The future of AI and a Composable Commerce reality – Key takeaways from Salesforce Connections 2023

By - June 9, 2023

Salesforce made a big splash with soon to be released or piloted AI tools for more seamless management of customer touch points across all products. The big message for Commerce Cloud was that Composable is very real, and already producing amazing results. 

The main theme from Salesforce Connections 2023 conference in Chicago is that AI is going to revolutionize the way we operate across all of the Salesforce Clouds. For those of us in Commerce, the focus was on Composable Commerce and the first few actual wins with SFCC’s latest evolution of their digital retail storefront. 

The keynote on Wednesday had brilliant demos of how Salesforce is embedding their own Einstein large language model based (LLM) AI to help operators of multiple SF products. Starting with “Commerce GPT,” a technology to help merchandisers complete time intensive tasks like writing product descriptions. They also showed B2B features like creating 1 click reorder campaigns or even conversational commerce driven via a WhatsApp order confirmation text message, with the hook, “What else can I help you with?” Personally, I found the most compelling demo how they leveraged Einstein and marketing cloud to suggest a new campaign to drive revenue. It helped define the audience segment and build out the email template and kick off the campaign. This kind of operational efficiency would allow business users to really put all the Salesforce tools to work, maximizing their investment in the platform. 

This excitement was tempered by the fact that none of this is generally available yet – these features are to be released or piloted this summer. For those really paying attention, these advances were not in SFCC B2C, but in Marketing Cloud, B2B Commerce and other products. Salesforce’s vision is pivoting in the right direction and is a great extension to their Einstein product that has been around for years in Commerce Cloud, but will require non-trivial amounts of work to become real for B2C/D2C digital retails. 

On the Salesforce Commerce Cloud B2C side, last year’s hype cycle around Composable Commerce has transformed into real results for retailers. Composable Commerce is a modular approach to building digital commerce experiences that allows businesses to quickly and easily assemble and reassemble components to create unique digital commerce experiences. Salesforce has continued to improve its offering, Composable Storefront, which is a React based progressive web app (PWA). They now have the results to back up last year’s claim that it would “increase sales, conversions and basket size, while helping to drive down costs.” Multiple retailers presented incredible performance gains from the PWA, which translated into increased conversions and other business metrics. 

Salesforce also presented the convergence of AI and Commerce with a conversational commerce experience – just think instead of a HTML home page, you get a chat box and ask the AI to help you shop with personalized product suggestions and offers. There is even a capability to upload photos and have generative AI transform them to show personalized ‘looks’. Talk about a bespoke digital experience! While that’s clearly not fully productized, and probably not for every shopper out there, it does highlight how far we can take personalization, and opens the door to new ways of thinking about tailored shopping experiences. Lower hanging fruit are ripe for the picking in the shape of dynamically changing search results or category listing pages based on real-time behavioral data during your shopping session. The future is very bright for Salesforce Commerce Cloud! 

As you figure out where you are putting Composable Commerce on your roadmap, you will find more questions than answers. RSM is here to help you navigate this process through understanding your business and your digital commerce goals, and we would be happy to be your trusted advisor, so reach out today. 

Lawrence Walters leads the Salesforce Commerce Cloud practice helping retailers achieve digital commerce success through faster growth, improved omnichannel experiences, international expansion and streamlined digital marketing operations on the leading cloud based ecommerce platform for medium to large retailers. RSM’s practice provides both implementations for clients new to the platform as well as consulting and managed services for those already on Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

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