Salesforce Brings E-Commerce Software Into the Fold and Smartens it Up
New with this release of the on-demand software is support for Apple (AAPL) Pay, which enables secure payments from iPhone, iPad, or Mac devices. That could ease one big problem for online resellers who “increasingly see customers abandon the sale at checkout when they have to enter payment,” Shelley Bransten, Salesforce’s senior vice president of retail and consumer products told Fortune in an interview.
Support of mobile commerce and payments is absolutely essential, as Salesforce’s own research shows that 100% of e-commerce growth comes via mobile devices, Bransten said. Yes, 100%.
The new Commerce Cloud also incorporates some of Salesforce’s (CRM) promised artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, at least in its Commerce Cloud Einstein edition. These features, in theory, could help retailers get a better indication of which shoppers are kicking the tires and which are truly ready to buy.
The e-commerce offering joins Salesforce’s existing sales, marketing, and service products as part of the company’s grand plan to follow a customer through the whole shopping, testing, buying, and customer support cycle.
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Vendors like Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), IBM (IBM), and Microsoft (MSFT) all tout the need for a “360-degree view” of the customer. Skeptics aren’t sure that the customers themselves really want that, but that’s another story.
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Salesforce has made a series of acquisitions including Demandware over the last few years. It says it’s able to knit together all those diverse acquisitions into an integrated set of cloud services, and is now layering artificial intelligence capabilities from another set of acquisitions atop all that. It’s a tall order, and one the company will likely discuss further next week at its annual Dreamforce customer event.