The former Demandware—now called Commerce Cloud—has come a long way as a retail e-commerce platform, but it’s just starting out on its second life.
Founded in 2004, Demandware established itself as a go-to e-commerce software platform for consumer brand manufacturers and others selling online to consumers. Now part of Salesforce Inc. which acquired the e-commerce company for about $2.8 billion in July, Demandware will add features designed to help companies improve how they engage customers and increase sales, Salesforce.com Inc. executives said last week at Dreamforce 2016, the company’s annual users conference.
That course will continue to tie Commerce Cloud to the seven other business software “clouds” Salesforce operates for managed sales teams, marketing, customer service, web analytics, Internet of Things connectivity, online communities for sellers and their customers and technology partners, and a portal for developing and making available mobile apps, Alan Bunce, vice president of product marketing for Commerce Cloud, said in an interview at Dreamforce last week. Bunce is a former executive of Demandware who joined Salesforce following the acquisition.
Demandware brings Salesforce a new group of client companies that primarily sell to consumers, helping it expand beyond is traditional customer base of businesses that sell primarily to other businesses.
Tying Cloud Commerce into the other seven cloud software suites, meantime, extends the former Demandware platform into B2B digital and marketing applications, with the other cloud suites already designed primarily for businesses selling and marketing to other businesses through sales teams as well as through integrated e-commerce sites.
In addition, Demandware already had a mix of B2B and B2C before Salesforce acquired it. Bunce notes, for example, that clients like L’Oréal, the cosmetics manufacturer, sells through Cloud Commerce to salons, and ski manufacturer Black Diamond to ski patrols.
Salesforce plans to build out the capabilities of Cloud Commerce to meet the evolving needs of businesses, Bunce says. He didn’t comment during an interview at Dreamforce last week on what exactly the company may have in store for Commerce Cloud in the way of more B2B functionality, such as providing sophisticated configure-price-quote features, or the ability to route pending orders for spending authorization, but he noted that more development lay ahead. “I’m not in a position now to say what’s on our radar screen, but the Salesforce acquisition is an opportunity to accelerate development strategies.”
But Marc Benioff, CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, indicated in a brief conversation with B2BecNews at Dreamforce that a mix of B2B and B2C capabilities was an important step forward for Commerce Cloud. When asked if Commerce Cloud would have more complex B2B features to complement its strength in retail e-commerce—providing users with a platform that manages online transactions from suppliers through to end-customers, he said: “I hope so. That’s where things are headed.”
Benioff noted that an e-commerce platform designed for sales to businesses as well as consumers could accumulate valuable data on how products are sold throughout the B2B supply chain and through to end-customers, whether those end-customers are businesses or consumers.
His comments complemented those of Bunce’s, who noted that Commerce Cloud already has and continues to build “great data storage” related to the transactions of millions of online buyers and billions of data points tied to buying and selling. Combined with the data-analyzing capabilities of Einstein, Salesforce’s new artificial intelligence software it introduced last month, the extensive data compiled by Commerce Cloud and the other Salesforce clouds will enable companies to better personalize their product offerings to customers, Bunce said.
“It’s all about improving the customer experience,” he added.
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNewsa twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web— Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.
Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when new B2BecNews content is published.Favorite