Salesforce Marketing Cloud Targets Retail 'Customer Journeys'
Retailers looking to better connect with customers from the moment they begin researching products online can find help from two new Salesforce Marketing Cloud services. Unveiled yesterday at the National Retail Federation's 2016 Big Show in New York, The CRM (customer relationship management) giant's new offerings include a strategic framework and professional services for retailers seeking to build smarter one-to-one "customer journeys."
The new Salesforce Strategic Framework for Retail Customer Journeys is designed to help businesses build "a clear path to increasing revenue through personalizing and automating their customer engagements," said Scott McCorkle, CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, in a statement. The framework features tools for audience building, content management and seamless, start-to-finish interactions with customers, according to the company.
Salesforce is supplementing that framework with the addition of new Strategic Retail Professional Services to help businesses deploy digital marketing programs and better manage their customers' journeys. Those services provide retailers with "access to an army of customer experience experts, data scientists and engineers," McCorkle said.
Customers Want Better Integration, Personalization
A majority -- more than 80 percent -- of consumers research products online before making in-store visits, although far fewer see any connection between stores' online or mobile channels and their brick-and-mortar channels, according to findings reported in Salesforce's inaugural "2015 Connected Shoppers Report," released in November. Millennials, in particular, said they want more personalized shopping experiences that integrate all their interactions with retailers, from social media and Web sites to in-store assistance from salespeople.
Salesforce's new Strategic Framework for Retail Customer Journeys is designed to help businesses deliver improved shopping experiences with a variety of tools, including interviews, workshops, personalization best practices and templates for e-mail and mobile marketing content. The framework also lets users deploy toolkits designed especially for specific sub-verticals in retailing, from apparel and accessories to furniture, drugstore goods and groceries.
For example, the framework's audience builder tools allow a retailer to aim higher-discount offers at customers with higher-than-average order values. The new strategic framework services are available at no extra cost to customers using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which is priced starting at $400 per month.
Millennials Eager To Exchange Data for Service
Once they have defined their goals and identified new opportunities using the framework, businesses can launch new marketing and customer journey programs with the help of Salesforce's new Strategic Retail Professional Services. The new managed services are available today starting at $6,500 per month.
According to Salesforce's "Connected Shoppers Report," 48 percent of in-store shoppers believe they know more about retailers' products than salespeople do. Half of those surveyed said they would be more likely to frequent a retailer based on the technology its salespeople use to help customers.
Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 are especially interested in seeing stores make better use of technology, the Salesforce report found. In fact, 61 percent of them reported they would readily provide their personal and social media data to get better service in physical stores.
"If retailers can better use technology to serve Millennials' needs with personalized, 1-to-1 communications via their preferred channels, they hold the keys to increased conversion and customer satisfaction," Shelley Bransten, Salesforce's senior vice president for retail and consumer products, noted in December.
Image credit: Salesforce.