Of all the factors affecting e-commerce sales, the most important are speed, transparency, and expertise.
Across B2C and B2B segments, customers are looking for a quick response, action, and completion across transactions and inquiries, straightforward pricing, product management, and conditions with no unexpected or hidden details, and all-around support in customer service.
In response to these necessities, SaaS-based e-commerce has come to the forefront as exactly the solution businesses need.
SaaS platforms can provide superior capabilities and a seamless performance throughout the e-commerce lifecycle, no matter what kind of sales method you use. 73% of companies plan to move all their applications to the cloud by 2021.
By the end of 2020, 41% of workloads will be on public clouds, and 85% of small businesses will have spent money on SaaS systems.
More and more people realize the power of SaaS to increase customer retention and growing revenue.
Current Trends of SaaS
It is crucial to capture the latest trends in the market so that you can implement steps for delivering business outcomes that will impact your business positively and provide tailored solutions to your customers.
Some of these trends are as given below:
1. Custom Offerings
There was a time when customers would just buy the best option they had and attempt to mold it to their needs themselves.
But with a customer-centric economy and greater competition, SaaS companies that provide tailored solutions to suit the market and requirements of the customer will be the only ones to make it.
It is evident in the rise of vertical SaaS and the considerable brouhaha over individual customer care and targeted marketing.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI is infiltrating every market, and e-commerce is no different. Customers want an intuitive interaction on e-commerce sites, but there are not enough live agents for that. The solution? AI.
AI-powered technology is making it more and more possible to assist customers intelligently in their buying process without having to expend extra cash.
3. Omnichannel Access
With marketing through multiple channels becoming the norm, so is the process after that – sales. Customers want to be able to access a business from wherever they want.
Moreover, they want a seamless experience so that they do not have to start from the top every time they contact the company on a new channel.
With SaaS, that level of connection between media is easily implementable.
4. Flexible Pricing And Buying
B2B purchases are complex. They are usually not one-time fulfilments. There are lots of conditions and negotiations before a business deal is signed.
The last thing a customer or even the sales agent wants is to redo everything because the customer wants to change their cart.
With flexible pricing, small changes can be done and the related term alterations incorporated in the contract without having to go another round with the discussions.
When we hear subscriptions, what we typically think of are less complicated products like cellular plans or Netflix. But B2B clients steadily realize that they can benefit from this model too.
No one wants to be bothered by license renewals or contract re-signings when they are happy with the product and want to continue using it. Subscriptions are the answer to this dilemma.
6. Lifelong Support
One of the worst headaches faced by any customer has to be poor customer support. It can be a deal breaker even when you have a winning product.
Companies are now assisting the customer from the moment they engage, throughout the purchase journey, with onboarding, training, and follow-up, as long as the lifetime of the product is, and even afterward to increase customer retention.
7. 360-Degree View
One of the commonest pet peeves of any B2B client is the sales or service agent they have contacted for any issue not being up-to-date on the details and developments of their purchase.
Having to explain and inform something that is already in the system of the business but not available to the agent due to closed information silos or waiting for the agent to get permission for access wastes a lot of time.
The connectivity of SaaS systems allows companies to provide a 360-degree view of customers, where every field gets updated automatically in real-time across departments without too much effort.
Salesforce SaaS-Based E-Commerce For Growth And Speed-To-Market
Today, Salesforce is the largest public SaaS e-commerce solutions company in the world, especially for B2B businesses.
The Salesforce Commerce Cloud forms an integral part of the Salesforce Cloud quad, the other three being Sales, Service, and Marketing.
If done right, the e-commerce facilities of Salesforce will help you achieve your desired business outcomes and increase revenue growth.
Its features are geared to help businesses go digital without any unnecessary hassle.
1. Out-Of-The-Box Solutions
Salesforce provides readymade solutions for a large number of industries and niches. These solutions have the features necessary to operate in their respective markets.
Customers no longer have to hire techs to tinker with the answer to make it launch-ready. It makes it possible to set up shop and go online more quickly and easily.
Salesforce has a highly flexible platform where you can easily customize and incorporate specialized functions. It is easy to change the design of your storefront or add a new capability.
Moreover, you can even use the apps from the Salesforce AppExchange to further diversify your options.
It is essential to know what will have a positive impact on the customer and what will lower the quality of the user experience.
Salesforce has the advantage of allowing companies to test out features before implementing them so that when they are released, they will not fail in the market.
4. Multiple Sales Models
Businesses nowadays want to give their customers all the options possible for making a purchase.
Subscriptions, auto-renewals, self-service, AI-assisted buying, sales agent-assisted buying, carts – the possibilities are limitless, and different customers want different experiences.
Salesforce allows businesses to include all these in their e-commerce platform.
5. Catalog Management
One of the best features of Salesforce is custom catalogs. Businesses can create and share custom catalogs with their clients and provide great flexibility in terms of inventory visibility and product filtering.
It allows customers to look directly at what they are interested in and increases the chances of the business successfully closing a deal.
6. Cart Modifications
One of the worst things both customers and businesses have to deal with is the changing of the cart after negotiations are over, the contract has been drawn or mid-contract period.
Salesforce allows companies to shorten the process from suggesting a change to incorporating it with powerful quoting and billing features.
The nature of marketing has changed dramatically. Customers assess not only your products but also the value you are adding to the community.
A company is more likely to find favor with its audience through thoughtful inbound marketing in the form of content.
Moreover, you must also invest in SEO so that your content achieves reach among the targeted audience. Salesforce takes care of these requirements through its CMS.
8. Quick Set-up And Easy Modification
The COVID pandemic has accelerated the rate of businesses going online since people want to receive essential services and products with minimum contact.
Businesses are looking for a readymade solution that can be launched quickly to mitigate the losses they suffered.
They also want to be able to easily modify and fine-tune the features of their e-commerce platform to cater to the ever-changing needs of the people.
Salesforce is constantly adding to its roster of products and services to ensure just this.
9. Customer View And Analytics
It is highly essential in B2B business to know your customer like the back of your hand and have that view in front of you every time you are servicing them.
With Einstein Analytics and a 360-degree view of the customer, Salesforce will help you make informed decisions and focus on key business outcomes.
10. Third-Party Integrations
No single e-commerce solution provider will have every product or service to fulfill every need of a business.
And even if they did, no business would use all of them; they would want to assemble a digital system composed of the best offerings from different vendors.
If an e-commerce platform product cannot integrate with external applications, then it isn’t compatible with businesses.
However, Salesforce can integrate with all major software applications in the world. Not to mention the thousands of apps available on the App-Exchange.
11. Cost And Effort Efficiency
Salesforce is high on automation. It makes it possible to automate smaller tasks so your employees can attend to more significant matters.
Moreover, by shortening the customer lifecycle without compromising on satisfaction, your ROI gets multiplied manifold.
You also do not have to worry about maintenance and updates to the platform – the certified e-commerce architects take care of everything.
Security is the top concern for any B2B business. It includes data safety and privacy, financial compliance, and general security.
Salesforce ensures that every rule of law applicable in the local or global aspect is adhered to at all points. That way, businesses can focus on what they do best – company.
How to Build the Perfect Salesforce ECommerce Platform
When speed, growth, and efficiency are the primary operational outcomes in your business, a SaaS e-commerce solution is the best option.
And Salesforce delivers in all respects. It helps you build the perfect B2B e-commerce platform to help your business get off on the digital front and harness the possibilities it is capable of.