What the Salesforce Acquisition of Demandware Means for Customers

Creating long-term customer relationships through seamless marketing, commerce, and service solutions is a major focus of Avionos. It’s our belief that the core of any effective digital solution is a focus on the customer. Previously, Salesforce has reflected our view of the market through their acquisitions of ExactTarget and Pardot, which brought the power of outbound marketing and sales enablement to the ongoing management of the customer relationship. The introduction of CloudCraze – the only eCommerce solution built natively on the Salesforce platform – expanded that capability for the first time to include full Omni-Channel commerce.

Now, with Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Demandware, we see the recognition by an industry leader that organizations need to bring together commerce, marketing, and service in order to be truly customer-focused.

WHAT THIS MEANS

The announcement of the new Salesforce Commerce Cloud marks an important milestone in the evolution of the Salesforce ecosystem along with an explicit acknowledgement of the importance that Omni-Channel commerce will play in its growth. Demandware, as one of the leading SaaS commerce solutions, brings a roster of impressive retail and apparel brands to the Salesforce platform and a mature product offering which regularly makes the short-list in vendor evaluations for direct to consumer brands. The Site Genesis reference store framework is a particularly strong differentiator for Demandware among brands seeking a consumer optimized experience. Their own recent acquisitions of Mainstreet Order Management and Tomax Point of Sale (POS) create an integrated Omni-Channel capability that will provide a powerful suite of tools for Salesforce Retail customers.

What will continue to be interesting to monitor is how Salesforce integrates Demandware’s B2C focus into what has historically been a B2B dominated client base. It’s fair to assume that the technical integration path of two mature and distinct cloud infrastructures will not be an insignificant effort. Particularly, with Demandware continuing to work on integration of their own recent acquisitions.

Also of note is the vastly different licensing structures between Salesforce and Demandware. Demandware has substantially driven its growth on revenue sharing pricing schemes. While this “joint success” model has been successful – particularly with smaller and rapid-growth clients – it has served as a limitation for Demandware to grow with larger online merchants and B2B firms.

Organizations that are looking to utilize the Salesforce platform for their eCommerce needs now have two viable options to consider. In the short term, CloudCraze remains the most viable solution for deployment of natively built eCommerce capability on the Salesforce platform with a solution that supports reduced implementation costs and rapid time-to-value. Demandware offers a solution that is best suited for organizations who are consumer and high-growth focused.

For traditional B2B companies, CloudCraze provides deeper support for the complex customer account hierarchies, bulk ordering, contract based pricing, and flexible invoicing/subscription based payment models which these organizations tend to require.

MARKETS CHANGE; OUR APPROACH REMAINS THE SAME

Avionos is a leader in creating customer-centric digital solutions for both B2B and B2C organizations. Through an iterative and agile approach, Avionos will continue to help our clients develop, build, and implement digital solutions that bring our client’s customer base closer to their brand. As our President, Scott Webb has noted, “traditional management of the customer relationship has been split between distinct business units with separate goals and metrics.” Avionos is driven to break down the silos between business units to achieve a 360 degree view of the customer. We quickly and effectively deliver solutions that prove real business value rapidly.

Our iterative approach allows us to develop an ongoing partnership with our clients. Avionos looks for instant feedback on our work which ensures that our clients are getting the desired outcome at a quicker rate and quicker time-to-value.

Our industry is ever-changing. We’re seeing new solutions come to market and solution ownership shifting. These shifts require companies to get value out of their platforms sooner. The recent Salesforce acquisition is another reminder that the Avionos approach and belief is one that is here to stay.

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