No matter how many times it is repeated, there is no way to avoid the reality that we are in the midst of significant technological upheaval.
Businesses are trying to digitize their entire IT systems in one go and move to cloud-based systems. They are also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected every aspect of their interactions due to a lack of physical connections.
As a result, companies around the world are pouring money into delivering business outcomes that will effect the same level of digital transformation that was expected in a few years within a few months.
In 2020 itself, an average of 10.4% increase is forecast in the investment in products and services that will deliver digital transformation, with an expected rise of 8% to 13.8% across various sectors.
This is in spite of the economic slowdown due to the pandemic. It is ironic because, in turn, the pandemic itself pushed the rate of digitization into overdrive.
The amount of investment is predicted to be around 6.8 trillion USD in the three years between 2020 and 2023, with 2.3 trillion being spent in 2023 alone.
If this is not indication enough, it is also anticipated that by 2022, the increase in revenue growth will result in at least 65% of the GDP of the world being digitized.
Quite a few companies in the world have amped up their catalogs in an attempt to help organizations cross over to the digital side in a seamless manner.
Salesforce is one of the most noteworthy ones among these, excelling in B2B CRM. With the most recent release of Salesforce Digital 360, announced on September 23, 2020, it is going a step further in helping businesses hop on the latest trends in the market and fulfill the biggest demands of customers.
The Salesforce platform provides the perfect B2B commerce solution for companies that need to urgently come up with a digital ecosystem to satisfy customers and employees while adapting to the long-distance model the pandemic has forced them into.
Top Trends In B2B Ecommerce Development Today
A lot of changes were already in line for the new decade when the pandemic set the ball rolling for them to be hurried within the very first year.
Customer sentiments that had only started appearing have now taken full control of the market. These are most visible in the B2B buying behavior simply because of the sheer volume and amount involved in transactions. These include:
- Companies are realizing how important it is to take a data-driven approach when it comes to doing business and handling customers. According to IBM, losses to the tune of 3 trillion USD are borne by companies in just the US due to what is popularly called bad data. It is important to know as much and as accurately about a customer as possible so that companies can enforce the exact operational outcomes in business needed to address the right concerns.
- It should not come as a surprise that in a day and age in which myriad choices of high quality are available and accessible to customers, the most valuable offering a company can provide is personalization in B2B. Every B2B customer will have distinct needs and wants. If you try to club them together on the basis of any one or a few categories, you will probably be making your B2B ecommerce platform blind to other differences in some other category. This will result in at least one prospect or customer being served in a way they do not require, resulting in churn or double efforts and spending in retention. Studies reveal that the costs of customer acquisition have risen by 86% in the last two years. Therefore, businesses need to find a way to provide tailored services to their customers at every point to increase customer retention and growing revenue or risk downfall in 2021.
- The B2B market is a highly dynamic one. The buyer journey mapping of even a single customer will show differences when it comes to two identical purchases they made. And in these unprecedented times, every pattern and logic has been thrown into the air when it comes to B2B ecommerce strategy. Businesses are coping to adapt to the changing needs of their customers and B2B vendors are rushing to provide solutions that would help these companies achieve their desired business outcomes. As such, they must be present whenever and wherever their client needs them to. They must be on their toes at all times so that they can quickly provide their customer exactly what they need, when they need it and where.
- Perhaps the greatest need of the hour for B2B consumers is to get their digital base online as quickly as possible. Social distancing rules have made it impossible to have any face-to-face interactions, which means those interactions must be recreated in the digital mode without a degradation in the quality of service provided. The sooner a company completes its B2B ecommerce implementation and onboarding, the sooner can it reach out to all its potential customers in a way they are comfortable.
What Is Salesforce Digital 360?
Digital 360 is a redefined way of approaching B2B commerce in Salesforce, created especially to serve the emerging digital needs of B2B companies. It is built on the foundation of Salesforce Customer 360.
In designing Digital 360, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Experience Cloud, formerly known as Community Cloud of Salesforce were brought together to form a comprehensive solution that could address the exceptional and accelerated digitization requirements that companies would have in 2021 as a result of the events of 2020.
In a bid to make it easier for B2B concerns to onboard and adapt to this new system, Salesforce put together easy-to-follow learning modules on Trailhead.
It also curated special solutions and consultation choices on Salesforce Appexchange from among the best community partners of Salesforce so that you can easily and quickly find what you need to implement Digital 360 in your system.
How Digital 360 Salesforce Integration Helps Businesses Realize Their 2021 Goals
1) Marketing Cloud
Salesforce redefined B2B CRM with Customer 360 Audiences, its customer data platform. The principle remains the same – to provide a unified view of the customer and a single, reliable source of all information on them.
A common problem that often irreparably skews key business outcomes is that of multiple versions of customer data for a single client on different platforms that result in faulty, disconnected, and slow service.
Customer 360 Audiences not only helps maintain a single source of truth for every customer but it also makes it easy to personalize their experience in a seamless and secure manner.
Moreover, the higher clarity helps in more intelligent customer segmentation and more accurate data analytics at every step.
2) Commerce Cloud
Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud already has every tool and application a business could need to smoothly conduct its business online.
It aims to create a customized and omnichannel B2B commerce experience that companies can utilize to provide their customers with the perfect digital storefront to conduct business through.
While launching Digital 360, Salesforce also announced Commerce Cloud Payments, which it developed in conjunction with Stripe, a Salesforce global strategic partner.
This will help Salesforce users embed checkout portals anywhere on their site. Being a readymade solution, it can be installed using clicks, not code.
This way, companies will be able to save more time when they are launching their online shop using Salesforce software.
3) Experience Cloud
The need for a high level of personalization and quicker launch times engendered the creation of Experience Cloud. With this, you can create a variety of pages, websites, ecommerce storefronts, apps, portals, communication channels, without requiring high-level tech knowledge or expending too much time.
You can build up the customer experience-based page quickly and with just a few clicks. Salesforce provides a few out-of-the-box solutions and also allows you to design your own.
There are multiple options sectioned on the basis of industry, aim, and intended service. Not only does this give a chance to provide a highly satisfactory customer experience but it also helps engage even more customers than usual.
Adopt Digital 360 as Quickly as Possible
One may wonder what the point of this new release was when Customer 360 and the associated Salesforce Clouds were already doing their job well.
However, it’s important to understand that the best solution is not always the right one. Most forecasts for the coming year were turned on their heads after 2020 happened.
Most companies are prioritizing a purchase they would not have made until a couple of years in favor of the purchase that was closest in the pipeline. And Salesforce Digital 360 is the perfect answer to this necessity at the turning point of 2020-2021.