Happy Holidays and Happy (almost) New Year from Salesforce Commerce Cloud!

It’s been another year of profound transformation in the retail industry, driven by technology and ever-changing consumer tastes and shopping habits. We’ve chronicled it all on our blog, which is the home for stories about retail Trailblazers, our Shopping Index, expert thought leadership, Salesforce Commerce Cloud news, and much more.

The ten most-read blog posts of 2017 reflect the diversity, breadth and depth of the content we regularly publish to inform and inspire our readers. Here, in descending order, are the top ten post of 2017:

#10 Salesforce Commerce Cloud Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
In April, the research firm Gartner named Salesforce Commerce Cloud a leader in its Magic Quadrant for digital commerce, noting our ability to execute and completeness of vision. According to Gartner, Leaders “demonstrate the ability to provide a depth and breadth of commerce functionality; to deliver commerce capabilities across multiple industries and business models; to deliver commerce platforms that can scale to support large transaction volumes and high levels of digital commerce GMV revenue, to provide sales and support services both directly and through an ecosystem of application, services and integration partners, and to deliver additional application functionality that integrates with their core commerce platform.”

#9 Salesforce Commerce Cloud to Integrate with Facebook Dynamic Ads
At the NRF Big Show 2017, we announced an integration with Facebook Dynamic Ads, which present relevant content to people based on the products they have browsed on a brand’s website. Dynamic ads reach people on any device, regardless of their original touchpoint with the brand. When a user clicks an ad, they are directed to the retailer’s website for the transaction. With Dynamic Ads, Commerce Cloud customers can extend their brand and products to Facebook’s one billion-plus daily active users,  driving shoppers back to their site and ultimately increase conversion and sales.

#8 Kendra Scott CIO Christine Rose: How Salesforce Took Our Web Business to the Next Level
We were honored in April to have Christine Rose of lifestyle brand Kendra Scott as a guest blogger. She explained how, when she became CIO of the company in January 2016, she replatformed on Salesforce Commerce Cloud in an effort to support the double-digit growth of its online business. She wrote, “one of the things that attracted us to Commerce Cloud was ease of use. We have no plans to hire an army of developers. We need to focus on what we do best – designing and marketing beautiful, quality, affordable jewelry.”

She also explained a key Commerce Cloud difference: our subject matter experts not only did a site readiness assessment and made sure they knew how to maintain the site, but a mere six weeks after going live, our Retail Practice team was already helping them optimize the site by implementing best practices on search, product detail pages and checkout.

#7 Introducing Einstein Commerce Insights: Get Smarter About Your Shoppers
In March we introduced Einstein Commerce Insights, which gives retailers valuable information about consumers’ shopping habits. It’s a shopping cart analysis dashboard that helps brands understand which products are most commonly purchased together, and gives merchandisers a granular view of shopping activity, including product-specific sales and top co-purchase categories. The data gives merchandisers (especially those managing large and complex product catalogs) the insight they need to create the best outfits, looks and deals for shoppers, which ultimately drives higher average order value. Merchants can also use Commerce Insights to inform general site design, and even creative tasks like which products should be displayed or photographed together.

#6 Salesforce XChange 2017 Registration is Open
This post announced specifics of XChange 2017, our first customer conference as Salesforce Commerce Cloud were we shared our vision of unified commerce with our community of customers, partners and employees. As it turned out, the conference was our biggest customer event, and highlighted how retailers can engage with customers in a whole new way, and showcased the benefits of Salesforce for Retail, which encompasses Commerce Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud.

#5 Five Opportunities for Retailers in 2017
This February blog post built upon a key theme of the 2017 NRF Big Show. That is, despite enormous advances in technology in the retail industry, in the end it’s a business about people – in stores and online. With that in mind, we detailed specific action items brands can take to ensure they’re putting people first including re-evaluating teams and how you acquire talent, articulating your brand purpose, reinventing stores, and personalizing everything.

#4 Salesforce Predicts: Retail in 2018
This post was not only one of the most-read of the year, it also took the crown as the most-shared (900 of you shared it with your peers!). This annual series features our global thought leaders and subject matter experts, who live on the front lines of retail. They leverage their expertise and experience to predict what retail and commerce will look like in the coming  year. We look into our crystal ball to pontificate on AI, stores, dynamic pricing, voice search and much more.

#3 Top Web Development Trends for Demandware
This post continues to be a top performer despite that it was published in April 2016, several months before the announcement of Demandware’s acquisition by Salesforce. Written by Lyons Consulting Group, a Strategic Solutions Partner, it examined what it surmised were some of the biggest topics in web development, design and the Commerce Cloud (then Demandware) platform.

#2 Becoming a Mobile-First Brand
This July blog post cited stats from our Shopping Index showing that mobile traffic to retail sites have passed a tipping point, with sales from mobile devices surging and that the majority of shoppers report using a mobile phone in a store. The post includes a detailed infographic with seven best practices for becoming a mobile-first retail brand including design and development, organizational considerations, leveraging shoppers’ use of mobile in stores, and more.

And the most-read blog post of 2017 was…

Holiday Shopping Flash Report: Black Friday Sales up 32%; Digital Clearly Dominates the Season
The key finding in this, our most-read blog post of 2017, is that shoppers no longer need to beat a path to stores on Black Friday. With an astounding 32% digital growth on Black Friday, the tide has officially shifted online. In fact, we predicted that Black Friday would retain its crown as the season’s biggest digital shopping day (spoiler alert – it did). Other findings: while 6% of shoppers engage with AI-based product recommendations, those shoppers account for 30% of all revenue; phones accounted for 60% of traffic to retail sites, up from 53% last year; 42% of Black Friday orders were placed from a phone, representing a watershed for mobile commerce as this was the first Black Friday where computers accounted for less than half – 49% – of all orders.

And that’s it, our most popular blog posts of 2017. Stay tuned for more awesome content in 2018, when we’ll focus on customer stories, unified commerce, mobile, AI and more. To be sure you don’t miss a thing, be sure to subscribe to the blog newsletter (link below). Thanks for reading!