How can your ecommerce site be smarter, faster, connected, and good looking? This is the question answered during the Commerce Cloud Keynote at Dreamforce. Mike Micucci, CEO of Commerce Cloud, Gordon Evans, the VP of Product Marketing, Commerce Cloud, and Univar’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ian Gresham, kick off the keynote with Univar’s experience with B2B Commerce on Salesforce.
Shifting B2B Customer Expectations
Univar is in all sorts of product lines such as water filtration, household cleaning products, and even shampoo. When describing the fast-changing state of B2B commerce and its consumers, Gresham says, “The B2B buyer is changing the world that we function in today, and that starts with a new generation of buyers who are entering the workforce. Especially with many of our larger customers that have a sophisticated procurement department, they’re hiring people off college campuses who’ve grown up in an entirely digitized environment. So, their expectations are different.”
Millennials and Gen Z are not the only buyers with evolving expectations for their B2B customer experience. Older buyers’ personal B2C shopping experiences are influencing their expectations for their personal B2B shopping experiences. “They’re expecting the same kind of convenience and same kind of ease of use and self-service capabilities,” says Gresham.
Because the B2B world is very fragmented (there’s a ton of smaller players) and Univar is one of the few very large players, it has the chance to shape the customer experience throughout the entire industry. For Gresham and his team, it’s “really a leadership move for the industry in terms of delivering unique customer experiences that are easier, faster, and better for our customers and for the industry as a whole.”
In only eight weeks, Univar launched its new B2B buying experience on Commerce Cloud in the US, followed by a 12 week implementation for its Canada site. The sites are multi-language and multi-currency, and because it’s cloud-based, Gresham and his team didn’t have to build competencies, design a commerce platform, or set-up their own server farms. As a result, they were able to launch their new experiences with speed and agility. With the help of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Univar is now one of the few companies within its industry that offers its customers an easy-to-use, fast, and appealing shopping experience.
After Univar’s success story, Evans hands it off to Michele Davolos, Director of Product Marketing, Commerce Cloud to pivot to the B2C Commerce Platform and its new features.
For the first time ever, Davolos discusses Commerce Cloud’s new Page Designer. She says, “This allows merchandisers and marketers design, publish, and schedule pages in a drag-and-drop interface using a library of reusable components built by developers.” As a result, the time it takes to publish new content and edit pages drastically decreases.
Visual Search and Real-Time Data
Other new capabilities include AI-powered visual search and the Commerce Cloud Einstein API. “With the Commerce Cloud Einstein API, you can take those revenue driving product recommendations and embed them into any channel,” said Devolos. One thing that’s highly important to any brand or retailer is inventory management. With the Commerce Cloud Inventory Service, customers at the B2C enterprise level (those with thousands of stores and millions of SKUs) will have access to real-time inventory information.
The Einstein API and Inventory Service, two flexible services, can be used together to drive shopping experiences on the storefront. For example, consumers will be able to filter by products in-stock nearby on the product listing page, and brands can embed dynamic location-based product recommendations into any channel.
Devolos uses Madewell’s shopper experience to demo the new Visual Search capability. On the Madewell.com storefront, Devolos taps on the Einstein Visual Search function, which opens the camera on her phone. Once she takes a picture of the product (a brown leather bag), Einstein searches the image against all of the product images on Madewell. Within seconds, Einstein finds the exact bag that Devolos took a picture of. On the bag’s PDP, Devolos sees that the bag and its entire collection are in-stock at a nearby store.
Additionally, based on Devolos shopping history, Madewell embeds personalized product recommendations throughout multiple channels. On Instagram, Devolos sees targeted Madewell ads, and in the Uber app, she sees dynamic location-based product recommendations.
Combining B2B and B2C Commerce
Lacoste is another brand taking advantage of the new capabilities within Commerce Cloud. For example, the Lacoste team built an in-store tablet app on Commerce Cloud for their in-store sales representatives. The tablet allows them to purchase online products in-store with the customer. The new app now accounts for 8 percent of the brand’s in-store sales.
Additionally, the team can now service their customers in one interface. “It’s about eliminating the customer service swivel chair between apps,” says Evans. For instance, Evans receives an order confirmation email from Lacoste after purchasing a new pair of sneakers. The email includes a promo to customize a polo shirt. The link takes Evans to the PDP on the commerce site where he chooses a shirt color and the color of the crocodile emblem. This is possible through a configurator app built on Commerce Cloud.
To save a few dollars on shipping, Evans contacts the service bot on chat (powered by Service Cloud and Einstein) to see if he can add the shirt to his existing shoe order. The bot prompts him to choose a reason for contacting customer service and then transfers him to the appropriate (and real-life) representative. The rep can see all of Evans’s information on one screen, including order history and items in the cart. There’s also a list of action steps for the rep to follow in order to help Evans with exactly what he needs.
On the same screen, the rep adds the shirt to his existing order and asks Evans to confirm his payment and address information. Additionally, with Einstein Commerce API, the rep embeds product recommendations within the chat function to see if there is anything else he’d like to add to his order.
What about retail partners? Lacoste has thousands of tennis shops, retailers, and boutique stores that purchase its products. For its B2B buyers, the team launched a seamless, easy-to-use site that has the brand’s look and feel. “With clicks not code,” says Evans, members of the Lacoste team can configure the B2B site and add or remove components of the site. In the B2B portal, buyers can see the product catalog, order history, invoices, and documents. Users can also see a forecast of which products are gaining popularity to make well-informed purchase decisions. If the buyer knows the product numbers and quantities needed, they can simply enter this information into the Quick Order Function on the homepage and add them to the cart.
Lacoste is a perfect example of “the power of combining B2C commerce with B2B commerce,” says Evans. Customers who leverage Einstein and use the Salesforce formula for commerce success—smart, fast, connected, good looking—see a seven to sixteen percent lift in GMV (gross merchandise volume).
Blue Acorn iCi has helped several brands implement Salesforce Commerce Cloud. To learn more, reach out to us here.