The pandemic has triggered a big change in customer browsing and shopping patterns. Most customers now prefer digital transactions and engagements. Today’s consumers spend 54% more time on digital channels, compared to the time they spend on physical engagement channels. Likewise, the legal framework is now more accommodating of digital. Electronic signatures, remote data storage, and other digital-friendly solutions have become the norm.
Such changed realities hit most businesses like a tsunami. For most businesses, a robust digital presence has now become more important than physical offices and stores. Businesses across the world will spend about 6.8 trillion USD on digitization, between 2020 and 2023.
But embracing tech is easier said than done. Businesses, cutting across industry verticals, scramble to digitize their IT systems. Those already invested in technology scramble to upgrade to the latest cloud-based systems.
Enter Salesforce Digital 360. It offers developers a set of readymade apps, website templates, developer toolkits, portals, and training materials. Developers also get access to best practice code and data samples for various functions. Businesses investing in these tools may set up ecommerce storefronts, web pages, and portals, and connect to Salesforce Industry Clouds, all in double-quick time.
Salesforce announced the launch of Digital 360 on September 23, 2020. The company built in-house, most of the developer tools and guides that make up Digital 360. Some tools came from Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Vlocity.
How Salesforce Digital 360 Helps Businesses
Salesforce Digital 360 helps businesses cater to the new digital-first customer preferences. Online sales have already grown to $4 trillion in 20201. More than half of all global ad spend in 2021 will be on digital platforms.
The Salesforce Commerce Cloud already offers all the tools and resources a business needs to conduct business online. Digital 360 allow businesses to optimize their storefronts, become tech-savvy and deliver customized omni-channel experience. Digital 360 brings flexibility and scalability to the app development process. All these deliver a better experience to customers, compared to existing resources.
Set up Digital Storefronts Fast
Salesforce Customer 360 and the Salesforce Clouds already deliver seamless customer experiences. But technology is always in a state of flux. What works well one day becomes obsolete the next day, as business realities change. Often, an app developed with considerable time and resources becomes inadequate soon. The long time-to-market for new apps leads to several lost opportunities. It also degrades the customer experience.
Digital 360 is a flexible and scalable technology platform that is also quick and easy to deploy. Businesses may reshape their businesses around cloud-native, digital products, and services. They may recreate existing interactions in the digital mode without degradation in the quality of service. And they can do all this fast.
- The developer kits make it easy to change code. Both hardcore developers and novice citizen developers enjoy the ease and simplicity.
- Pre-built templates for webpage layouts, pre-built portals, and templates for integrations with other technologies ease the app development process.
- An array of out-of-the-box, point-and-click tools allows businesses to build and configure apps fast. Businesses may build and adapt apps to reflect the ever-changing needs of the customer.
- Digital 360 for Industries Developer Toolkits offers code and app samples, documentation links, and best practice data.
- Customer 360 Guides, provided through Trailhead, include Industry-specific training modules. Three modules, viz Customer 360 Guide for Retail, Customer 360 Guide for Discrete Manufacturing, and Customer 360 Guide for Retail Banking, are already up and running. The Marketer Career Path offers comprehensive resources to start or build marketing careers.
- Side-by-side with Digital 360, Salesforce has also launched Commerce Cloud Payments. This checkout portal supports credit cards, mobile wallets, and even non-card methods. Developers may embed this new readymade offering, anywhere on their site. It comes with integrated fraud protection and other safety and compliance features. Users may install the payment gateway anywhere on their site easily, with a few clicks, and with no need to write code. This further saves time when launching online shops and ecommerce portals.
As competition intensifies, blunt instruments such as blanket marketing campaigns no longer work. Each customer is unique. Customer preferences and needs change every day, and at each touch point.
Businesses have no workaround to personalizing the engagement. They also have to engage with the customer on their terms. Today’s fast-paced world has also made customers impatient. They go away at the slightest delay, and may never come back.
Salesforce Digital 360 offers a framework to move away from blanket marketing campaigns. It enables marketers to power the right interactions at the right time, and personalize the engagement.
