Salesforce Commerce Cloud – known as ‘Demandware’ until the recent acquisition by Salesforce – is used by major global retail brands including Adidas, Burton, Puma, and Lacoste. But is it the right ecommerce solution for your business?
We sat down with Richard Jackson, head of Inviqa’s ecommerce practice, to discuss the five things you want to know about Commerce Cloud (but were afraid to ask).
1. What is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a highly scalable, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) ecommerce solution. It offers best-in-class features and functionality developed and refined over many years to provide a highly optimised ecommerce experience.
The basic proposition of the platform is that, by offering ecommerce as a SaaS solution, it frees your business from the demands of managing a technical roadmap – or figuring out how to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to best practice ecommerce features.
The rationale is that Salesforce Commerce Cloud is constantly evolving and refining its features and functionality to keep pace with the fast pace of change within the ecommerce sector, so that you always have a best-in-class feature set.
2. Is it suitable for my business?
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is positioned squarely at brands and retailers that require best-in-class B2C functionality within a one-stop solution. The solution is a highly compelling option for consumer brands and B2C retailers.
The solution’s basic premise is to enable your organisation to do what it (typically) does best: trade the platform as hard as possible without having to focus on some of the associated challenges of non-SaaS ecommerce platforms: stability, scalability, or managing a technical agency, team or roadmap.
Always remember that you should choose the solution that best serves your business goals. After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to ecommerce.
3. What are its top features?
In terms of core functionality, the platform has a range of market-leading features – too many to detail here. Instead, it’s worth highlighting some of the aspects of the platform that could make it a good fit with your retail business:
- Seamless upgrades. Since the platform is SaaS, Salesforce continuously rolls out many new features in the background. These are available through the administration panel, often with minimal or no technical intervention needed on your side.
- Scalability. As a cloud-based product, Salesforce Commerce Cloud can cope with huge demand and traffic spikes without you having to plan in advance. If there is a sudden spike in demand, the platform scales silently in the background with no intervention required.
- A suite of cloud services. Now part of the Salesforce family, there are a range of related CRM and marketing SaaS services that can integrate into your solution set.
- A product roadmap defined by Salesforce. If you find Salesforce Commerce Cloud a compelling proposition, chances are you’ll be content with adopting the Commerce Cloud roadmap provided by Salesforce. It’s another thing you won’t have to concern yourself with, freeing you to focus on using the solution’s features and functions to drive sales and growth for your site.
Above: some of the brands that use Salesforce Commerce Cloud
4. What’s the licensing model?
The cost of using the platform is realised as a revenue share, meaning that the client effectively funds the platform from OPEX, rather than CAPEX, budgets, so there are no significant ‘upfront’ licence costs. As an approach it’s quite compelling that Salesforce are pinning their financial success to the growth of the client’s revenue in what’s described as a ‘shared success’ model. But this structure might not appeal to all business owners.
5. What are the solution’s limitations?
The revenue share model is most attractive to organisations with strong product profit margins from which to fund the licence fee. Conversely, this commercial model is not as appealing to high-volume, low-margin retailers or B2B organisations where margins are traditionally much tighter.
If your organisation has non-standard or niche business models or audiences, the SaaS nature of the solution may not be a good fit since the feature roadmap is largely centred around what the majority of B2C retailers would find compelling. If your requirements don’t reflect that, the roadmap is unlikely to match your needs.
Supporting Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Inviqa adopted Salesforce Commerce Cloud as a key strategic technology partner to broaden our portfolio of ecommerce solutions. Sitting alongside our other key commerce technology partners, including Magento Enterprise and Spryker, we are able to work with businesses like yours to assess the approach and best-fit technology to help you meet your commercial project goals.
Inviqa offers a full system integration service, starting with a discovery that uncovers the highest-value, commercially-focused activity roadmap for your business. From there, we work with you on initial platform selection consultancy, solution design, and build – including creative origination and implementation – through to ongoing site performance optimisation, enhancement, and support.
Want to talk to an ecommerce expert about finding the right solution for your business? Get in touch!