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Salesforce Commerce Cloud 101: Key Features and Benefits

Written by Ryan Terrey
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Every year, Salesforce adds more innovative features to its ever-changing ecosystem. It's an all-embracing tool that can serve various business purposes, from customer service to lead generation. Moreover, it's among the few companies that effectively combine eCommerce and CRM features.

That's where Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes in. Being part of a powerful and versatile solution, this platform enables you to launch and manage an online store. What's exciting is that you can stay in the same environment when you need to augment other departments. Everything is already there.

Great potential, however, can sometimes bring complexity. Do you need a traditional online store or a headless one? Haven't you overlooked any automation opportunities? How can you improve performance, create personalized shopping experiences, and secure brand loyalty?

So, if you're planning to start selling online, take a moment to check out this cloud-based platform. In this article, we'll discuss why a lot of iconic brands choose SF Commerce Cloud and how its features and benefits can help your online business.

What Is Salesforce Commerce Cloud?

Let's first share a backstory. Salesforce acquired Demandware in 2016. Demandware was a cloud-based eCommerce service provider for small and large businesses. Based on Demandware technology, Salesforce created Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) and made it part of its Customer Success Platform.

Nowadays, SFCC is a robust solution supporting every facet of commerce operations. It allows businesses to engage with customers across numerous digital channels and touchpoints, optimize the online experience, and drive sales.

The Ecosystem of Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Commerce Cloud caters to various business customers. That's why it offers three core capabilities for business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), and B2B2C companies:

  • B2B Commerce: The provided features can help you handle high transaction volumes or reach complex pricing agreements. B2B Commerce facilitates large-scale business transactions and helps streamline the eCommerce experience. B2B-specific functionality includes authenticated sites, two-click reorders, multiple payment types, and shipping features allowing for multiple delivery dates and locations.
  • B2B2C Commerce: This solution is aimed at companies working with both business buyers and a broader audience of individual consumers. Powered by artificial intelligence (Einstein), it offers a unified customer experience and shared commerce data on B2B and B2C clients.
  • B2C Commerce: This set of features caters to retailers targeting end consumers. So, you can do everything an online merchant needs: set up loyalty programs, integrate checkout functionalities, process high volumes of transactions during peak shopping times, and so on. Plus, B2C Commerce on Salesforce comes with Einstein, an AI capability. It provides AI-powered insights and lets you personalize the customer experience.

Key Features That Drive Business Transformation

While Commerce Cloud's primary function is to enable businesses to sell products to their customers, there are also numerous other SFCC purposes.

B2B Commerce Functionality

  • Authenticated Sites and Login Access: You can specify who can access a B2B or D2C store. The site asks visitors to insert login credentials to access information, ensuring secure transactions and personalized experiences.
  • Advanced Shopping Carts: They are designed specifically to support large or frequent purchases common in B2B dealings.
  • Rapid Reordering: Buyers can reorder goods they've already purchased before more quickly and easily.
  • Custom Storefront Themes: Give your eCommerce website a unique look and feel. Custom themes establish your brand identity, making you stand out from the rest.
  • Account-specific Product Catalogs: You can show only particular products to a chosen group of clients.
  • Dynamic Pricing and Discounts: The pricing adapts to the needed client or customer segment.
  • Multiple Payment Options: Supports a range of payment methods, including credit cards, purchase orders, and ACH transactions.
  • Enhanced Salesforce Order Management: A single, centralized solution connecting people, systems, and processes at every stage of the order lifecycle. Additionally, it offers solutions to assist with process automation and streamlining the order lifecycle.

