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INTERVIEW Sharon Forder on the launch of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

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Salesforce Commerce Cloud was officially launched at InternetRetailing Conference earlier this month, following Salesforce’s acquisition of Demandware. Since then we’ve caught up with Sharon Forder, senior marketing director, EMEA at Salesforce Commerce Cloud to ask her about what the change means for the future.

InternetRetailing: Given Demandware’s excellent market awareness, what is the rationale for the renaming?

Sharon Forder, senior marketing director, EMEA, at Salesforce Commerce Cloud: Salesforce has amazing name recognition as well. This decision was all about communicating the new opportunities that the Commerce Cloud will afford retailers as one of Salesforce’s clouds. In the age of the customer, there is a need to create engaging, intelligent, personalised buying experiences across all channels. As Commerce Cloud comes together with other Salesforce Clouds, retailers can engage with customers in completely new ways. For example, Marketing Cloud drives shoppers to points of commerce, and Service Cloud provides service to consumers before, during and after a sale. The combination of the Commerce Cloud’s capabilities and Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform will enable brands to manage every part of the shopper’s journey – from discovery and engagement to purchase and advocacy.

IR: What does this change mean in terms of direction and philosophy?

SF: The Commerce Cloud continues to be focused on transforming the industry in a new era of retail, and we remain committed to the mission of “connecting consumers with the brands they love”. Salesforce Commerce Cloud will set the pace for delivering a unified consumer experience. It will enable retailers to execute omni-channel merchandising and marketing strategies, manage global operations and deploy unique customer engagement strategies that differentiate the retailer’s brand across web, mobile and in-store.

IR: How will Demandware’s original offering change in the context of the Salesforce suite of services?

SF: Salesforce is integrating capabilities that will allow retailers to attract, sell to and service and engage customers in entirely new ways. By leveraging Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud and Community Cloud retailers will have unprecedented capabilities at their fingertips. With Einstein embedded in the platform the power of artificial intelligence brings new opportunities to intelligently market, sell and engage in ways never before possible.

To meet consumers’ ever-increasing expectations, Salesforce is integrating capabilities that make shopping across channels hassle-free, fun and personal. Firstly, Commerce Cloud Einstein will embed intelligence into commerce. By capturing data signals in real-time, learning through natural language processing and applying predictive analytics techniques, Salesforce Einstein is reinventing the way retailers connect with consumers. For example, by delivering personalised product recommendations, search results and new insights to understand product purchase correlation. Secondly, the mobile web checkout is being transformed by delivering one-touch payment that removes a major point of friction in the mobile shopping experience. New Apple Pay integration gives shoppers the ability to make easy and secure web and mobile web payments with hassle-free, one-touch checkout capabilities.

IR: What is the overall direction of Salesforce Commerce Cloud now?

SF: Salesforce Commerce Cloud will transform the way retailers connect with their customers at every step in the journey – from the initial discovery to engagement, transactions, analytics, community and service. Now, brands on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud can deliver digital commerce across web, mobile, social, and in-store to make the entire customer experience smarter, more personal and more engaging.

IR: Will its values stay consistent with those of Demandware?

SF: Both Salesforce and Demandware shared many common values; most importantly both companies have been focused on delighting customers. The capabilities implicit in the Salesforce customer success platform coupled with its vast wealth of technology and sheer scale and expertise, will accelerate our mission to transform commerce. It provides a broader solution to the market and enables us to scale our commerce capabilities much more rapidly, putting us at the centre of where the market is now and where it is going in the future. As part of Salesforce, we will enable all companies to be “customer-centric companies”.

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