The basic principle of the Digital 360 is the same as that of the customer cloud – provide a single version of the truth. Digital 360 offers a unified, 360-degree view of the customer. Multiple versions of customer data on different platforms lead to misunderstandings. Customer support may act on outdated information to offer a solution already resolved long ago. With Digital 360, agents get all available data related to customers’ needs and behaviors at their fingertips.
- Customer 360 Audiences, a new customer data platform, allow marketers to unify, segment, and activate all customer data.
- Salesforce has also enriched Digital 360 with Artificial Intelligence. The models evolve constantly, to offer deep personalization capabilities across every customer journey. It becomes easier for companies to create connected experiences.
- Salesforce CDP, the powerful enterprise customer data platform, integrates data from sales, service, commerce, and other places. The latest upgrades integrate Interaction Studio to CDP, to supercharge the customer interactions. Digital 360 users may now use Salesforce CDP to analyze brand interactions across different channels. They may apply Einstein to determine when to send a message or recommend a product.
- Salesforce’s strategic partnership with Google offers marketers access to first-party data, while maintaining privacy and trust.
- The Datorama Reports for Marketing Cloud offer marketers direct access to email, mobile, and journey reports.
The improved view of the customer makes personalization easy, seamless, and secure. Marketers and customer support agents may:
- Connect with customers through any platform, on the customer’s terms.
- Recommend the right product to the right customer at the right time. The right data at the right time also triggers upsell and cross-sell opportunities and reinforces customer loyalty.
- Segment customers in real-time, and down to the individual level.
Agility and Adaptability
Digital 360 combines marketing, commerce, and experience clouds to deliver seamless online interactions. Businesses on the Digital 360 platform become more agile and adaptable.
The Experience Cloud enables a high level of personalization and quicker launch times. Business users may create multiple pages, ecommerce storefronts, apps, portals, communication channels, without high-level tech knowledge.
At the back-end, integrated dashboards and easy-to-decipher visual illustrations make consuming information easy. Built-in heat maps enables tracking utilization. User interaction metrics identify potential roadblocks. Highly visual reporting dashboards for journeys and emails make it easier to analyze performance.
Digital 360 moved away from standard software update and is designed as an evolving technology. Improvements in the marketing cloud make loyalty management, audience segmentation real-time. New integrations with social media channels such as Snapchat and WhatsApp improve the customer engagement, and make it even more real-time.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Industries launched with new offerings for seven industry verticals: consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, communications and media, public sector, emergency management services, and non-profit fundraising. But Digital 360 is suitable for nearly every conceivable industry or sector. Several enterprises have already started using Salesforce Digital 360, and benefit from it.
Salesforce Digital 360 in Action
Salesforce Digital 360 for Consumer Goods:
Groceries are high volume low-value businesses. Customers do not accept digital intervention that makes the transaction longer or complicated. The new Salesforce 360 Digital for consumer goods enables grocers to engage with the customer directly and quickly. It simplifies and eases the transaction. The digital intervention becomes an enabler, rather than a disruptive layer in the business, as it often is the case. It also caters to the changing customer preferences in near real-time. For instance, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many customers prefer curb pickup instead of entering the store. Enabling such a touch point requires a digital app.
The new Digital 360 resources for the consumer goods industry include a Commerce Cloud grocery toolkit, a picker app, and a time slot manager app.
The Commerce Cloud Grocery Picker App empowers store associates to view and assemble online orders, and substitute products. The app integrates to the incumbent warehouse management solutions. It updates inventory in real-time, as the store associate completes the order.
Storekeepers use the Timeslot Manager App to manage pickup times and parking space reservations.
Foodstuffs North Island, New Zealand’s biggest grocery distributor used these resources to set up a new consumer storefront in a matter of few weeks.
Fanalca used Digital 360 to reach out to customers in different ways, in the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. The company used Digital 360 resources to start selling motorcycles online, in double-quick time. Customers complete all transactions online and have the motorcycle delivered, without having to visit the physical showroom.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Financial Services
The Digital 360 for financial services focuses on the insurance sector.
Purchasing insurance has traditionally been a hassle for small customers. Customers rarely have access to the latest quotes or information. Even when they attempt to reach out directly to the insurance, they do not have access to the information they needed. Often, they stare at a message of “we will get back to you,” instead of making a purchase.
