Jan
14
2019
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Salesforce Commerce Cloud updates keep us shopping with AI-fueled APIs

As people increasingly use their mobile phones and other devices to shop, it has become imperative for vendors to improve the shopping experience, making it as simple as possible, given the small footprint. One way to do that is using artificial intelligence. Today, Salesforce announced some AI-enhanced APIs designed to keep us engaged as shoppers.

For starters, the company wants to keep you shopping. That means providing an intelligent recommendation engine. If you searched for a particular jacket, you might like these similar styles, or this scarf and gloves. That’s fairly basic as shopping experiences go, but Salesforce didn’t stop there. It’s letting developers embed this ability to recommend products in any app, whether that’s maps, social or mobile.

That means shopping recommendations could pop up anywhere developers think it makes sense, like on your maps app. Whether consumers see this as a positive thing, Salesforce says when you add intelligence to the shopping experience, it increases sales anywhere from 7-16 percent, so however you feel about it, it seems to be working.

The company also wants to make it simple to shop. Instead of entering a multi-faceted search, as has been the traditional way of shopping in the past — footwear, men’s, sneakers, red — you can take a picture of a sneaker (or anything you like) and the visual search algorithm should recognize it and make recommendations based on that picture. It reduces data entry for users, which is typically a pain on the mobile device, even if it has been simplified by checkboxes.

Salesforce has also made inventory availability as a service, allowing shoppers to know exactly where the item they want is available in the world. If they want to pick up in-store that day, it shows where the store is on a map and could even embed that into your ridesharing app to indicate exactly where you want to go. The idea is to create this seamless experience between consumer desire and purchase.

Finally, Salesforce has added some goodies to make developers happy, too, including the ability to browse the Salesforce API library and find the ones that make the most sense for what they are creating. This includes code snippets to get started. It may not seem like a big deal, but as companies the size of Salesforce increase their API capabilities (especially with the MuleSoft acquisition), it’s harder to know what’s available. The company has also created a sandboxing capability to let developers experiment and build capabilities with these APIs in a safe way.

The basis of Commerce Cloud is Demandware, the company Salesforce acquired two years ago for $2.8 billion. Salesforce’s intelligence platform is called Einstein. In spite of its attempt to personify the technology, it’s really about bringing artificial intelligence across the Salesforce platform of products, as it has with today’s API announcements.

Sep
01
2016
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Salesforce paid $110M for BeyondCore, made $4B+ in acquisitions in 6 months

clouds Salesforce may have missed out on buying LinkedIn, but it has had a whopper of an acquisitions spree so far this year anyway. The enterprise cloud and CRM services company put down over $4 billion to buy eight startups in areas like workplace productivity, machine learning and e-commerce solutions, according to the company’s 10-Q filed with the SEC today. The majority of that $4… Read More

Aug
31
2016
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Salesforce shares face plant despite beating analyst expectations

salesforce Salesforce earnings came out today! They’re not great, either, and it looks like a weak outlook for the company’s third quarter is doing some damage to its shares, which were down as much as 8 percent. For a company that literally defined the phrase “software as a service” — basically, running your business online — and one that’s had a decent year… Read More

Jan
12
2015
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Demandware Snags Point Of Sale Provider Tomax To Extend Reach From Web To Store

Three colorful shopping carts. Demandware announced today that it bought Tomax, a cloud-based point of sale company for approximately $75M in cash and incentives.
According to Demandware CEO Tom Ebling, the acquisition extends Demandware’s reach from eCommerce websites to the brick-and-mortar storefront. Ebling said that they were attracted to Tomax for several reasons.
First of all, like Demandware, they are… Read More

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