Pull data into one place and making sense of it. Every company in marketing technology wants to do this. Only it gets a little easier if you are part of an “ecosystem”. That is where CloudCraze is.
From its beginning six years ago, CloudCraze chose to work within Salesforce. “It’s the only native commerce solution on the platform,” noted Ray Grady, Executive Vice President at CloudCraze. The firm finds itself in good company. There are 2,800 applications provided by Salesforce’s “third party” allies via AppExchange. While Salesforce is well on its way towards becoming a $10 billion software company, the worth of its ecosystem clocks in around $270 billion, according to press reports.
Being able to integrate directly with Salesforce makes life easier for the partner and the customer. “There is no set-up time,” Grady said. There is no need to crack open platforms and write code to achieve systems integration between disparate applications. Any app that exists inside the ecosystem works with Salesforce.
For CloudCraze, that means unifying all data into a single customer record, that appears within Salesforce. CloudCraze can deal with firms in the B2B, B2C, and B2B2C spaces. (B2B2C: basically small businesses that buy from distributors who buy from other businesses.)
Anyway you cut it, CloudCraze can craft the web site offering the product. “You can measure every interaction with the product,” Grady noted. That means knowing frequency of purchase, value, and which platform the order came from, be it mobile or desktop. “Data informs the customer experience,” Grady said, which in turn inspires web site design geared towards converting clicks into sales.
Several sources add to the mix. Mobile has undergone “explosive growth” as many pe ople acquired smart phones and tablets, Grady observed. Social media is also generating user data that can be used to understand customer preferences and possibly predict who may buy what. The Internet of Things will generate service data.
“There are more devices kicking out signals,” Grady said. “There is more data. There is more ability to make heads or tails of that data.” This is where the Salesforce/CloudCraze combination works. It is possible to gather all that data into single customer records. “It informs what the commercial transaction will be and how to handle the customer,” Grady said.
In this instance, a user can have an entire customer history to analyze. There will be a record on how frequently the customer bought an item. Were there any service issues? Were those issues resolved? If not, what can the seller do to make it up to the customer? Do you make sure someone calls the customer to solve the problem? Or is the customer problem resolved with a discount or coupon applicable to the next purchase?
The entire Salesforce ecosystem is built on the concept of software-as- a-service. Salesforce upgrades occur several times a year, so ecosystem partners can come along for the ride, taking advantage of Salesforce’s toolsets to get their own apps out quickly, Grady noted.
For CloudCraze, the future is simple. “You will see us making investments to take the friction out of the buying process,” Grady said.