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Salesforce to gain cloud-commerce software via Demandware deal

17/06/2016 by Sharon Shahzad


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It has been revealed that Salesforce is to add cloud-commerce software to its suite of tools thanks to the new acquisition of Demandware. With the retail industry becoming increasingly competitive, and those not using digital operations getting left behind, Salesforce could soon be on hand to help.

It was at Demandware’s XChange conference earlier in the year that Chief Executive Tom Ebling said that retailers failing to meet customer demand would lose out. Now, it has been revealed that globally renowned customer relationship management (CRM) solution provider Salesforce is to acquire Demandware for a reported $2.8 billion. The transaction should be completed by mid-2017, with Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff saying: “With Demandware, Salesforce will be well-positioned to deliver the future of commerce as part of our Customer Success Platform, and create yet another billion-dollar cloud.”

Retail has been largely left behind in the digital age, but high street companies are now trying to catch up with the likes of Uber, Airbnb and Amazon, who have used the digital world to their advantage. By acquiring Demandware, Salesforce will be able to provide the benefits of the company’s solution to its own clients. These include Demandware’s point-of-sale system and e-commerce platform. These will be used to bolster Salesforce’s current offerings and plug the current e-commerce gap.

Planet Retail Head of Global Retail Technology Practice Miya Knights suggested that the acquisition of Demandware could result in great organisational change for Salesforce. “The acquisition could maybe help explain, and justify, the price hikes Salesforce imposed on customers late last month [May 2016], turning it from a CRM company to a transactional one, with e-commerce, point-of-sale, and ERP [enterprise resource planning] components,” she said. Knights also said that though Salesforce would also be gaining Demandware’s customers, the move would plug a gap in its portfolio. “It should be a good strategic move if it aims beyond just acquiring the Demandware customer base. The two vendors have complementary roadmaps. So I’m sure Salesforce will be looking to exploits this opportunity to develop a more competitive product and services portfolio.”

The past year has seen a rising urgency for retailers to collaborate if they are to properly understand and serve their customers. Already, trends have been spotted with retailers sharing consumer data and working together to boost customer services quality. The relationship between Salesforce and Demandware may drive this too, with merchants and retail brands needing to work more closely with one another.





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