Months After Closing CloudCraze Deal, Salesforce Introduces B2B Commerce

Less than three months after closing its acquisition of CloudCraze, Salesforce on Wednesday introduced a business-to-business offering to its Commerce Cloud portfolio.

The CRM market leader unveiled B2B Commerce, a product derived from CloudCraze's e-commerce platform, and extending Salesforce's e-commerce cloud service born from its 2016 acquisition of Demandware. The company debuted the new cloud application to partners and customers attending the Connections conference in Chicago.

Salesforce was able to quickly integrate the Chicago-based startup's technology into its portfolio because CloudCraze was built natively on the Salesforce platform and was already an established vendor in the Salesforce ecosystem.

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Some large Salesforce customers in retail, consumer goods and manufacturing profiled at the Chicago conference, including athletic show manufacturer Adidas, were using Commerce Cloud to connect to customers, but wanted help facilitating relationships with business partners and suppliers, Gordon Evans, Salesforce's vice president of product marketing, told CRN.

Ray Grady, formerly president of CloudCraze and now Salesforce senior vice president for B2B Commerce, said business-side e-commerce requires differentiated capabilities.

"Purchasing wholesale is different from retail," Grady told CRN.

Some differences include wholesale prices often being tailored for specific outlets, only certain products being available for retailers to buy in bulk, and unique payment options like purchase orders.

With B2B Commerce, Salesforce will deliver a consumer-like experience to business buyers, even when they're filling orders for thousands of units, he said.

"We want to bring that B2C-like shopping experience to the B2B purchasing process," Grady said. "We have to take some of these smaller retailers and have them self-serve."

The progeny of Demandware and CloudCraze also have unique synergies with each other, and the larger Salesforce portfolio of sales, marketing and service applications, he said.

"We will continue to look at ways to bring those together over time," Grady told CRN. "You can imagine the way you'll see those used together."

Salesforce's e-commerce customers, for example, can be alerted by activity on the consumer platform to decide when to place new orders on the business one.

With the addition of Salesforce Einstein, artificial intelligence can be used to predict orders based on sell-through on the consumer side and other data, such as weather or scheduled sporting events.

And MuleSoft, Salesforce's latest and most-expensive acquisition, delivers integration possibilities with those platforms and data sources from third-party products.