News Analysis: Salesforce Commerce Cloud Quick Start Addresses Post Pandemic Requirements

Contactless, Direct To Consumer, Buy Online Pickup Anywhere, Automation, and Subscription Ready Drive Post Pandemic Response

Matrix Commerce analyzes the disruptive pressures influencing the commerce paradigm. Commerce faces rapidly changing business models and new payment options that are often misunderstood and poorly integrated.

Matrix commerce (TM) means the fusing of demand signals and supply chains in an increasingly complex world where buyers seek frictionless buying experiences. Friction in this new world originates from new regulatory requirements such as sustainability, taxation, and privacy.

As commerce continues to evolve around buyer preferences, channels, demand signals, supply chains, payment options, enablers, and big data will converge to create Matrix Commerce. Matrix Commerce spans across disciplines as people, process, and technologies continue to transform today's commerce models.

Constellation has seen significant push for direct to customer, contactless commerce, buy online pick up curbside, digitization of channels, subscription and services ready, and automation and AI enablement.  Conversations with matrix commerce business and technology leaders have led to 12 key trends in the post pandemic world:

  1. Diversify supply chains.  The norm was a global supply chain with outsourced operations and heavy concentration in regions such as China. International relations and security concerns have shifted priorities to diversifying production and distribution.  Business continuity risk management has many organizations moving to a near shore model and also ensuring domestic availability.
  2. Double down on demand planning.  Sales and operations planning (S&OP) have never been hotter.  Demand planning is a business process that forecasts demand for a product or service.  The result is a more efficient production and delivery to stake holders.
  3. Focus on top 20% of SKU's.  Leaders have identified their highest volume SKU's as well as their most profitable SKU's to determine which products to double down on.  Prioritization and focus have enabled organizations to ensure supply meets demand while some operations are furloughed or shut down.
  4. Digitize channels.  The shift to mobile , voice assistant enabled, and online ordering has never been more important.  Digitization enables contactless commerce and frees up FTE's to focus on core operations.
  5. Build subscription business models.  Organizations with subscription business models have fared the best with minimal cancellations. Identify where a product, service, experience, or outcome can be brought down to bite size chunks in a subscription model.
  6. Move to direct to consumer.  From B2B organizations to organizations that have never sold direct, the shift to D2C is very real.  Shifting from selling bulk to smaller packaging sizes will be the toughest challenge for B2B organizations used to high volume, large quantity orders.
  7. Optimize pricing.  Now's the time to invest in pricing optimization solutions.  Understand the factors to pricing elasticity and understand how to optimize pricing models by channel, region, industry, economic trend, and supply.
  8. Drive up automation.  Decentralized work environments have sped up the need for automation.  With scarce labor on hand and the need to make more rapid decisions, investments in both AI and automation have increased.
  9. Build dynamic feedback loops for personalization.  Learn how to use attribution, context, dynamic choices, A/B testing to identify long term patterns to create digital feedback loops.  Determine how to apply AI to improve personalization.
  10. Move to event driven architectures/ micro services. Upgrade your architecture to support the latest approach. EDAs promote the creation, production, detection, consumption of, and reaction to events.  These events can be mined for improved AI and orchestration of personalized journeys
  11. Accelerate payments.  Improve your payments infrastructure to support contactless commerce.  Upgrade your security systems with better payment gateways and advanced billing capabilities. Invest in billing platforms that enable subscription capabilities and accurate revenue recognition.
  12. Deliver contactless commerce.  From buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) to buy online pickup at curb (BOPAC), to other means for prepayment and delivery, the rush to contactless commerce has never been so great.  Buyers expect zero tampering and contamination of their products during delivery. Organizations must support contactless commerce variants as conditions change.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Four Quick Start Solutions Address Immediate Requirements For PostPandemic Commerce

Salesforce announced the availability of four solutions that meet today's post pandemic requirements for commerce.  The four Quick Start Commerce solutions include a bundle of key solutions and implementation partners or managed services.  Key launch partners include Accenture, Astound Commerce,  Avionos, Capgemini, Deloitte, Docmation, and OSF Digital.  Here are the four Salesforce Quick Start Commerce Cloud  solutions:

  1. Direct to consumer and essential goods (Pricing: starts at $195k/year).  With supply chain resiliency a significant challenge and retail channels impacted, manufacturers, brands, and enterprises must reach customers.  Leading organizations have accelerated their digitization of channels.  This solution delivers key commerce capabilities, order management and managed services to help consumer good and essential businesses to be digital channel ready and profitable.  

    Products include B2C commerce, Salesforce Order Management, and Storefront Reference Architecture app for consumer and essential goods.  Pricing includes implementation partners who will assist with site setup (branding and configuration); merchant setup; data integration, price, inventory; storefront management, product catalog, and search;payment integration; and tax integration.

  2. B2B consumer, essential goods, and MFG (Pricing: starts at $99k/year).  Customers expect immersive experiences across all channels. This quick start enables digital ordering and more self-service opti0ns.  B2B sellers seek to quickly launch transactional websites. 

    Customers receive a quick implementation of commerce cloud.  The solution includes online catalogs, reorders, and product recommendations.   Managed services (with 3 month commitment) include site setup and administration, product, pricing, and order load.  In addition, the offering adds store front management, product catalog, and search.  Most ISV integrations are included.

  3. Grocery and food services (Pricing: starts at $390k per year).  Buy online pickup anywhere has emerged as a post pandemic standard. In as little as 10 weeks gain sell online for curbside capabilities grocery and food service customers expect to have their deliveries safe, fresh, and ready. 

    The offering includes Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Order Management, Picking App, and Managed Services.   Key offerings include the B2C Commerce, Salesforce Order Management, Storefront Reference Architecture app for grocery and food service.  Implementation partners will provide site setup (including branding and configuration); merchant setup; data integration, price, inventory; pricing application; storefront management, product catalog, and search; payment integration; and tax integration

  4. Curbside and store pickup (Pricing: starts at $125k per year).   Customers have prioritized safety and convenience and see curbside pickup.  This program is different from the grocery and food services offering and designed for retail store operations. 

    The curbside and store pickup solution can be implemented in 3 weeks.  Curbside and Store Pickup bring together Salesforce Order Management and Commerce Portals (prebuilt associate app).   Managed services include setup of stores and inventory lists on the B2C site; adding store selector on PDP, cart, and checkout; setup of flow and store pickup locations; payment integration, and configure store associates for last mile app.


The Bottom Line: Plan For Your Post Pandemic Response Now

Over the course of the next few weeks, the research team will provide specific details for each business theme.   The need to create a response and playbook have never been greater.  Learn from the current best practices and share your thoughts.  Enclosed is the high level overview for guidance in creating your post pandemic playbook. Commerce Cloud has rolled out four key requirements that customers have asked for as they move forward in the post pandemic world.  As the shift to digital channels, contactless, subscription models, automation, and AI take shape, Constellation expects that the winners in the post pandemic era will double down on investments and the losers will cease to exist.

Your POV

Will you be ready to handle the coronavirus and other pandemics?  Ready to build your post pandemic playbook?  Let me know, we can help! Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationR (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) org.

Please let us know if you need help with your AI and Digital Business transformation efforts. Here’s how we can assist:

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