How Ecommerce Management Is Transforming Retail

We expect more from retailers than we once did. If we’re looking a specific product online, we expect that the site can also inform us where we can check it out in person. And, if we’re in a store and the products we want aren’t there, we expect store associates to be able to locate it for us either online or in another store, and help us obtain it immediately.

Those aren’t unreasonable expectations today, but shopping didn’t used to be this way. A few short years ago, brick and mortar and online stores were barely connected — if an online store even existed at all. If the merchandise we wanted wasn’t available, we were pretty much out of luck.

Now, leading retail brands are transforming customer experiences with seamless transitions that blur the lines between shopping online and in person. Powered by sophisticated ecommerce and order management software, unified omni-channel shopping has swept the retail industry. Today’s consumers are already comfortable with the tech-enabled ease and convenience of shopping this way, and they have no desire to go back to how things used to be.

“87% of shoppers begin their hunt in digital channels, while 71% of shoppers prefer to leave a store with a product in hand.”SALESFORCE AND PUBLICIS.SAPIENT | SHOPPER-FIRST RETAILING REPORT 2018

Moving at the speed of shoppers.

Modern ecommerce management systems are equipped with powerful tools to help retailers keep pace with shoppers across multiple channels and touchpoints, resulting in truly unified, omni-channel customer experiences.

In today’s retail landscape, these omni-channel “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” experiences are key to customer satisfaction. By combining an ecommerce and order management system with real-time inventory optimization throughout stores, distribution centers, and transit, it’s also easier to achieve than ever before. Now you can ensure that customers can buy, receive, and return the products they want, when and where they want.

The “buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere” approach applies to all of a retailer’s brands and global markets, too. A sophisticated ecommerce management system can unify a retailer’s approach to shopper journeys from every owned brand — as well as across different nations, currencies, and languages.

“79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions in which they’re immediately known and understood.”SALESFORCE RESEARCH | STATE OF THE CONNECTED CUSTOMER, OCTOBER 2016GET THE REPORT AI-powered predictive intelligence inside ecommerce management systems can also personalize shopper journeys at every touchpoint. This is especially important for retailers, because 71% of customers use their mobile devices to make decisions while shopping in a store. Predictive intelligence streamlines customer journeys by presenting shoppers with personalized search results on mobile. At the same time, AI can help store associates upsell and cross-sell with product recommendations based on customer data.

Seamless omni-channel retail experiences.

Today, there are virtually no boundaries between shopping online and in person. This has brought great convenience to consumers, as well as great success to brands that have embraced omni-channel retail and ecommerce management systems — like Commerce Cloud.

American big-box pet retailer PetSmart is one of those forward-looking brands. PetSmart used to have a siloed approach to customer relationships, but they knew that 360-degree insights would help them truly put customers first. Using Commerce Cloud, PetSmart replatformed its entire website just a few weeks before the holiday shopping season. The new capabilities within Commerce Cloud gave PetSmart the flexibility to innovate faster and the ability to handle the major scale and peak volume of shopping events like Black Friday more easily than ever.

“Salesforce enables us to connect with our customers authentically. To help them in every step of their pet’s life. To see that growth and to see how much we are empowered to actually deliver against our business strategies. That’s very freeing.”BETH MCCORMICK | VP COMMERCE AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY, PETSMARTWATCH THE STORY Commerce Cloud has also streamlined ecommerce management for the multinational German athletic brand PUMA. To maintain a consistent aesthetic across all sites and deliver unified customer experiences across all channels, PUMA used Commerce Cloud to reconfigure its entire web presence in under 90 days. To ensure success, Commerce Cloud teams provided PUMA with support and training throughout the process. It all paid off — PUMA’s new website exceeded expectations and broke company records.  

“If it weren’t for [Commerce Cloud] and the consultancy that they provide for us, we would have had a really difficult time. These things have increased our sales in ways I didn’t see coming.”KEN KRALICK | HEAD OF GLOBAL ECOMMERCE, PUMA

-Salesforce Team