B2C Commerce Products

  • Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA): Acts as a starting point and provides pre-designed wireframes, industry best practices, and out-of-the-box commerce functionality for brands to rapidly build and deploy online stores. It incorporates optimized user flows and multiple payment options like Apple Pay.
  • The goal? To simplify the site development process while still being a flexible and scalable platform. The built-in best practices range from SEO optimization to site performance. So, you can develop a fast and secure storefront that will rank well in search engine results.
  • Multi-language and Multi-currency Support: Enables you to go global and sell products to non-English-speaking customers. The website will accommodate multiple languages and currencies, opening new international markets to you.
  • Integrated Shopping Cart and Checkout Experience: Provides the possibility to reserve items (a 'Save for Later' button). The checkout process meets recent customer expectations, increasing customer engagement, satisfaction, and conversion rates.

Merchandising and Marketing Tools

Merchandising and marketing capabilities for B2C businesses revolve around using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to personalize customer communication. They also help you manage campaigns, namely:

  • segment the audience;
  • target exact customer segments with particular offers;
  • A/B test your emails, posts, and other assets to refine marketing strategies and improve engagement.

These features enable companies to grow sales and appeal to the target audience more effectively:

  • AI-powered Personalization: Show relevant products based on shoppers' demographics, psychographic information, behavior, and past purchases.
  • Comprehensive Product and Catalog Management: Allows for syncing product details, pricing, and catalogs across different categories and eCommerce sites for consistency and accuracy.
  • Advanced Search and Navigation: Tools that help optimize customer searches, resulting in faster and more precise search experiences and a streamlined customer journey. For instance, Commerce Cloud integrates with Einstein AI and Einstein Search Dictionaries in particular.
  • This feature pairs terms with their synonyms to display more products when customers look for goods. As such, when a person types in "indigo swimsuit", the website may also return blue and purple options if there are no exact matches in the catalog.

Multi-Site Management and Localization

Consider Salesforce Commerce Cloud if you want to become a global brand or leverage several eCommerce websites. This tool provides the following multi-site management and localization capabilities:

  • Geo-Specific Site Management: Create and manage multiple localized sites for different markets, each tailored to the local customs, language, currency, cultural nuances, and shopper preferences.
  • Global Reference Storefront: Quickly establish multiple brands and create websites with multilingual, multi-currency support. The reference storefront offers user interfaces in various languages (English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese) on a single platform.

B2C Commerce Extensions and APIs

Extensions and APIs expand the store's capabilities beyond what Salesforce Commerce Cloud includes. They allow Salesforce developers to build more custom environments and brand-specific solutions. You can connect the platform with third-party software to use it across varied digital channels (social media, mobile, and in-store):

  • Social Media Extensions: Design marketing campaigns for social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook to direct guest shoppers to your website from where they spend their time.
  • In-Store Integrations: Features like endless aisle help offline shoppers order the desired product even if it's out of stock or unavailable in a particular brick-and-mortar store. Another notable capability is "clienteling". It lets you better coordinate offline and digital commerce and provide personalized assistance regardless of the channel used.

Advantages for Mid-Market and Multi-Million Dollar Businesses

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the Salesforce Commerce Cloud suite of features, including growth hacking tactics and predictive insights. Let's see how exactly.

Scalability and Flexibility

Commerce Cloud is cloud-based. It means the platform can grow alongside your business, providing more tools, space, and power for the demands of the developing company:

  • adding new products;
  • entering new markets;
  • accommodating spikes in customer traffic;
  • managing increased transactions.

As a result, you can count on Salesforce during peak shopping seasons. Your website will remain fast and responsive, no matter the load.

Flexibility is another cornerstone of Salesforce Commerce Cloud. It enables businesses to tailor their sites with bespoke features that reflect their evolving strategy, such as:

  • introduce additional payment options to reach a wider market;
  • customize user interfaces to improve shopper engagement;
  • tweak order management for streamlined transactions.

Enhanced Ecommerce Experience and Brand Loyalty

The Salesforce platform is brimming with AI-powered capabilities. Commerce Cloud has directly embedded all of them to provide data-driven insights for a personalized and seamless customer experience. Personalization is the name of the game in today's online shopping. So, using first-party data for this purpose lets you increase sales and become an industry leader.

