October 15 by Alex Gammelgard

While e-commerce is quickly becoming the most important channel for many businesses, until recently, there wasn’t a way to connect Salesforce directly with e-commerce. This represented a huge gap for many businesses, because, even if Salesforce is used to its full extent, without a connected e-commerce solution, you’re stuck with multiple contact records across multiple systems that need to be reconciled. This represents missed opportunities to engage with repeat customers in a meaningful way.

tt4_6708Long the domain of B2C businesses, e-commerce has undergone a tremendous transformation over the past fifteen years. A sea change in attitudes is emerging as a result, as proven by Gartner, with e-commerce capabilities now consider a high technology priority by many business management teams in B2B companies. The e-commerce market is becoming more diverse, with considerable momentum emerging in sectors outside of retail and media. Advances in technology have drawn the attention of companies in a range of sectors such as manufacturing and distribution.

A major advance has been the rise of cloud-computing platforms that allow large enterprises to outsource infrastructure and data management services, better manage costs and internal resources, and gain faster access to new technical innovations.

E-Commerce-on-the-Salesforce-PlatformAt the forefront of this trend has been Salesforce, with its world class Salesforce platform. Salesforce1 stands out in terms of global support, high scalability, high performance, high security, high flexibility and high reliability and availability, for the whole gamut of devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.). In short, Salesforce1 has emerged as a cloud platform of choice for an ecosystem of applications, but notably for companies revisiting and investing in e-commerce.

Because Salesforce owns the source of customer truth, and has all kinds of built-in functionality around communities and sites, it stands to reason that all of the tools you would need to build an e-commerce system can be found completely native on Salesforce. And given that Salesforce processes 70B transactions a quarter (only Google does more transactions) it’s a system just asking to support the e-commerce use case.

tt4_7643Apttus E-Commerce is tied into your quotes, contracts and revenue and can handle incredibly complex sales scenarios. For example, if you want to offer customer specific pricing through e-commerce, direct past buyers to the best upgrade path, highlight cross-sell and upsell opportunities, or trigger volume discounts, it’s easy and automatic because Apttus manages the product catalog, contracts, pricing rules, promotions, and more. The biggest takeaway is complexity no longer has to be a dirty word. With the right solution on the world’s best platform everything is manageable.

Want to Learn More? If you’re at Dreamforce, and want to learn more about e-commerce on Salesforce, visit the Apttus E-Commerce booth in the main hall. If you’re not in San Francisco for the big event, check out The Ultimate Guide to E-Commerce on Salesforce for a primer.

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