In July 2016 Salesforce completed its acquisition of Demandware. At the time of the announcement, Tom Ebling, CEO of Demandware said “Becoming part of Salesforce will … empower the world’s leading brands with the most innovative digital commerce solutions that enable them to connect 1:1 with customers across any channel.”
I happened to be in London a couple of months later for my Demandware Architect course, which was held in what was Demandware’s office. On the second day of the course there was a party to celebrate the acquisition and spirits were high. Sitting in my chair, observing the celebrations, I pondered the many benefits to the Commerce world that would come from this acquisition.
16 months on, I thought it would be interesting to see how well has the software giant has capitalised on the strengths of each business to deliver new and innovative solutions to the ecommerce B2C market.
Here is a round-up of the best features that have been released since the acquisition:
In September 2016, Salesforce Commerce Cloud announced the launch of its Einstein engine – an artificial intelligence engine that delivers 1-to-1 shopping experiences by delivering personalised and predictive product recommendations, sorting, commerce insights and site search results. Enabling this AI feature is easy for merchants. It’s born in the cloud, comes out-of-the-box with Salesforce Commerce Cloud and the benefits of using it are huge – by delivering a smarter predictive and personalised commerce experience, it builds customer loyalty and increases conversions.
“At Furniture Village we have used the Einstein predictive engine to great effect, not only to increase customer sales through product recommendations but also to reduce workload for our traders.” – Tom Gathern, Technical Project Manager at Furniture Village.
eCDN for Commerce Cloud
At the beginning of 2017 the vendor announced the embedded content delivery network (eCDN) feature of the platform, which enables the customers to migrate away from Akamai CDN and being behind CloudFlare CDN. The biggest benefits of the new CDN are the extended DDoS protection and possibility to run the sites over HTTPS.
Since October, Google’s Chrome browser now displays a “Not secure” message in the address bar when customer fulfill forms on HTTP pages such as a newsletter sign up, search, login, register, etc. Because of this, it’s critical for all eCommerce sites to run on HTTPS as they all have at least a search form on every page and a “Not secure” message may decrease customer trust and respectively – their sales.
Enforced HTTPS support
Last month Salesforce Commerce Cloud released a new version that actually enables the full HTTPS support and to be honest I hadn’t expected it to be so easy to implement. You just select a checkbox and your site is running on HTTPS. All redirects from HTTP to HTTPS are handled automatically. I believe this is another win for the cloud – in my experience as an ex dev ops engineer, such migrations usually take a few weeks in best case scenarios.
As expected, Salesforce Commerce Cloud is focused on improving its order management, customer management and insights. The know-how shared between the Salesforce team and Demandware team is now delivering results – it’s been recognised as a leader by the top technology research firms, Gartner and Forrester, and customers of Salesforce Commerce Cloud have access to better data on their customers so can provide them with better engagement and experiences and all of this is delivered out-of-the-box. A cartridge for the integration between Commerce Cloud and Marketing Cloud was released and we are expecting a fully out-of-the-box integration to come in the New Year.
By using a pure SaaS platform like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, you can be assured that you are always using the most current version – it’s your decision whether to adopt the new features or not. You can learn more about the differences between pure SaaS platforms and cloud hosted platforms in our blog Understanding what ‘cloud’ actually means.
If you would like to learn more about the platform, visit our Salesforce Commerce Cloud page or call us on 020 3326 1930 to speak to one of our experts.