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Event Coverage

Notes from Salesforce Connections 19: Enhancements to Customer 360 Platform to Help Retailers Personalize the Customer Experience

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Coresight Research

Key Points

The Coresight Research team attended Salesforce Connections 19, held June 17-19 in Chicago.

  • The focus of the show was Salesforce’s Customer 360 platform (announced at Dreamforce in September 2018), which received a suite of enhancements and interconnected tools.
  • Enhancements include the unification of customer data, audience segmentation, personalization everywhere and optimization from Salesforce’s Einstein artificial-intelligence platform.
  • Updated tools include a new commerce web page designer, Heroku solution kits for developing cloud apps for e-commerce and an update MuleSoft accelerator, which helps integrate applications – all supported by testimonials and demos from customers Party City, Spalding and Land O’Lakes.
  • Salesforce aims to create platforms and tools to connect customers and other stakeholders in a new way, creating human connections for great experiences.

The Coresight Research team attended Salesforce Connections 19, held June 17-19 at the McCormick Place West convention center in Chicago. The events featured keynote addresses, a customer success expo and sessions (on a show floor featuring booths and live presentations), and several social events.

About Salesforce Connections

In 2018, Salesforce announced Connections as the new name for the Demandware Xchange event, which Demandware had hosted for the prior seven years. (Salesforce acquired Demandware in July 2016.) The event brings together retailers, brands, thought leaders and technology partners for three days of inspiration, learning and fun. Salesforce broadened the scope of the event to feature innovation in commerce, digital marketing and service across all industries.

Morning Keynote: Become a Trailblazer, Build a 360° View of Your Customer

Salesforce’s morning keynote on the first full day of the show served to announce enhancements to its Customer 360 platform (which was introduced at the Dreamforce 2018 conference — see details below). The extensions to the platform aim to enable companies to unify disparate customer data throughout their entire organizations and personalize every engagement based on a single view of the customer. Salesforce believes Customer 360 goes beyond traditional CDP capabilities and extends the power of CRM with consumer-scale data management and activation.

The next generation of Customer 360 offers the following features:

  • Data unification and consent management, which enables brands to unify all customer data to create rich customer profiles, including known and unknown data such as cookies, customer first-party IDs and other data types. Companies can also easily gain customer consent in e-mail marketing to digital advertising.
  • Advanced audience segmentation, which enables companies to identify specific groups of people to engage with in real-time based on demographics, engagement history and all other customer data available.
  • Personalized engagement everywhere, which enables a brand to address an audience segment to activate customer data across marketing, commerce, service and other functions.
  • Optimization based on Einstein insights, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze and understand how and when to engage with customers to drive customer loyalty and improve business performance. Moreover, customer profiles are continually updated based on behavior, such as customers clicking on an ad, browsing an e-commerce catalog, buying a product or opening an e-mail message.

Background on Customer 360

Announced at the most recent Dreamforce conference in September 2018, Customer 360 is a set of platform services designed to enhance data management across Salesforce apps and provide instant access to consistent, reconciled customer data. These services include:

  • A click-based user interface (UI) for app and data management, which establishes trusted connections between Salesforce apps and orgs; map and reconcile data across clouds; and, create canonical data models that provide a single representation of customer data for connected systems.
  • Reconciled 360 ID and profile across apps, which offers a single ID for Salesforce apps to recognize a customer across multiple channels regardless of how he or she identifies him- or herself, e.g., across name, email, phone number, social media handle, etc. This service offers data management capabilities to prepare, match, reconcile and update a customer profile across clouds, which enables employees to pull up the right customer data when needed.
  • Pre-built packages for service, marketing and commerce, which enable companies to quickly deploy experiences for common use cases, such as a service cloud experience that enables agents to see purchase and browse history from commerce cloud, or a marketing cloud journey that is automatically triggered by an event in commerce cloud.

Salesforce also commented that companies need to access customer data from many systems outside Salesforce to obtain a more complete view, which can be accomplished by implementing its MuleSoft Anypoint Platform. Salesforce acquired MuleSoft in May 2018, and MuleSoft offers platforms for building application networks.

Afternoon Commerce Keynote: AI Commerce Platform Powers Premium Customer Experiences

The afternoon keynote was kicked off by Mike Micucci, Commerce Cloud CEO. Micucci provided a list of B2B and B2C trailblazers, who have seen 21% YoY growth in same-site sales, including Ralph Lauren. He set the stage for three customer testimonials:

  • Party City: The company used Salesforce‘s platform to enable customers to identify and order a collection of party favors based on an image (or a unicorn balloon) seen on Pinterest, which Party City supplemented with offers for party-planning services to enhance the experience.
  • Spalding: The company has experienced a 270% year-over-year increase in e-commerce revenue and demonstrated Salesforce’s tools to create a basketball configurator app that can easily be dropped on the company to enable the customer to create customized basketballs with desired colors, sports team logos or customized text. Spalding’s basketball customization page is located here.
  • Land O’Lakes: The company has experienced a 20% increase in online orders and a 10% decrease in customer service requests with Salesforce’s platform. Land O’Lakes product portfolio includes Purina animal feed, which it sells to feed stores. Purina uses Salesforce’s Einstein artificial intelligence technology in its chatbot platform to handle customer service requests, including order changes and to make predictive suggestions, such as reallocating orders to identify and handle an inventory shortfall at a customer store.

Three new products were announced in the keynote that are available immediately:

  • A new commerce web page designer.
  • Heroku solution kits for e-commerce (Salesforce acquired cloud app development company Heroku in December 2010).
  • An updated MuleSoft accelerator.

Rebecca Taubman, VP of Commerce Cloud Customer Success, offered several examples of Salesforce customer success via a day in the life of commerce cloud, which handles:

  • 24 million unique shoppers.
  • 6 million site searches.
  • 8 million promos.
  • 650 million Einstein predictions.
  • 1 million orders.
  • 84 countries.

In addition, Salesforce’s commerce handled 679 million unique shoppers with 99.99% availability, processing 50.3 million orders (up 69% year over year) during the holiday season in 2018.

For More Information

Please click here to read our Introduction to Retail Tech.

Please click here to read our report on Salesforce’s announcement to acquire leading analytics company Tableau.

Please click here to read our report on Salesforce’s 1Q10 earnings report.

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