Salesforce.com Announces New Retail Tools

Salesforce.com today announced four new capabilities aimed at assisting retailers in delivering more connected and personalized shopping experiences across consumers’ marketing, commerce, and customer service journeys.

“Now we’re seeing that it’s all about being personalized,” says Gordon Evans, vice president of product marketing at Salesforce. “Shoppers are telling us they want personalized offers, they want connected journeys across channels—this notion that you’re going to be across multiple channels looking at the same brand and you expect the brand to know who you are.”

To that end, the first new feature is the ability to integrate digital commerce with email marketing journeys. A connector between Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud aims to enable connected customer journeys by using dynamic triggers from commerce to marketing. For example, if a consumer using a Commerce Cloud site abandons his cart, a follow-up email could automatically be sent to him by Marketing Cloud reminding or incentivizing him to complete his purchase.

The second capability aims to make Instagram a commerce destination. New integrations for Commerce Cloud Shopping on Instagram allow retailers to connect product catalogs on Instagram, tag products in their posts, and create shoppable content with the goal of delivering an overall seamless experience for customers. Additionally, AI-powered Einstein Vision image recognition on Instagram allows brands to automate the discovery and identification of images including brand logos and products with an eye on discovering sales, marketing, and service opportunities.

The third new feature is the ability to provide intelligent customer service with messaging and bots, in form of Salesforce LiveMessage. LiveMessage enables retailers to engage in two-way conversations with shoppers via messaging including SMS and Facebook Messenger. Additionally, it provides retailers with a holistic view of a shopper’s history via seamless integration with Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud. Furthermore, Einstein Bots enables retailers to automate service communications in web or mobile chat channels to resolve issues such as tracking orders, resetting a lost password, or initiating a return, with an eye on freeing up agents to provide more personalized experiences to customers.

Finally, the fourth tool connects corporate and local-store customer engagement with distributed marketing. Dubbed Distributed Marketing from Salesforce, this feature allows corporate retail marketers to prebuild personalized customer journeys with Salesforce Marketing Cloud and deploy them to local stores and resellers. Then partners can manage and further personalize those journeys.

“There’s great indication of retailers getting value from Salesforce to connect to their shoppers,” Evans says. “What we’re seeing, though, is that shoppers really are changing their behavior, and the path to purchase is really never going to be the same as it used to be, where you could just walk down to the store, buy what they have on the shelf, and go home.” 

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