The Salesforce Digital 360 for financial service includes Experience Cloud Apps for policyholders and insurance agents, commerce cloud insurance apps, and related toolkits. Insurance businesses leverage these resources to make buying insurance as easy as buying a pair of sneakers.
The new Experience Cloud Insurance Policyholder App offers comprehensive policyholder portals. The app digitizes the entire insurance journey.
The Commerce Cloud Insurance toolkit enables secure, scalable, and personalized insurance storefronts. Customers may get a quote, pay for the claim, add quotes to their cart, buy the policies online, or follow up with an agent, all from an integrated dashboard.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Healthcare
Salesforce Digital 360 allows healthcare businesses to tailor marketing journeys for different patient groups. The new pre-built patient journey apps, powered by the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, offer patients relevant information at the right time, and keep them updated. This leads to better patient engagement and health outcomes.
e.l.f. Beauty uses Salesforce Digital 360 to cater to changing customer expectations. A complete view paves the way to deliver a personalized and integrated experience for every customer. The Digital 360 resources offered blueprints, roadmaps, and pre-built architectures. Equally important were success stories from Trailblazers.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Communications and Media
The new Commerce Cloud Toolkit for Salesforce Communications and Media Clouds helps companies launch digital storefronts easily.
Deluxe, the leading content creators for broadcasters and OTTs, used Digital 360 to ensure a customer-first focus. Often, complex bundle rules and changes to subscription packages can confuse the customer. The new Digital 360 tools enable Deluxe to simplify the experiences in double-quick time. The improved accessibility and ease of transactions deepened relationships with customers and promoted loyalty.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Public Sector
Dealing with the government is often fraught with delays and inefficiencies. Most clients get frustrated by the opacity of information, bureaucratic red-tape, and other delays.
Public sector entities use the Experience Cloud App to digitize licensing, permits, and inspections. They may also set up portals that digitize end-to-end reviews and approvals. The process becomes fast, transparent, and accurate.
Consider a local restaurant seeking a permit for outdoor seating in the parking area. The Digital 360 enabled portal makes it easy for the customer to apply for the permit, and check the status in real-time, through an easy interface. Government employees, at their end, get a complete view of applicant data, pipeline views, and also the recommended actions. The process becomes faster, and nothing slips through the crack.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Emergency Response Management
Digital 360 enables emergency services to set up integrated hubs that offer easy access to emergency information and services. The new experience cloud apps for emergency response management allow affected persons to access care with a few clicks. At the backend, the portal allocates resources and services quickly to the affected.
Digital 360 also helps in tackling the spread of COVID-19. Manual contact tracing templates allows agencies to assess potential exposure to communities. Easy access and view to patient triage enable identifying and interacting with patients safely.
Salesforce Digital 360 for Nonprofit
The new Nonprofit Fundraising App streamlines the donor experience. Donors get an integrated dashboard. They may log in, view their donation history, update their contact information, and securely make donations.
Among the pioneers in adopting Digital 360 is the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network in the USA. Salesforce Digital 360 helped the company set up an infrastructure capable of evolving rapidly.
Digital 360 is part of Salesforce’s wider rollout of cloud-first products. They include:
- In May 2020, Work.com to help businesses reopen safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Salesforce Anywhere, launched in June 2020, eased collaboration among the remote and dispersed workforce.
- Updates to the Sales Cloud 360 platform in September 2020 added Salesforce Meetings, Salesforce Maps Field Safety Kit, Enhanced High-Velocity Sales, and Einstein Video Call Coaching.
- In November 2020, Salesforce launched Revenue Cloud for billing, payments, and digital storefronts.
- In December 2020, Salesforce acquired the collaboration platform Slack.
- In March 2021, the company launched Rebate Management. Side by side, work.com has seen major upgrades since the one year of its launch.
Salesforce Digital 360 is the perfect addition to Salesforce’s digital commerce ecosystem. The new set of tools enables businesses to thrive during uncertain times, and future-proof themselves against the disruptions caused by inevitable changes. The changes bring marketing, commerce, sales, and service closer, and puts the customer at the center of the company’s digital strategy. It helps businesses embrace the latest trends and customer preferences, and gain a valuable competitive advantage. Salesforce’s large partner ecosystem has already developed thousands of custom applications, and offers expert service, for Digital 360.