The retail industry is a dynamic industry. Over the last few decades, the retail industry has undergone significant changes. Consumer preferences, too, are constantly changing, and it has impacted the face of every industry. The dynamic business trends are also posing great challenges to different players in the retail industry. The retail industry must be flexible and adaptable to stay abreast with consumers, who are continuously evolving with different needs and interests. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic caused changes in the retail businesses due to which the worldwide retail sales have drastically declined as client spending habits and requirements have changed. Moreover, competition has made everything even more difficult, irrespective of the sector you operate. Several competitors have already transformed themselves. So, you must ensure that you stand out in your sector and rule it.
E-commerce is posing a big threat to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In recent years, several retailers started building their own digital retail platforms, but they were often lacking compared to e-commerce enterprises. However, a few factors, such as the internet and digital technology, have changed the way the retail industry operates. There are now a multitude of new and different retail technology solutions available. Digital retail solutions have a higher impact on the current retail landscape. This is due to the fact that traditional brick-and-mortar retail has been forced to compete with the new-age digital retail business, which has paved the way for retail technology.
Retailers are now completely relying on digital technology due to their traditional business practices, operational models and lack of digital capabilities. Numerous retailers have struggled to embrace technological innovations while migrating to cloud-based or SaaS solutions for everyday operations. The significant challenge of adopting new technologies is that it can be time-consuming, arduous and scary, especially when these changes compel you to reconsider the way of your functioning. However, retailers are fully aware that migrating to digital technology not only provides them more agility but also expands the scope of business growth. All these factors drive them to embrace Digital Transformation in the retail industry. To cover the needs and challenges of online retail businesses, Salesforce has created an e-commerce solution called Commerce Cloud. So, to deal with its digital transformation needs and empower itself to successfully overcome different challenges, the retail industry must embrace Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) as a prime tool.
In the current scenario, most of the retail industry has now become a part of the e-commerce platform. But, to enhance efficiency, retailers have to build their platform on good e-commerce software. That is why the future of the retail industry is best secured in the hands of SFCC implementation partners.
SFCC is a cloud-based solution that offers everything a business needs to take their inventory online. It can be used both for B2C and B2B purposes to optimize the overall efficiency of the business. SFCC platform was designed to help retailers deliver unique shopping experiences to their customers irrespective of the platform they use. Whether your customers wish to shop online with the help of their smartphones, desktop browsers, social media, etc., the SFCC solution offers a host of features to boost the connection between the brand and its clients.
Role of Salesforce & SFCC in Retail Industry
In today’s modern world of technology, it has become essential for businesses to include different channels into their sales and distribution processes to optimize the number of potential customers. This is because today buyers are more likely to purchase a particular product online rather than taking out the time to visit a mall or a brand outlet. According to statistics, online shopping contributes up to approximately 20% of the retail economy and about 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile phone during the past six months, which proves that online shopping has a global impact. This has resulted in a need for a software-based platform that maximizes the complete process of online sales and marketing.
This is where SFCC helps. SFCC, which was earlier known as Demandware, is offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) by Salesforce, the most popular CRM company. It focuses on simplifying and optimizing the complete sales process by providing a host of features particularly designed to revolutionize the way brands interact with their customers.
Salesforce helps organizations to expand their business with Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) via efficient code-building techniques, computerized test cycles and timely deployments across the product lifecycle, without sacrificing quality and security.
In addition to product development, Salesforce practices help build a unique culture that operates beyond your software environment, molding your organizational approach to a lucrative business and effective decision-making. Retail is one of the popular industries for the adoption of Salesforce.
The advent of e-commerce business marked a paradigm shift in the retail industry. The direct-to-consumer sales has already started posing a serious threat to retailers operating on traditional models such as brick-and-mortar stores. Online buying trends and dynamic shopping experiences are already driving retail companies to embrace digital models for market survival.
All these point out to a single demand, i.e., Digital Transformation. Digital transformation cannot happen overnight and requires a gradual shift from the traditional approach, without disrupting the business continuity, quality of service, supply chain, etc. The system involves establishing backup systems, network configurations, application developments, internal teams to develop, test, monitor and implement processes, and more to bolster the production cycle.
The SFCC can systematize and sync all the processes and teams with the business objectives, leading to greater customer satisfaction. SFCC can be your one-stop solution in retail for all the afore-mentioned requirements.
Features of Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC)
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a host of features for retail online businesses Some of their features include the following:
- Product Management: Helps product teams manage product inventory more effectively, optimize product bundles, and offers customized products to customers.
- Customer Management: Enables the customer support team respond more efficiently to requests and issues confronted by clients.
- Content Management: Provides customers with most relevant information on your products, special offers, order policies, etc.
- Price Management: Helps integrate pricing across multiple geographies, sites, and currencies.
- Automation of Common Operations: Artificial Intelligence (AI) for e-commerce is made to automate common operations and to customize customers’ buying experience and help them find the most relevant products at the time when they need it the most.
- Multi-Channel Management Solution: Enables managing multi-language websites through a unified dashboard.
- Marketing & Promotion Solutions: Helps drive more customers and make them return for more repeat purchases.
- Real-time Reports & Dashboard: Helps understand your customers better.
