What does the Salesforce Acquisition of CloudCraze Mean for B2B Customers?

When Salesforce acquired Demandware and launched Commerce Cloud in 2016, it was a statement on how integral digital commerce had become to the customer success platform. With Salesforce entering into a definitive agreement to acquire CloudCraze today, it is making a similar statement on the importance digital commerce will play in the success of B2B organizations and it is taking a bold step forward to meet that future.

At Avionos we work with clients along a wide range of maturity in their digital commerce journey. As we look across those companies, what has stood out is the pace at which B2B executives are looking to digital channels to drive customer growth, retention, and overall customer value.  Eighty-eight percent  of B2B decision makers anticipate offering products in the next five years that will be primarily sold online1, and nearly 90% expect their business growth to be tied to the success of digital commerce over that same period.

Introducing a B2B focused digital commerce capability into Salesforce’ core offering increases the speed with which B2B customers can respond to their own customer’s needs and reap the benefits of this new channel.

But Why CloudCraze, and why now?

While Commerce Cloud was an important step toward connecting commerce, sales, and marketing, it was still highly optimized for retailers and a consumer shopping journey.  But ask any B2B sales executive and they will tell you that while consumer experiences are certainly shaping B2B customer expectations, they do not reflect the full capabilities needed.

B2B commerce requires navigating a complex set of scenarios which are truly unique from the standard retail eCommerce experience.  Account hierarchies with multiple levels of buying authority and workflows, contract based and tiered pricing schedules with quoting capability, and custom product catalogs are just a few of the typical requirements which make these experiences very unique.

Solving those scenarios must be built into the fabric of the platform. CloudCraze was designed with the B2B customer in mind and brings these capabilities natively.

What does it mean for CloudCraze customers?

For existing customers of CloudCraze, or those organizations currently considering CloudCraze, Avionos’ perspective is that this is only good news.  It was rare to find a CloudCraze customer who didn’t already view Salesforce as a strategic asset within their company ecosystem so the formal combination of these into a single partner provides clarity and security to their future collaboration.

From a technical standpoint, our expectation is that very little will change in the immediate future as CloudCraze already was the most seamlessly integrated commerce platform in the Salesforce ecosystem, having been built natively within the platform.

What we find very exciting with this announcement are the new possibilities for the product roadmap of both companies.  While we don’t know today exactly how Salesforce may use this new asset, there is a tremendous opportunity to more tightly unify the purchase experience from customer acquisition to order capture across digital and traditional channels. And since CloudCraze utilizes native Salesforce technology, little to no effort will need to be expended in the typical integration challenges brought on by large software acquisitions, and all of the future engineering efforts can be deployed against accelerating the product features and bringing new innovations to market.

So what’s next?

There is surely more to come from both Salesforce and CloudCraze as details on the acquisition and the product roadmap are released. But in the meantime, organizations shouldn’t put off activating or upgrading their digital B2B channel. It’s time to consider how to leverage eCommerce to deliver positive results to the bottom line, quickly, and Avionos can help.

We work with organizations to understand the impact digital experiencdes have on their customer relationships, and help organizations can capitalize on these opportunities using tools like Salesforce and CloudCraze.

Are you ready to tackle the digital channel? Learn more about our B2B eCommerce solution, ElevateB2B, integrating both Salesforce and CloudCraze to help organizations get a comprehensive commerce channel up and running in less than a quarter.

  *Respondents are director-level and above in software, CPG and manufacturing companies. Download the full report, powered by CloudCraze.

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