Salesforce are well known for their CRM systems and marketing tools, but not too many people realize that they offer eCommerce solutions too. So in this article, I decided to fill the uninitiated in on Salesforce Commerce Cloud and what it’s all about...
Previously known as Demandware, before Salesforce acquired it to even further extend its range or product and service offerings, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a highly scalable ecommerce solution that is cloud hosted (duh!) and offered using the SaaS (software-as-a-service) business model.
Being super functional, reliable and feature rich, Salesforce has attracted big businesses to its client base such as Burton, Lacoste, Adidas, Vineyard Vines and other well known brands to utilize their services when delivering an online retail experience.
By being a cloud hosted SaaS product, it’s customers don’t have to worry about a lot of the technical aspects of eCommerce that a self hosted site does, like maintaining databases, updating core components and introducing or implementing new available features to a site. Salesforce deals with all of that, leaving you to focus on the vast amount of other areas that eCommerce consists of.
This is where Salesforce really stands out as being different by going down the route of a shared success model. They do this by implementing a revenue share system based mostly on gross merchandise volume where they will usually take between 1-2%.
There is no set pricing though so you will want to pop over to their Salesforce B2C Commerce pricing page to request a quote.
Though a controversial pricing model, there are several benefits to it like the fact that your website expenses will fall under operating expenses so you won’t have to put a dent in your capital expenses to get up and running. It also means that, in a way, Salesforce are invested in your business and the better the service they deliver to you, the more money they make themselves, a grow together kind of relationship.
For most businesses, Salesforce Commerce Cloud probably provides the functionality or features you desire in your online store. Pop over to their product page to get a complete list of what it does there. As for what makes it excellent, here ya go...
Like a lot of cloud hosted eCommerce offerings, the ability to scale very fast is a huge advantage. Salesforce Commerce Cloud, being a more enterprise level service than something like Shopify, is more than capable of dealing with huge spikes in online store traffic and will instantly provide the resources needed to seamlessly handle it. And because of their pricing, you won’t be receiving any charges for this because more traffic is better for both of you thanks to the pricing scheme.
Salesforce has a whole catalog of products and services based solely around making sales (it’s in the name). By using their eCommerce store solution you can easily take advantage of all of their other services, bringing them together to create a retailing powerhouse built with a web of their sales systems.
With traditional software models, upgrades and updates are normally rolled out in iterations and require you to install on the occasions when a new version is released. This adds on to the maintenance work required to keep a shop up and running and can also introduce technical problems upon doing so, just ask anyone who uses WordPress!
Cloud hosted services can provide incremental improvements on their products, fixing, updating and implementing new features steadily over time. This way they can address issues as they arise, as opposed to dropping a new version and being flooded with reports of a thousand problems to address that have been discovered after release. Much more efficient and reliable, hence the amount of household brands using it.
Considering all the killer aspects and the social proof provided by huge businesses picking Salesforce Commerce Cloud as their platform of choice, the answer to the question probably won’t be found by asking if it is capable of delivering the capabilities that you need.
No, I would say that the first question you need to ask yourself is “Do I like the pricing model?”. If you are pumping out lots of items but at a low profit margin then having a company take a small chunk out of your revenue might result in them actually taking a rather large chunk of your profits, in which case, it’s probably not a good idea for you.
If your margins aren’t that tight though and giving away 1-2% of your revenue isn’t going to put much of a dent in your profits, then I would start looking at the features and functions list to make sure that it can provide the shopping experience you wish to deliver to your visitors.
Either way, it’s a hell of a platform and you have to admire their stand out, grow-together pricing models and enterprise level service!
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