SFCC Provides a ‘Competitive Edge’ to Retail Industry
Digital transformation enables the retailers to provide an omnichannel and multichannel experience for their consumers. With digital presence across various platforms, customers experience ease of shopping based on their convenience.
Customers usually anticipate new features and experiences. These regular updates should be rolled out in a manner that it provides agility and consistency without sacrificing stability. This is vital to creating a seamless, integrated experience across physical and digital channels. To serve millions of users, you need reliable infrastructure that provides you an instantly accessible and stable network. The structure includes establishing backup systems, network configurations, development of applications, and internal departments developing, testing, monitoring and implementing procedures to facilitate the production cycle. It needs a robust and well-integrated backend, unified with powerful frameworks on the front-end, to support experiences across these channels. However, it’s easier said than done. This involves chunking obsolete systems, software and production processes and migrating towards a new platform to developing retail applications.
Apart from all the above, you need a new culture that will systematize your operations and departments in line with organizational goals and customer satisfaction. Today, SFCC is the most popular and sought-after platform for helping retail organizations in their journey onto digital transformation.
Significant Business Benefits of SFCC for Retail Industry
Every organization aims to create an easy and smart commerce experience through every channel. However, there is a need for a centralized commerce platform for it and that is where SFCC comes quite useful. SFCC Consultants like CloudFulcrum aim to help you and your brand grow at a swifter pace along with attracting more customers.
The benefits of SFCC in terms of becoming the future of the retail industry are mentioned as follows:
1. Enables Seamless & Continuous Innovation
Being a SaaS platform, Salesforce keeps on working on latest features and upgrades it in the background. They also help e-commerce businesses deliver unique digital experiences to their customers through Continuous Innovations. Thus, it enables a smooth working of the platform devoid of any interruptions.
2. Customized User Experiences
Customization of the applications according to the users’ needs has become a significant part of e-commerce. The e-commerce platform of Salesforce, i.e., SFCC, provides retailers the opportunity to use AI and other scientific technologies to create highly customized customer experiences according to their inventory or target markets. It also includes the checkout process. Moreover, Salesforce also supports Apple Pay, one of the biggest online payment platforms.
3. Connects Idea to Execution Faster
Since SFCC is a cloud-based platform, the infrastructure is always instantly ready without any lag or issues. This is why introducing new sites or rolling out promotions will never be a big task, since it will hardly take a few hours or a few days for the same.
4. Integrated Order Management
With the seamless platform that SFCC offers, consumers can shop online flexibly and can have the same experience as offline shopping. SFCC offers integrated order management across channels. This can help consumers select their time and frequency of orders to be shipped, the location to be sent, and the return process.
5. Premium Customer Support
SFCC platform provides 24×7 support to all vendors and ensures that their business runs smoothly according to their strategies. Further, they also take care of all the security concerns, whenever they occur at any point of time.
In today’s highly competitive environment, it is extremely essential for organizations to maintain the momentum of technological change as it not only keeps the demanding customers happy and satisfied, while delivering consistent revenues, but also keeps the stakeholders pleased.
6. Enhanced Shopping Experience
Einstein, a next-gen AI, is embedded into SFCC, which offers a seamless and user-friendly shopping experience to online shoppers. It offers the best product recommendations for shoppers at every stage of the shopping journey and keeps generating predictions for them in real-time. This does away with the necessity for manual data analysis, providing a more systematized shopping experience for customers. This greatly improves the total customer service of the business, which is indispensable in today’s market.
SFCC is a very powerful e-commerce platform. As it is a cloud-based system, it will be more useful than any other software. It would primarily benefit the entire sales process, which is the pillar of any organization. Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, the SFCC platform would not only provide the best resources to retailers to swiftly move online, but also equip the ones who would want to additionally expand their customer base. Moreover, SFCC aims to make shopping experiences smooth and flexible for both retailers and consumers. Thus, it would provide next-level shopping experiences and will further strengthen the sales of the organization.
In the retail industry, SFCC is a transformation that equips you with a competitive edge. It determines the future of retail businesses and its practices establish a new business culture that will work beyond your software environment. SFCC will shape organizational practices, including enhanced decision-making.
SFCC provides a great return for your retail investment and enables you innovate continuously. It also helps you create positive user experiences with a saving in cost and time. The ability to rapidly respond to market changes make you extremely competitive and resilient. When you embrace SFCC, you begin your retail journey on the path of continuous profitability to grow your business and excel in whatever you do.
If you are looking for SFCC implementation, reach out to us at CloudFulcrum. We are one of the SFCC partners and offer a seamless integration of SFCC with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Sales Cloud, Community Cloud, etc., to enable you access a host of functionalities at one place. Our in-depth knowledge and expertise in SFCC would help your business reach greater heights of success in a more expedited, optimized, and efficient way.
CloudFulcrum with its mission of “DevOps as a Service” has been part of multiple successful Copado implementations across the globe with customers in BFSI, Health Care, Retail, Real Estate, and Technology verticals.
With our Salesforce DevOps consulting, we help enterprises align their Digital Transformation goals to achieve higher efficiency, faster time-to-market, and better quality of software builds with early identification of arising issues, enabling continuous release of Salesforce applications.