The Salesforce Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, made its debut as a key component of the Salesforce Customer Success Platform last week at Dreamforce 2016.
If you were not one of the roughly 100,000 in attendance, or one of the many millions who watched Dreamforce online via Salesforce LIVE, you may be under the impression that it is simply another software technology conference.
It is not.
Dreamforce is as much about being inspired as it is about technology innovation. With a keynote lineup that included Billie Jean King, Tony Robbins, Christy Turlington Burns, Melinda Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, (RED) CEO Deborah Dugan and many more, Dreamforce aims for nothing less than the betterment of humanity.
It would be hard to come away without some ideas of how to make a positive impact in business or the broader world (or, at the very least, become more mindful of issues that may not directly impact us.)
Against this backdrop, the Commerce Cloud was introduced in a keynote presentation by Commerce Cloud CEO Jeff Barnett. In it, he and other senior executives discussed the state of retail today, how most retailers are stuck with legacy technology and offered a vision for unified commerce that hopefully provided some inspiration to retail brands in attendance.
Some examples: mobile commerce made exponentially easier with support for Apple Pay for the web (enabling single touch checkout), and Pinterest Buyable Pins, enabling shoppers to buy a product at the point of discovery.
Further, Commerce Cloud is already far down the path of one-to-one personalization with Commerce Cloud Einstein, delivering personalized emails and product recommendations for shoppers. In a breakout session, Vinod Kumar, Head of Analytics and Intelligence, said that about 125 Commerce Cloud retail brands were already live with Einstein, and are seeing an average revenue lift of 7-16% per visitor. One of those brands is True Religion Brand Jeans, whose SVP of Direct to Consumer and Omnichannel John Hazen participated in the session and described the solution as “best in class.”
“We love it. The AI that Commerce Cloud enables in emails and on product detail pages and grid view pages is tremendous,” he said.
More inspiration: Party City, the $2.3 billion (2015 sales) retailer, is digitizing its stores by arming associates with mobile technology that provides a real-time inventory dashboard. Among other things, this means that any associate – not just experienced managers – can maintain its massive “costume wall.”
Steve Skiba, Party City CIO, says that if “you’re truly going to be mobile-first, you have to put more devices in associates’ hands.”
Suitsupply, a men’s clothier with stores in 19 countries, gave a fascinating presentation on what it calls “conversational commerce,” the cornerstone of which is personalized engagement with shoppers at every touchpoint. Its stores feature interactive kiosks, large displays featuring customer reviews (see below), and a clienteling app that, among other things, provides associates with information on customers calling in.
This, according to the company, means they “don’t have to ask stupid questions anymore.”
Suitsupply is also looking at video chat for service and personal styling and, as one of the only retail brands to leverage every Cloud in the Salesforce Customer Success Platform, is at the vanguard of unified commerce.
Other highlights at Dreamforce include: a hugely successful vineyard vines pop up store highlighting Commerce Cloud Store; a demo by VP of Engineering Kathryn Murphy showcasing how Commerce Cloud, as part of the Customer Success Platform, meets the demands of the new shopper journey; and a dynamic session on mobile commerce that included a demo from ECCO Shoes in which shoppers take a “heel-height test” to determine which shoes they should buy.
We will explore all these in more depth in the coming weeks.