connect your customer’s journey: Take the fastest path to complete digital transformation with a CRM powered connected customer journey from marketing to sales to commerce to service with a complete ecosystem.

B2C Commerce

B2C Commerce lets brands create and coordinate shoppers’ online experiences and transactions across digital channels and devices. Web and mobile sites are a huge part of the online experience. Brands can launch and manage responsive ecommerce sites—for web and mobile—that have rich online storefronts, shopping cart and checkout functionalities, and full customization capabilities.

For many retailers, one site isn’t enough. When retailers have more than one brand, or when they sell in multiple countries, they typically need different sites for each brand and geography. Commerce Cloud lets retailers launch sites for multiple brands and geographies and then manage them all in a single place.

But shoppers don’t just visit web and mobile sites, they also interact with brands through email, social media, and in stores. By integrating their ecommerce sites with their marketing and service solutions, brands can make every email and social media interaction more personalized and relevant to shoppers. And by bringing ecommerce into the store through kiosks or store associate applications they can provide shoppers with improved service and access to more inventory than what is available in store, often helping to “save the sale!”

B2C Commerce plays a huge role worldwide. More than 3,000 websites in more than 50 countries get their sales power through Commerce Cloud. In 2017, 540 million unique shoppers bought something online through a Commerce Cloud–powered website, and online sales through Commerce Cloud equaled US $21 billion. This is super big!

Our B2C Commerce solution comes embedded with Einstein for B2C Commerce, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help create a smarter and faster path to purchase. It also provides add-ons for order management via Salesforce Order Management.

Einstein for B2C Commerce

Einstein for B2C Commerce features are directly embedded into B2C Commerce to empower marketers and merchandisers to use AI without having to hire a data scientist. Using the wealth of their commerce data, they now have the power to make smarter decisions and supercharge personalization across commerce journeys.

Einstein intelligence powers five key B2C Commerce capabilities: Einstein Product Recommendations, Einstein Predictive Sort, Einstein Commerce Insights, Einstein Search Dictionaries, and Einstein Search Recommendations.

Salesforce Order Management

Salesforce Order Management brings together the people, systems, and processes from each stage of the order lifecycle and unites them in a single, centralized system. It also provides tools to help you streamline and automate processes across the order lifecycle. Check out the Salesforce Order Management Trailhead module. By connecting commerce, orders, and service, Salesforce Order Management lets you and your team:

  • See a global view of the entire order lifecycle across selling channels.
  • Manage order capture, fulfillment, and delivery—all in one place.
  • Access a main repository of all order information.
  • Service orders before, during, and after fulfillment.

Why Does Commerce Cloud Need Different Products for B2B, B2B2C, and B2C Commerce?

B2B buyers and B2C shoppers both want great ecommerce experiences, but the way they use ecommerce sites—and the functionality they need—is very different.

Commerce sites built for business users (B2B) are designed for a smaller set of known customers who often make large or frequent purchases. For example, a chemical manufacturer can sell to 1,000 factories that reorder each month. B2B sites need to make it easy for customers to make large orders, and then reorder the right products quickly.

Commerce sites built for the direct-to-consumer market want to get up and running fast, and are often driven by B2B merchants who want to test new markets or answer the urgent call of their client base.

Commerce sites built for the consumer (B2C)—the kind that all of us use for regular online shopping—are designed to attract a large number of guest shoppers to the site. Once a shopper is on the site, companies want to show them the most relevant products, let them quickly add a few (or several!) products to their cart, and then pay and finish the transaction quickly. It’s important for B2C sites to scale for big sales or holidays when millions of shoppers can be on the site at the same time.

So while B2C and B2B commerce sites can look the same, there’s unique functionality needed for each type of site.

Curious How Customers Use Commerce Cloud?

Hundreds of the world’s top brands and retailers are using Commerce Cloud. PetSmart is a great example. The company unifies its online commerce with in-store touch-points using B2C Commerce. This gives them the ability to connect with customers better and offer a seamless customer experience online and in-store. For the full story, see the following video:

If you’re looking for more examples and use cases, you can find dozens of customer stories on the Commerce Cloud website. Commerce Cloud is leading a revolution in retail and commerce technology. It’s helping companies truly connect to their shoppers and customers, and it’s giving B2C and B2B2C shoppers and B2B buyers the unified and seamless ecommerce experience they’re looking for.


Rights of ALBERT EINSTEIN are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

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