Customer service also gets a significant boost. While there is a separate Salesforce Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud also has some features to facilitate your customer care interactions, namely:

  • providing customer service representatives with immediate access to order history and preferences;
  • enabling self-service capabilities that allow customers to find solutions at their fingertips;
  • integrating real-time customer feedback to inform whether you efficiently resolve issues.

Apart from that, Salesforce Commerce Cloud makes sure that digital storefronts are mobile-friendly. More and more consumers are making purchases from smartphones, so they require a frictionless experience on their devices. Google also encourages brands to rework their mobile site versions by favoring optimized websites when ranking them in search results.

Recognizing that, Salesforce places a high priority on mobile optimization by focusing on the following:

  • rapid page load speed;
  • enhanced mobile responsiveness;
  • mobile-friendly reporting and order management.

Efficiency and Cost Reduction

Salesforce Commerce Cloud unites everything in one platform. So, you don't need to purchase and install numerous tools to consolidate data from multiple channels. The platform’s unified architecture leads to the following advantages:

  • lower development costs (Salesforce offers an extensive suite of developer tools and pre-built components);
  • no need to pay for the licenses of various software solutions;
  • reduced overheads associated with maintaining disparate systems and dealing with incompatibility issues;
  • cost-effective hiring (instead of building a large in-house team, you can hire specialists like Salesforce Commerce Cloud consultants for dedicated services, such as providing  implementation and ongoing management support);
  • simplifying the management of multiple stores.

That's where features like Storefront Reference Architecture shine bright, as do Commerce Cloud localization capabilities for handling sites across various geographies and languages.

Implementation Insights and Success Stories

Finally, let's examine some companies using SF Commerce Cloud to optimize the customer journey. You'll also find tips for getting started based on their lessons learned.

Real-World Applications of the Cloud-Based Commerce Platform


Halfords leveraged Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud to integrate its online and physical stores. It created a unified, personalized shopping experience to withstand various challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is what it achieved:

  • Responsive system: The platform handled an unprecedented surge in online activity, managing 200 million sessions and six million transactions in a year.
  • Personalized interactions: This happened thanks to using customer data, increasing conversion rates by 37%.


Baume utilized Salesforce to launch a customizable and sustainable luxury watch line. Here are the achievements:

  • Global and local: Baume entered an international digital commerce market.
  • Personalization at scale: Customers could customize watches in thousands of variations directly online.

Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat opted for the B2C Salesforce solution. Here is how it supported the business in its growth and building an agile and customer-centric online strategy:

  • Rapid expansion: Achieved five years of growth in just one year, with a notable increase in online conversion rates by 60% year-on-year.
  • Seamless omnichannel strategy: The integration provided customers with a consistent and enjoyable digital experience on par with the brand’s premium offline services.

Perfumes & Companhia

This renowned Portuguese beauty retailer adopted Salesforce to bridge the gap between their offline and online services, for example:

  • unified customer insights from 130 stores;
  • implemented targeted communications and personalized sales strategies.

Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways

When getting started with Salesforce, consider the following pieces of advice:

  1. Outline clear goals and how SF features can help you fulfill them.
  2. Employ the platform’s analytics and AI capabilities for personalizing content.
  3. Utilize modular design for customization, starting with the core functionalities and adding more specialized services and features as the business develops.
  4. Make use of Salesforce's ongoing support and educational resources (training modules, user communities, and dedicated support teams).

Conclusion: Why Salesforce Commerce Cloud Is the Choice for Scaling Businesses

Do you want to make money by selling goods and services online? Consider Salesforce Commerce Cloud. With robust features like AI-driven actions and efficient order management, it works well both for startups and 8-figure businesses.

Yes, there are many similar solutions out there, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and others. But who else can boast of being part of a bigger tech environment like Salesforce? From Salesforce order management to CRM, you can accelerate transactions, connect sales, service, and marketing channels, and cultivate loyalty.

Ready to dive in? Embrace Salesforce Commerce Cloud to attract customers today.

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