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How to Prep For the Holidays with Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas.

For online retailers like you, these holidays are adrenaline-filled events that hold the promise of a big payoff. Last holiday season, for instance, U.S. shoppers spent $138.65 billion online, with ecommerce making up for nearly 60% of all retail gains.

But you can only handle as much abundance as your ecommmerce platform allows you to. And this year you’re facing the extra challenge of a pandemic. Amid economic uncertainty, not everyone will want or be able to afford to participate in the buying frenzy. Customers are becoming more mindful of their spending and more unforgiving of online retailers offering subpar shopping experiences.

A top-notch ecommerce platform is, again, the best way to get customers on your side. Take a hint from leading B2C and B2B retailers who leveraged Salesforce Commerce Cloud to achieve record-breaking holiday sales.

Whether you’re already using the platform or you’re thinking about integrating it with your existing systems, here’s how to make the most of Commerce Cloud when planning your holiday ecommerce strategy:

1. Plan and Create Outstanding Content

Both B2C and B2B sales are powered by “content fuel.” Think email marketing promotions, blog posts, ad banners, social media posts, and more. Salesforce Page Designer keeps your content fuel high-quality and plentiful during high-traffic seasons.

The tool allows your team to create holiday-specific content in advance with just a few clicks, and later syndicate it to any digital touchpoint. Thanks to drag and drop components like seasonal merchandise, banners, or carousels, anyone from content managers to marketers and sales can create rich, visual content without any IT help.

The cherry on top? These are reusable components and pages that can be quickly updated and deployed with just a few clicks next holiday. Additionally, you have the option to use out-of-the-box, custom or third-party elements to quickly build completely new components unique to specific your business needs. Before you do any of this though, remember to set up an editorial calendar to ensure your content marketing efforts align with your sales cycle.

2. Begin Optimizing for SEO

Many companies spend a lot of time creating the best content and still remain invisible to customers actively looking for their products on popular search engines like Google. Avoid falling into this category.

Commerce Cloud puts a variety of search engine optimization (SEO) tools at your disposal, to increase brand awareness — and gross merchandise value (GMV).

Web optimization can be daunting and time-consuming, particularly if your site contains hundreds or even thousands of product listings. Enter Business Manager, a tool designed to make the process much more bearable.

Among other things, Business Manager gives you the reins to an entire SEO kingdom allowing you to create keyword-friendly URLs, eliminate duplicate content on product pages, add internal links to increase upsells, set up a 301 redirect for discontinued product pages, and more.

In addition, you can skyrocket click-through rates for specific pages by creating effective metadata descriptions. As Salesforce explains, “metadata controls how pages should be indexed and served to users.” Populate your meta descriptions with compelling CTAs and relevant keywords, so customers can’t help but choose you over your competitors.

3. Upgrade Cart and Checkout

If your shopping carts can’t accommodate hundreds of items per order, you’ll be taken out of the game before Black Friday even begins. Commerce Cloud is equipped with features like two-click recorders and multiple payment types that allow you to sell impressive amounts of items when you most need it.

What’s more, when you enable Salesforce Order Management, you’re bringing commerce, orders, and service under a single master repository of all order information. Equipped with real-time access to digital storefronts and order history means, service agents will be able to upsell and cross-sell with ease and efficiency. 

The intuitive self-service technology available on the Commerce Cloud can also support your salespeople. This feature allows buyers to take control of their shopping experience by completing transactions on their own, tracking their orders, or initiating a return within seconds.

 

4. Get Ready for High-Traffic

Almost 59% of organizations said they intend switching to the Cloud in 2020, thanks in no small part to its scalability. In fact, Commerce Cloud proved its scalability during the 2019 holiday season when retailers saw a 22% overall digital revenue growth and a 28% overall traffic boost.

These numbers come as no surprise. One of the platform’s biggest strengths is that it can grow at the same rate as your business and withstand sudden surges in traffic like those caused by holiday shoppers. The last thing you want is to show your customers a “Sorry, it looks like something went wrong” message when they are ready to buy from you.

Commerce Cloud, however, can do more than shield you against a system outage. It can also ramp up page load time, which is directly correlated to conversions. Rushing to get their shopping list completed, your customers don’t have a second to spare. Make that two. A two-second delay in web page load time increases bounce rates by 103% and a 100-millisecond delay in website load time can cause a 7% drop in conversion rates, according to recent research. Speed is as essential for search engines as it is for customers. Higher speed sites that use Cloud technology are often pushed to the top of Google search results.

Curious to see what Salesforce Commerce Cloud can do for your business these holidays and beyond? At Americaneagle.com, we have a Salesforce Services ready to guide you through the implementation process. Contact us to get started!

Andreea is part of Americaneagle.com's talented team of digital writers.


Previously, she was a Lifestyle reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a digital content creator for a marketing agency, assisting a number of Fortune 500 companies with their content and marketing strategy.

When she's off the clock, Andreea can be found either on her exercise mat, riding her bike, or soaking up the sun in one of the city's parks and nature preserves.

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