Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, has announced new innovations that empower retailers to deliver more connected and personalized shopping experiences across a consumer’s marketing, commerce and customer service journey. Salesforce made the announcement from the major NRF 2018 retail show and Expo event in New York.
The 2017 christmas shopping season was one of the busiest and most competitive to date, with a net digital revenue growth rate of 18 percent over the previous season. The world’s biggest retailers now gather at NRF 2018 to identify the trends, technologies and tactics that will increase sales and drive shopper loyalty in the year ahead. As a brand’s digital footprint expands across multiple channels, consumers today expect to have highly personalized and consistent shopping experiences at every touchpoint. However, 55 percent of all shoppers say their retail experiences are generally disconnected from channel to channel, and 63 percent don’t feel like retailers understand who they are.
“The world of retail that so many of us grew up in has changed in more ways than we ever could have imagined. Technology has given consumers incredible power to quickly find whatever they need, but it has become difficult for brands to keep up with those demands, and really understand the needs of consumers on an individual level,” said Shelley Bransten, senior vice president retail industry solutions, Salesforce. “Salesforce enables the future of retail with a unified platform for intelligent shopping experiences on any channel, ensuring the fastest path to shopper success.”
Introducing new Salesforce innovations for the future of retail
For retailers to compete effectively, and win the hearts, minds and wallets of modern consumers, they need a unified platform that builds connected, consistent and personalised experiences across marketing, commerce and customer service. With Salesforce business to consumer (B2C) CRM, retailers have a single, unified platform for commerce, marketing and service that can drive personalised shopping experiences wherever consumers interact with a brand, including mobile, web, social and store.
- Integrate digital commerce with email marketing journeys
? Online shoppers abandon carts prior to checkout as a common part of the buying process, at a rate as high as 75 percent, representing a high-value conversion opportunity for retailers. Currently, less than a third of major U.S. retailers send shopping cart abandonment emails, representing an opportunity to connect with consumers and convert sales. The Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud connector easily enables connected customer journeys with dynamic triggers from commerce to marketing. For example, if a consumer using a Commerce Cloud site adds items to their shopping cart but does not check out, they could be automatically sent a follow-up email by Marketing Cloud that reminds or even incentivizes them to complete their purchase.
- Transform Instagram into a commerce destination
? Instagram is now an essential first-screen for retail, with more than 500 million daily active users. With new integrations for Commerce Cloud Shopping on Instagram, retailers can connect product catalogs on Instagram, tag products in their posts and create shoppable content for a seamless experience for consumers on their favorite social network. In addition, AI-powered Einstein Vision image recognition on Instagram enables brands to automate the discovery and identification of images, such as brand logos and products, to uncover sales, marketing and service opportunities.
- Deliver intelligent customer service with messaging and bots
? Messaging is rapidly becoming consumers’ preferred service communication channel with retailers. In fact, about a quarter of all shoppers — and more than a third of millennial shoppers — use instant messaging (25 percent of all, 36 percent of millennials) when requesting customer service from an online retailer.¹ With Salesforce LiveMessage, retailers can engage with shoppers via two-way conversations on their preferred messaging apps, such as SMS or Facebook Messenger. And because LiveMessage is built on the Salesforce Platform, retailers have a holistic view of a shopper’s history made possible by seamless integration with Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud. Additionally, with Einstein Bots, retailers can automate service communications via web or mobile chat channels to resolve routing issues like tracking order status, resetting a lost password or initiating a return, freeing up agents’ time to deliver a more personalized experience to the consumer.
- Connect corporate and local stores consumer engagement with distributed marketing
? For retailers with large partner networks, including local stores and resellers, delivering connected consumer experiences is challenging. In fact, fifty-two percent of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them. With Distributed Marketing from Salesforce, corporate retail marketers can pre-build personalized customer journeys with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and deploy them to local stores and resellers. From there, retail partners can easily manage and personalize these consumer journeys–such as onboarding consumers to loyalty programs or launching holiday promotions. For example, the corporate marketing team at a national sporting goods chain can build a brand-approved winter sports campaign in time for the holidays that local stores can then leverage and tailor based on the popular winter activities in their region where consumers have shown interest.
Salesforce Powers the 2017 Christmas Season
Salesforce delivers massive scale in business to consumer (B2C) CRM. Here’s how Salesforce helped retailers power personalized commerce, marketing and customer service throughout the 2017 christmas season:
- Commerce Cloud – For the second year in a row, Black Friday was the biggest day of the christmas shopping season, comprising 26 percent of Cyber Week’s total revenue in digital commerce. Commerce Cloud customers delivered nearly 94 million AI-powered product recommendations on Black Friday and just over 73 million on Cyber Monday. Christmas shoppers that engaged with recommendations were this season’s best shoppers. While only accounting for 5 percent of clicks, these shoppers contributed 30 percent of Cyber Week’s revenue. In addition, during the 2017 christmas shopping season, 62 percent of all traffic to-commerce sites came from mobile devices, officially surpassing desktop traffic.
- Marketing Cloud – Customers sent a total of 17.5 billion emails, mobile, SMS and push notifications during Cyber Week. Delivering on the value of AI, Marketing Cloud powered more than 3 billion Salesforce Einstein engagement scores during Cyber Week, an indicator used by retailers to determine how likely a subscriber is to open an email, click links and stay subscribed.
- Service Cloud – Customers viewed more than 55 million customer service cases and received more than 17 million customer service calls on Black Friday. This increased to 98.6 million customer service cases viewed and more than 44 million customer service calls received on Cyber Monday, topping out with more than 400 million service cases viewed and 162 million calls received during Cyber Week.
Salesforce Empowers Retailers to Unify Shopping Experiences Across Commerce, Marketing and Service
According to a recent IDC study, the Salesforce ecosystem of customers and partners will create more than 400,000 retail jobs and enable $92 billion in retail revenue creation by 2022. Salesforce empowers retailers to build fast, personalized and connected consumer experiences across all points of commerce, including mobile, web, social and store. With a single unified platform for marketing, commerce and service, Salesforce delivers personalized shopping experiences that help retailers reach consumers wherever they interact with a brand. And with Salesforce DMP, marketers with rich online and offline data can leverage data management to drive better audience segmentation and get improved efficiency in media delivery. Combined with embedded artificial intelligence powered by Salesforce Einstein, retailers can deliver intelligent experiences at scale, and drive better experiences from awareness to retention. Commerce Cloud customers sell more than $16 billion worth of merchandise annually through more than 2,750 websites in 50+ countries, and enjoy 40-60 percent higher conversion rates than with legacy platforms.
Pricing and Availability
- Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud connector is generally available now at no additional cost to Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud customers.
- Commerce Cloud Shopping on Instagram is generally available now in the U.S., and Einstein Vision on Instagram is now generally available.
- Salesforce LiveMessage is generally available now, and Einstein Bots are currently in pilot and expected to be generally available in Summer 2018.
- Distributed Marketing is available now in limited pilot for Marketing Cloud customers, and will be generally available in February, 2018.