Salesforce’s New Service Helps Retailers Set Up DTC Operations in As Little As 2 Weeks

While e-commerce has been the clear revenue driver during COVID-19 — both at home and abroad — many footwear companies have not had an existing infrastructure to draw on, and some still don’t. For those yet to join the digital marketplace, Salesforce has launched a new series of Quick Start Commerce Solutions to help businesses get set up online as quickly as possible.

The four solutions are targeted at DTC consumer goods; grocery and food service; the B2B sector; and curbside pickup. These areas have all seen significant increase in demand during Q1, with the Salesforce Q1 Shopping Index reporting that BOPIS (whether picking up in store or curbside) has grown by 27% year over year. Meanwhile, digital traffic in April 2020 grew 45% year over year, with a 51% spike in mobile.

Understanding the need for an e-commerce presence is only half the battle. Consumers have high standards for user experience and customer service, following the success of DTC brands like Allbirds and Everlane. But this kind of large-scale investment can be costly and time-intensive, which is why some companies have slow adopters until now.

Salesforce’s Quick Start Commerce for D2C Consumer and Essential Goods offers features like digital commerce; management capabilities; and pre-built payment, tax and shipping service integrations. These are similar to the functions provided by Salesforce’s established Commerce Cloud solution, but the new Quick Start programs are designed to speed up the implementation process through human assistance.

“The difference is that this solution packages up our traditional DTC offering with managed services to help businesses [move] faster, as quickly as two weeks,” said Anna Rosenman, VP of product marketing, Commerce Cloud and Community Cloud at Salesforce. “Our partners will help companies run their businesses while training their employees, to help them adapt to the changing environment and go to market faster.”

This package is part of a growing trend of solution providers offering specific programs to address pandemic-exacerbated issues. In April, Centric Software unveiled a set of solutions that pare down its comprehensive product development technology, to focus on mission-critical functions.

But Salesforce doesn’t see these solutions as temporary initiatives for e-commerce newcomers. Instead, Rosenman described the programs as “fully-fledged, built with the same trusted and complete Commerce Cloud platform.” For instance, users may scale and introduce new features over time, consistent with traditional Commerce Cloud functionalities.

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