“Put that coffee down. Coffee is for closers only” goes the famous line from “Glengarry Glen Ross.” The line, as many lines in the work, is uttered with acidic vitriol and typifies the cut-throat world of sales in the 1980s and ‘90s. These days sales might not be as gritty and Darwinean as the one painted by David Mamet. Still, in a digital world, the crushing amount of competition can make ecommerce businesses feel like the slightest misstep can leave them playing catch-up.
Luckily, technology has alleviated the need to secure customers solely by the sweat of their brow and moxie. Most ecommerce businesses will use Commerce Cloud or something similar for online sales. Connecting Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud can empower you to outpace your competition by taking your ecommerce business to newfound heights.
Connecting Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud has two main benefits. The first is for transaction emails. While Commerce Cloud can send such emails, Marketing Cloud’s flexibility and customization, its ability to tailor the look and feel of the message in a unique way, eclipses Commerce Cloud’s. This robust ability makes the email more responsive.
Further, even within transactional emails, Marketing Cloud allows a business to include cross-sell and upsell opportunities, something that the rigid parameters of Commerce Cloud cannot accomplish.
While the transaction email feature is an obvious boon, the utility of the second benefit dwarfs it. By connecting Marketing Cloud, ecommerce businesses can leverage behavioral data in addition to transactional data to tailor the appropriate experience for each customer. This feature works in phases from onboarding to personalized marketing to win-back journeys.
When connecting Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud, it is important to know that there are three aspects of Marketing Cloud to which Commerce Cloud can connect.
For transactional communication, connecting email and text are important. The second is connecting real-time personalization and behavior tracking with software like Interaction Studio. Finally, connecting a business’s customer data platform (CDP) to enhance customer profiling is a must.
The way to go about each connection differs. So, let’s take a look at each individually to understand how to ensure each pillar of connection is sound.
Once each connection is built, an ecommerce business can use that connection across various channels for a variety of purposes. But each connection differs, not only in its purpose, but in its execution.
Connecting this platform to Commerce Cloud is probably the simplest since Salesforce has a built-in connector for it. This connector automatically will bring in data into the CDP. A user simply needs to enter the Commerce Cloud credentials to establish the connection and allow data to begin flowing into CDP.
Since behind the scenes a commerce platform is just code, in order to change its function, a business needs to add code so its commerce platform can communicate with Marketing Cloud. While a company could write the code from scratch, there is no need.
A cartridge — essentially just a package of code — does most of the heavy lifting, enabling the two suites to exchange data. Once the cartridge is deployed, ecommerce business owners need to follow a sequence of steps to incorporate it, including staging it in a sandbox and then typically a secondary environment, before deploying it to production.
There is no cartridge or connector for Interaction Studio (now known as MC Personalization) or other software that does real-time personalization behavior tracking. Cartridges are for behind-the-scenes models, which are largely the same. But Interaction Studio is geared more toward a company’s website or mobile app, which can vary widely between companies, e.g., how customers navigate it, the layout ect.
Whether you already have Marketing Cloud and are integrating Commerce Cloud — as opposed to getting both for the first time and syncing them — will govern the complexity of the process. IP warming will be necessary for companies in the second camp. Further, setting up a CDP connection as early as possible pays dividends by giving a wider history from which to draw.
Companies that want to set up the connection will need to cover a wide skill set: someone skilled in Commerce Cloud, someone skilled in Marketing Cloud emails and someone well-versed in Interaction Studio and CDP.
For companies without such expertise, a partner can help, whether the company already has Marketing Cloud or is just getting it. With the relevant know-how, a partner helps maximize value across different clouds. Sometimes, depending on a company leader’s knowledge, they might even be able to offer options previously untapped. At the very least, a partner can ensure a company is using best practices and doing its setup in a process-oriented way to get the desired result.
While there is no big drawback in not connecting Marketing Cloud to Commerce Cloud, companies that don’t do so are missing a huge opportunity to personalize messaging and sell in a more sophisticated way. Connect Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud and climb the sales ladder. Finish first. Upgrade from the set of steak knives to the Cadillac El Dorado. Be a closer.