The pandemic presented a unique opportunity for brands and by opportunity, I mean, a push. A hard push for ecommerce sites that could operate as smoothly and seamlessly as retail stores. In fact, ecommerce sales surged early in the pandemic and grew by more than 30% in 2020.
And the trend is here to stay. Even as vaccines are on the rise, more and more shoppers are staying online. What does this mean for your ecommerce brand? It’s imperative you have a site that reflects your unique story. From personalized shopping experiences to flexible cart check out, your site needs to mirror the retail shopping experience providing speed, ease of use, and a positive customer experience.
Salesforce Storefront Reference Architecture
Salesforce introduced SFRA back in 2018 as a reference architecture that combines industry best practices with out-of-the-box commerce functionality in a web storefront that serves as a foundation for a Salesforce Commerce Cloud site. SFRA works as a starting point for ecommerce brands to get selling faster with less code needed.
As more ecommerce brands launched on SFRA, the need for speed and flexibility became apparent. Brands were searching for products that would meet the demand for nimble business solutions with easily adaptable integrations and meaningful and creative content options.
System integrators created accelerators to get ecommerce brands launched on SFRA faster and with less coding. SIs took their extensive knowledge of the Salesforce B2C Commerce platform to build out-of-the-box solutions for companies looking to get their site up and running with time, budget, and flexibility in mind.
But as with all solutions, not all accelerators are created equally. Here are three tips to make sure you are investing in the best accelerator for your brand’s specific needs.
Three Tips for Choosing an Accelerator
1. Research Cost
Accelerators promise a cost-effective solution to launching SFRA, but often enterprise brands need more than a budget-friendly solution. With third-party integrations and custom add-ons, the cost of these accelerators starts to swell. Most SIs market their solutions with cost savings in mind, saving time and dollars on discovery and back-end development that comes standard in the new architecture. Be sure to evaluate the needs (and wants) of your new site to ensure that baseline solutions are what your brand is looking for. If you have additional components and integrations, do your homework to see how this will impact your bottom line.
2. Versatility is Key
Technology evolves, constantly. Brands need the ability to maintain and update their storefront without the heavy involvement of development and code. Your accelerator needs to be all things: flexible, fast, and easily customizable to grow and scale with your business. Choosing an accelerator with proprietary integrations limits a brand’s ability to pivot with market demands and shopper expectations. Salesforce B2C Commerce is the foundation these accelerators are built upon. The architecture needs to compliment your brand’s ecommerce road map while creating the ultimate shopper experience.
3. Beware of COTS
Accelerators are a part of commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) solutions. These products are built on top of SFRA to effectively optimize and integrate features into the base architecture. Without a working knowledge of your ecommerce site development, it’s impossible to advocate for upgrades and custom features that highlight your brand’s unique story. There is no black box solution or one-size fits all software that will create that personalized customer experience that shoppers value. It’s imperative that brands implement accelerators that can adapt technology to achieve their desired ecommerce goals.
Building on the Salesforce Foundation
Here at PixelMEDIA, we leveraged 15 years of ecommerce experience to create an accelerator that goes beyond launching your site quickly. Pixel Propel has been engineered with a focused architecture for ecommerce success on Salesforce B2C Commerce. Propel maximizes the shopper experience through accessibility, extendibility, and reliability.
Ecommerce on Salesforce. It’s what we do. And we do it well.