What is the Salesforce Commerce Cloud?
Formerly known as Demandware, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) is an e-commerce platform used by large-scale businesses. The software’s roster currently includes Adidas, Columbia, Pacsun, Ralph Lauren and Callaway Golf, among many other midsized e-commerce retailers.
Unlike other e-commerce platforms like Magento, Big Commerce or OpenCart, SFCC offers its customers the quality and support Saleforce delivers for any of its products.
A Quick History of Demandware / SFCC
Demandware started off in 2004 from Burlington, Massachusetts as a software technology company primarily supporting e-commerce for B2B and B2C customers. The company found success for a number of years and eventually began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.
Acquired by Salesforce
It quickly became a prime target for the technology powerhouse Salesforce, who acquired Demandware in 2016 for $2.8 billion. Salesforce renamed the technology to the Commerce Cloud and it now known in the developer community as SFCC.
Today, SFCC is the go-to platform for big retailers in the e-commerce space. The platform allows its users to manage product content, category and brand pages, promotions, non-shopping content pages, customer data, personalization and much more. It also seamlessly integrates with major third party tools including Certona (for personalized shopping), Netsuite (for any businesses not using Salesforce as their primary CRM), Bazaarvoice (for user-generated product reviews), Bloomreach (for enhanced enterprise SEO) and Criteo (for retargeting).
Migrating to SFCC
With any site migration comes a lot of hard work, quality assurance, testing and more testing. Because SFCC offers so many different capabilities compared to standard transactional platforms, it’s important for retailers to understand what they are migrating to. Commerce Cloud offers its users three main areas of functionality:
- Shopping – product pages, category pages, brand pages, homepage templates
- Content – guides, FAQs and any other non-shoppable pages
- Promotions – SFCC provides a robust promotions engine to set up sales, % off discounts, coupon codes and free gifts with purchase (GWP)
Make Shopping Easy for Your Customers
From customizable product detail pages to establishing your site’s shopping hierarchy, getting started is easy with SFCC. Whether you use a product information management system (PIM) or plan to house all of our product content within SFCC, the interface is intuitive and allows you to sort products in any manner you choose. Determine your product catalog’s hierarchy, as well as the hierarchy of brand pages, then begin sorting products accordingly. Keep in mind that the site’s hierarchy should be clean, easy to understand and use appropriate keywords to describe your categories. For example, for a retailer of athletic shoes, you may want to have a parent category of ‘Shoes’ followed by different subcategories of shoes, subcategories of brands or subcategories of styles. Consider how your shopper will navigate your site and create the product hierarchy accordingly.
Content Assets & Content Slots
Outside of its shopping content (products, brand pages, category pages), SFCC gives its users additional options through content assets and content slots. Content assets are static pages of content and may include buying guides, frequently asked questions, customer service pages, shipping information, adverts, etc. Conversely, content slots are dynamic pieces of content that may be timed, triggered for certain customer groups and used with promotions. Retailers utilize SFCC’s content slot functionality to create personalized experiences for customers. Knowing the different between slots and assets is key to creating a well-rounded content strategy.
Promotions are a vital component of any e-commerce marketing strategy. Thankfully, SFCC makes the timing of promos easy to set up and understand through its analytics. Promotions may be used for percentage off discounts, coupon code discounts, free gifts and buy one get one free (BOGO) offers. Appropriately dialing in Salesforce’s promotion capabilities is key to winning holiday sales (Black Friday, Cyber Monday) and recurring sales for your business.
Appropriately building out each of these sections will require a lot of time prior to launching a customer-facing site. Perhaps the most time is spent in curating brand pages and category pages, and developing content for them.
SEO Consulting for Salesforce Commerce Cloud
Out of the box, SFCC has several functionalities to support SEO. From title optimizations to creating friendly URL patterns, the platform is geared toward search engine optimization. However, it’s important to consider the research that goes into titles, descriptions, content and establishing a site hierarchy that is easy to understand. Additionally, migrating from another e-commerce platform will require one-to-one 301 redirects to preserve the authority of your pages.
SFCC will also allow its users to create structured data following Schema.org‘s guidelines.
Structured data will allow you to display featured snippets in Google search results for products, user-generate reviews, video and other forms of shopping content.
SFCC Development & Implementation
While we primarily consult for SEO, we are experienced users of SFCC and help retailers complete site migrations to the platform. We’ll review your migration, go through all of SFCC’s settings with you, provide SEO recommendations for your implementation, create benchmark reporting and be certain you are ready for your site’s launch.